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Kentucky's 60-day General Assembly session is officially in the books

Members of the Kentucky Senate Gather for an End-of-Session Picture
Stu Johnson
Members of the Kentucky Senate Gather for an End-of-Session Picture

60 more legislative days are in Kentucky’s governmental history books. House and Senate members took up some last-minute issues and passed on some others.

Legislators at both ends of the Capitol took final action on issues like Medical Cannabis modification and maternal health. But members didn’t act on “open records” and diversity, equity, and inclusion changes. On April 15th, tax day, Senate GOP Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said budgeting had a tax implication.

“That was my number one goal of the session to be able to come out of here knowing that even when I’m not here in 21 months taxes should go down again to three and a half percent. So, I’m pretty proud of that,” said Thayer.

Thayer’s talking about the state income tax rate. Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas said a big winner was higher education in funding and prospective graduate programs, but k-12 got the short end of the stick in teacher pay and not considering universal pre-k.

Veteran Democratic Senator Gerald Neal said one major highlight is the funding support coming to his Louisville district, maybe the best in his time. But, Neal says passage of multi-faceted crime legislation was a low point.

“I’m afraid that we may have started something in motion that will test our resources, particularly on a county level, criminalize homelessness and a number of other things that were unnecessary on this whole thing called tough on crime,” said Neal.

Thayer labeled passage of the Safer Kentucky Act, HB 5, as a major accomplishment. He says putting the school choice question on the ballot is another plus. Thayer labeled the House’s failure to back the Senate action to move the election of governor to the same year as president before voters as a major disappointment.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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