2013 Legislative Session Focuses on Many Issues Affecting Kentucky
With the holiday season behind us, the General Assembly returned to Frankfort this week to prepare to deal with several crucial issues facing our Commonwealth.
The first task of the 2013 Legislative Session was to elect leadership for our respective caucuses, receive committee assignments and essentially get our footing as we get ready for the work ahead of us. It’s also a time of transition as we welcome new members to our ranks as they get prepare for their first legislative session.
I’m pleased to report that I have been appointed Vice-Chairman of the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee, and I look forward to working on the issues impacting our farming and business communities. I was also reappointed as a member to the House Education, and House Labor and Industry committees.
Although new questions arise from time to time, the 2013 session finds us dealing with some of the same issues that have been discussed and debated for several sessions. First and foremost is the need for reform is Kentucky’s public pension system.
The General Assembly is also expected to take up recommendations from a separate task force to bring our pension system under control. National publications have ranked Kentucky’s public pension system as one of the worst in the nation, and we currently face an unfunded liability of more than $33 billion. It is expected that legislation will be filed based on the committee’s report very early in this session.
Discussion will more than likely also focus on minor changes to the so-called pill mill bill, which passed in the 2012 Special Session. Although the bill’s goal was to reduce the number of pain pills being sold illegally on the streets, it’s essential we balance the needs of patients who legitimately use pain medication and the physicians who follow the law in prescribing them.
As in every session, other issues are likely to come up. I will keep you posted on other bills of importance as we move forward in this session.
I welcome your comments and concerns for the upcoming session. I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can keep track of legislation for the 2013 session through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.