A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Schickel: Update on whirlwind year; historic legislation, difficult decisions still to be made

The season of frigid nights, warm gatherings, and good cheer is upon us as we prepare for 2018. This year was a whirlwind in the General Assembly as we passed historic legislation in the 2017 Session, held insightful policy discussions across the Commonwealth during the Interim, and analyzed proposed pension reform.
 
The year was momentous for the Commonwealth of Kentucky as we passed historic legislation that will positively impact the state for years to come. Education, Right-to-Work, charter schools, prevailing wage, pension transparency, and medical review panels were just a few of the major bills that we passed this year and became law upon the signature of the Governor.
 
During the Interim, we heard from a number of entities about proposed legislation and budgetary items for the upcoming session. Without a doubt, the budget will be tight this year as we face a multi-billion dollar shortfall in the pension system—an issue that will no doubt be at the forefront of the session. We hope that pension reform of some type can be achieved in order to stave off the bleeding of funds into the pension system from other essential areas of government, such as education and the judicial system.

 

There are many difficult decisions ahead, and I ask for your input and support throughout the 2018 Legislative Session as we confront some of Kentucky’s biggest financial hurdles. If you are interested in following the happenings of the Kentucky General Assembly, there are avenues through which you can keep track of daily proceedings. The Legislative Research Commission’s website hosts the committee meeting schedule and allows you to find and track proposed legislation. The hashtag #kyga18 will also likely be used by legislators and advocates alike. Another great resource is the Kentucky Educational Television channel (KET) which livestreams both committee meetings and the session. You can watch it online at ket.org or on your local KET-KY station.
 
I appreciate the many questions and comments I have received this year about policy issues facing the Commonwealth. I am looking forward to being in my district during the holidays spending time with family and friends while preparing for the upcoming 2018 Session. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
 
If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or send me a message at this website. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Senator John Schickel (R-Union) represents the 11th District in Boone County. He serves as chairman of the Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee; as well as a member of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee; Judiciary Committee; Natural Resources and Energy Committee; and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Judiciary.  

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