State leadership ready to remove "dark cloud" over Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT)- As attention aims for the start of the legislative session in the house, the Senate chambers have already been going about business as usual.

The start to the new session means introducing bills and getting everything squared away for committee hearings to begin next week. Along with this, the proposed legislation will be discussed along with some constitutional amendments. Lawmakers will also be tackling the general fund budget, transportation budget, and with Kentucky's active pension situation.

"If we can get those three things squared away then everything else is just icing on the cake," says Senate President Robert Stivers.

Stivers, entering his 22 year in the legislature, says the budget will be a priority in the sessions.

"This is the first budget that Governor Bevin has totally written that he will submit to the General Assembly. It is the first budget that the new House majority will deal with," Stivers explains. "I think people will be watching to see how this government that is now dominated by Republicans will operate."

When Stivers spoke to WKYT he told us he wants both parties to work together and make strides in getting things done in Frankfort.

"I encourage them to come on board, reach out and try to work in a collaborative, bipartisan way on as many issues as possible."

Stivers could not deliver a timetable on when Kentuckians could see a draft on pension reform saying many of the issues with the development is out of his control. He says when the legislatures gets the data back they can start getting that process started.

The Senate President also acknowledged what he says some are calling a dark cloud over Frankfort between the pensions, budget cuts, and issues with various legislators.

"In times like this is when I think people really step up," said Stivers. "I think there are some unique opportunities to really look at government, redefine government, see what government should be about, and for leaders to step forward and be leaders."

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