Budget 'elephant in room' for lawmakers


The first week of the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to a close Friday. We had a productive week in Frankfort and left with confidence in what the session has in store. It was a pleasure to begin the session Jan. 7 with a visit from the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, which performed an extraordinary rendition of "My Old Kentucky Home" and our national anthem.

As with the early stages of any session of the General Assembly, some procedural measures were in order. The Senate Majority has listened to feedback from our constituents and have prioritized several pieces of legislation that are hopeful of passing this session. Those bills, among others, were assigned to their respective committees last week. Committee hearings began this week and will provide the public an opportunity to hear about the legislation.

Bills must be presented at a public committee meeting and passed with a majority vote before heading back to the Senate to be voted on by the entire Senate body. If the bill is approved by the Senate, it heads to the Kentucky House, where the same process occurs. Bills that are passed by both chambers are submitted to the Governor for his approval.

The proverbial legislative elephant in the room for the 2020 session is, of course, the General Assembly's duty to pass a balanced two-year budget and two-year road fund plan. My colleagues and I in the Kentucky Senate Majority are working diligently with members of the Kentucky State House in preparation for this crucial responsibility. I look forward to continued discussions on this matter throughout the coming weeks.

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 800-372-7181 or email me at Stan.Humphries@lrc.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature's work online at www.legisature.ky.gov.