Kentucky legislative session resumes Tuesday
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The second part of this year’s legislative session is about to begin.
The General Assembly met four days ago to start the new year and tackled income tax reductions and a handful of resolutions and organizational matters. However, a lot more will take place between Tuesday and the middle of March.
First up is education.
The House Education Committee meets at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and a number of groups are expected to testify about a teacher shortage. State education leaders and the Governor say there are 11,000 vacancies. Some Republicans say that’s grossly inflated.
“Somewhere between 1,700 and 2,400 may be the actual number,” said House Speaker David Osborne. “Not to be discounted, though. We know and have known for the last 20 years there was a pending shortage of teachers nationwide.”
“But I will tell you the biggest reason we have a teacher shortfall is the working conditions,” said Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington. “Teachers are concerned they are overworked. Highly regulated. Too regulated.”
Juvenile Justice is expected to be discussed with problems at several detention centers. The House easily passed income tax reductions and say more are on the way, but first, it has to pass the full Senate.
“Truthfully, it is only going to benefit those at the very top of the income scale. Those who are making $500,000 or more a year,” said Sen. Thomas. “They are going to be the big beneficiaries of this cut.”
“I don’t know of too many people who are average Kentuckians that wouldn’t appreciate an extra $300 to $400 or $500 left in their pocket,” said Speaker Osborne. “It is a deviation in their perception that the government can’t have enough money.”
Sports betting and medical marijuana bills both passed the House last year and but failed to get much action, even a hearing in the Senate.
“Apparently, we have not done the greatest job in explaining them to the Senate,” said House Speaker Osborne. “Hopefully, we have done a better job explaining them this year. I think there is significant interest.”
“I am more optimistic at this point about medical marijuana than sports gaming,” said Sen. Thomas. “But I am not going to be surprised if sports gaming toward the end of the session starts picking up steam.”
Two other bills that are excepted to see attention in the Senate that already passed the House are those dealing with funding a new veteran’s center in Bowling Green and a bill that removes funding for an electric vehicle charging program.
Lawmakers will consider bills until March 16, break for a veto session, then come back on March 29 and adjourn the session on March 30.
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.