Legislature’s focus turns to Kentucky’s financial stability

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017


State Representative

Pro-growth legislation enacted this year continues to pay huge dividends for Kentucky in the form of record investments and job creation. As of August, businesses coming to or already in the Commonwealth have invested over $7 billion and created more than 11,400 jobs.

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The 2017 session rightfully focused on policy issues formulated with the intent to spur economic development and further educational opportunities. With job and investment numbers like these, there is no question Kentucky is in the middle of an economic resurgence after years of devastating job loss.

We, along with our colleagues in the Senate, continue to hold committee meetings during the Interim in order to gather testimony about important issues and compile information to formulate policy for the longer, 60-day 2018 legislative session.

Many House members have already pre-filed bills for the general session focusing on important issues such as suicide prevention in public schools, protecting livestock from dangerous predators, and shoring up funds to repair deteriorating roads and bridges.

Now that we have pro-growth economic policies in place, we must get our financial house in order. That means tackling the pension crisis, tax reform, and passing a fiscally sound budget that continues to provide full funding of essential government services.

A special legislative session, which can only be called by Governor Matt Bevin, is expected to be announced any day. Once in session, both the House and Senate will address the pension plan recently made public.

After pension reform is addressed, Kentucky’s tax code must be modernized during the 2018 regular session in order to meet the needs of our growing, prosperous economy. Our complicated and antiquated tax structure must be reformed to remain competitive with neighboring states. I fully support a tax code which gives Kentucky a competitive advantage. A restructured, pro-growth tax code will encourage people and businesses to relocate and remain in the Commonwealth.

Finally, we must formulate and enact a budget that approves the allocation of the appropriate amount of resources to provide essential government services, especially healthcare and education, which have funding costs that continue to rise each year. With a $138 million deficit in 2017 and an expected $155 million shortfall for 2018, we must get our finances in order before we find ourselves in yet another debt crisis.

I look forward to helping bring financial stability to the Commonwealth, while continuing to support policies that grow our economy, strengthen educational opportunities and help struggling Kentuckians get back to work.

There is no higher honor for me than to serve as your representative in Frankfort. As always, I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues impacting our Commonwealth, even while we are not in session.  I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at daniel.elliott@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.

This column was produced by House Majority Communications, and made available for House Republican Members to distribute.