Legislative Committees in Full Swing; Bills Gaining Ground

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018


House Republican Caucus

We have officially entered week two of the General Assembly’s regular session as bills continue to be filed, debated and passed out of committees and a $20 billion budget, including the road plan, is being formulated with input from parties all across Kentucky.

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Our budget subcommittees are extremely busy hearing from stakeholders who rely on state dollars to fund their budgets. It is critical that we gather all the pertinent information so that once Governor Bevin outlines his proposed budget along with revenue projections on January 16 in the State of the Commonwealth Address, we can hit the ground running with the House’s own budget measures.

Along with the state budget, we are also working diligently on the two-year transportation plan. With many potential road projects in the pipeline and no shortage of deteriorating highways and bridges, Chairman Ken Upchurch and the House Transportation Committee have met and heard from counties and cities across the Commonwealth and must now prioritize which projects will be funded in a very tight fiscal outlook for the next two years.

Our regular standing committees are also hearing, debating, and voting on important bills and constitutional amendments.

Two constitutional amendments proposed by Rep. Kenny Imes, R-Murray, Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs, were approved this week and will likely see debate on the House floor.

House Bill 10 allows the General Assembly to approve or disapprove administrative regulations proposed by the executive branch. Currently, the legislature can only find regulations to be deficient, but that finding does not prevent the regulation from going into effect.

If Kentucky voters approve this amendment, all executive administrative regulations, which have the force of law, will be vetted by legislators elected by and accountable to the people of Kentucky.

House Bill 23 is aimed at moving the statewide election of constitutional officers, including the Governor, to even-numbered years beginning in 2024, putting them in-line with presidential elections, and saving more than $14 million in taxpayer dollars and increasing voter participation.

If these proposed amendments pass the House and Senate, they will be placed on the November ballot for ratification by you, the voters.

I encourage you to be a part of the legislative process. Without your input, our job would be impossible. I value your suggestions as we formulate the budget and road plan, reform public pensions, and enact measures that make for a better Kentucky.

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.