The Speaker of the House and a state Senate Leader came to a town hall in Prestonsburg.
Speaker Greg Stumbo, (D) and Senator Robert Stivers (R) came to Floyd County for the meeting. Several important topics were discussed, some relating to the upcoming meeting of the General Assembly.
Legislators came to Prestonsburg to hear the community's concerns.
“We are bringing our senate majority leader here so that the public can here from them, interact with them and find out what to expect at the upcoming session,” said Brad Hall, President of the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the entity who organized the event.
Stivers said that due to population decrease in the eastern region, it may be necessary to exercise redistricting.
“Are you saying that there may be a loss of representation?” said Facilitator Homer Owens of East Kentucky Broadcasting.
“Well that's pretty much it or representation will be more dominated by moving the districts that we are in to the west,” said Stivers.
One of the biggest issues is what Stivers referred to as the ultimate policy document, more commonly known as the budget.
“It's going to be one of the tougher times that we have to deal with the budget and what's being implicated, not implicated, but initiated by the governor's office with Medicaid manage care and the budget at times that we have been in,” said Stivers.
The two touched on many important issues such one being access to higher education for eastern Kentuckians.
“If you live in Shelbiana if you live in Middlesboro, if you live in Pineville, you know you have to drive two and a half, three hours to get to a publicly funded university whereas if you live in Lexington you are within thirty minutes, forty five minutes you could be within two or three, U of K, Eastern Kentucky or Morehead State,” said Stumbo.
Both said the outcome of the governor's race will have an impact on the upcoming session.
“We will either have a new governor or an incumbent governor coming back for a second term and that could change how we deal with the legislative process,” said Stivers.
“In these tough economic times, people appreciate the steady hand in managing the affairs of government,” said Stumbo.
The state senate leader and the speaker of the house agreed that eastern Kentucky needs to promote itself as a region.