January 4, 2022 11:22am
Kentucky General Assembly 2022 Session Begins Today
The Kentucky General Assembly begins today as each chamber gavels in at noon for the 60-day session. Although it is considered a “long” session, legislators have much work to do to tackle major priorities before the session ends on April 14. The GLI Advocacy team has been preparing for months and is ready to advocate for the priorities of the Greater Louisville business community.
Leadership & Partisan Makeup
The partisan makeup of both the House and Senate remain overwhelming Republican with the GOP holding veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers. While there were no regular elections in 2021, special elections were held in November to fill one vacant seat in the Senate and two in the House. All special elections resulted in republican victories that maintained the existing make-up of each chamber: 75-25 in the House and 30-8 in the Senate.
KEY ISSUES TO WATCH:
Redistricting – Every ten years, the Kentucky General Assembly undertakes redistricting, the process to redraw the state’s legislative districts to reflect population changes in the state based on the decennial U.S. Census. The House leadership announced their proposal for house districts last week and the Senate is expected to unveil their proposed maps this week.
This will be an early priority for the General Assembly to tackle and movement on other legislation is unlikely until this is settled. House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) stated that Republican leadership will plan to introduce a bill early this first week of session to delay the candidate filing deadline from January 7 to January 25 and that the new maps will likely pass the legislature within the first week.
Budget – During the sixty day “long” session, the General Assembly will craft a new two-year spending plan. With the infusion of federal relief packages and better-than-expected tax revenue during the pandemic, legislators have a lot of funding to allocate and could have another surplus in the current fiscal year. As always, with more funding comes more requests, and the process to allocate these dollars thoughtfully and effectively will take up a major portion of this session.
GLI Priorities – With the optimistic financial position that Kentucky is in, GLI believes that this could be a favorable environment to modernize Kentucky’s tax structure through a shift toward consumption-based taxes and to allow local governments flexibility in their revenue options through a constitutional amendment. Other priorities that GLI will be working on include improving the Greater Louisville region’s competitiveness through education, workforce development, and the protection of business rights. Click here for the full list of GLI’s 2022 State Agenda priorities.
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