By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
Legislative leaders wrapped up the Kentucky Chamber 2019 Legislative Preview Conference on Monday with a panel where they discussed election results, the rulings of the Kentucky Supreme Court on many of their key priorities, and what they plan to tackle during the 2019 session.
Senate President Robert Stivers, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, House Speaker David Osborne, and House Speaker Pro Tem David Meade discussed the 2018 elections. They noted the importance of talking about issues at the local level and that voters appreciated that they took on the tough issues.
In recent months, the Kentucky Supreme Court has weighed in on many of the key laws passed by the General Assembly since Republicans took over the House in 2016. Because of this, Stivers stressed the importance of the election of Supreme Court justices in Kentucky as many of the bills passed by the General Assembly have ended up in front of the Supreme Court where they have either been upheld or overturned.
As the pension reforms passed during the 2018 session currently awaits a ruling by the high court, Speaker Osborne said they haven’t had the conversation on what will be done if the pension bill is overturned by the court but said he does believe they would tackle it again, even if the legislation doesn’t look identical to the bill passed in the 2018 session.
Majority Leader Thayer touted the state’s right-to-work law being upheld by the court and said he believes the job of government is to create an environment for business to expand and he believes laws like right-to-work passed recently by the legislature have done that.
On the issue of tax reform, the leaders said there will be some necessary tweaks to be made in the 2019 session from the reform package passed in the last session but they do not believe extended changes will be made next year.
The panel said they don’t expect the legislature to tackle many huge issues in the 2019 session because it is a short session and there will be many new members of the General Assembly that will not likely be prepared to take big votes.
Among the issues they expect to tackle include those small tweaks to the tax reform package, school safety legislation, and sports wagering is also under discussion.
Check back on The Bottom Line on Tuesday for a full wrap up of the Kentucky Chamber Legislative Preview Conference.