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Sen. John Schickel: A legislative update to keep you informed about what’s happening in the legislature

I was honored to sponsor the second piece of legislation passed out of the Kentucky State Senate this year. Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) protects landlords against tenants who intentionally destroy their property. This legislation was filed at the request of small business owners who rent apartments. Thank you to Boone County Commissioner Jesse Brewer, who authored the bill.
The 60-day legislative session is moving right along here in Frankfort as the General Assembly begins to advance 2020 legislative priorities this week.
On Tuesday, Kentuckians and legislators from both sides of the aisle listened to Governor Beshear proposed policy goals and recommendations to the Kentucky General Assembly in his first State of the Commonwealth Address. The Governor also noted his legislative priorities for 2020, which included fully funding pension obligations, criminal justice reform, and plans to improve Kentucky public education, starting with a statewide teacher salary increase. As the legislature begins to prepare the biennial budget, Governor Beshear will also be delivering a budget address on January 28.

The State of the Commonwealth Address is customarily presented each year by the governor and serves as a beneficial element in our state’s separation of powers. The budget address, by comparison, is delivered biannually in correlation to the states’ biennial budget sessions. We eagerly await to hear how the Governor plans to execute the ideas he has laid out.

Crafting a budget will not be an easy task. Demands placed on state government by our priorities and other costs continue to outpace revenue growth. In the coming weeks, legislative branch staff and other resources will be utilized to help the General Assembly better determine a path forward for this year’s budgetary balancing act. Per the Kentucky Constitution, budget bills must start in the House. I will keep you informed as the Senate begins to deliberate budgetary matters in the coming weeks. 

While the new administration formulates its agenda and presents it to the legislature, the majority leadership in the General Assembly is continuing to move forward with a legislative agenda supported by Kentucky voters. Committee meetings are now in full swing, as this past week, legislators began discussing bills recently assigned to their respective committees. 

The first piece of legislation to pass the Senate this legislative session was Senate Bill 3 (SB 3). This a great bill, sponsored by fellow Northern Kentucky Senator and friend, Chris McDaniel, that proposes a constitutional amendment to the voters of Kentucky. If adopted, the amendment would move Kentucky’s statewide elections to even number years in unison with Presidential elections. This would save the state $3.5 million dollars and counties $13 million dollars. It’s a fiscally responsible measure that will both alleviate voter fatigue, and increase voter engagement in the election of our state Constitutional Officers.
SB 3 and SB 11 will now head over to the House for consideration. 

I gave a speech on the floor this week about a Constitutional Amendment called Marsy’s Law. This is bad policy that would unintentionally hurt crime victims, our entire justice system, and make it more difficult for our prosecutors to find the truth. What particularly disturbs me about this effort is that over $5 million have been spent by a California advocacy group to change our state constitution. Boone County Attorney Robert Neace, Commonwealth Attorney Lewis Kelly, and my friend from Kenton County, Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders, all oppose this measure.

As we head into the third week of the 2020 Regular Session, your input is much appreciated. Kentuckians have many avenues to follow the General Assembly throughout the session, including seeing legislative action in person here in Frankfort or viewing online. 

It is an honor to represent you at the Kentucky State Capitol. If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, I can be contacted by phone in Frankfort at 502-564-8100 ext. 617, or at home at 859-384-7506. You can also reach me on twitter @Senatorschickel, or on Facebook, at State Senator John Schickel You can also review the Legislature’s work online.

Sen. John Schickel represents the 11th District in Boone County.

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