Issues To Watch In General Assembly 2017

“With supermajority control of the House and Senate and the Governor’s Mansion under their control, the Republican Party has free reign to pass legislation once stuck in committee or killed out-right in the House of Representatives under Democratic control. Tuesday will mark the first day of the 30-day long short session for the General Assembly …”

Issues listed include right-to-work, prevailing wage, charter schools, moving state elections to even years, social issues, campaign finance, and others. Read the story for more details.

AG Beshear joins lawsuit alleging massive conspiracy among generic pharmaceutical companies

“Attorney General Andy Beshear representing Kentucky has joined 19 other states in suing national generic pharmaceutical companies, alleging a massive conspiracy to monopolize generic drugs. The lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday, alleges major drug companies sought to reduce competition and increase the price of generic drugs. …”

Church leaders to gather at Frankfort Capitol for Prayer in Action Days each Tuesday during session

“The Kentucky Council of Churches is hosting Prayer in Action Days at the State Capitol each Tuesday during next year’s General Assembly to pray for government officials and act on behalf of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens. The kick-off event will be Tuesday, Jan. 3, 11 a.m. in the Capitol …”

Jones, Carroll re-elected to Senate Democratic leadership team while Ridley replaces Neal as caucus chair

“Senate Democrats re-elected two-thirds of their leadership team during caucus elections in Frankfort on Friday…”

The Chatter: “Religious freedom” bill may have to wait, Bevin appoints judge-executive in Shelby County

“A “religious freedom” bill is on the horizon for the Kentucky General Assembly, although the issue may not come when lawmakers meet for next year’s 30-day session, WDRB News reported Sunday. The issue’s primary sponsor in recent years, state Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, didn’t rule out filing legislation again this year that would allow certain business owners to deny services based on their religious beliefs, according to the report…”

Rep. Rick Rand says House Democrats to assume new role as they fall to the minority

“Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, who has served in the House since 2003, says that Democrats will transfer from a policy making caucus to loyal opposition when they arrive in Frankfort in the minority for the first time in 95 years. … “You know, I think we will still defend the things that we’ve defended all along, you know, working people, public education, jobs and creating a climate to create jobs in Kentucky,” Rand said…”

Head of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet wants to use other states as examples in crafting charter school program in Kentucky

“Kentucky is one of seven states without charter school programs, and Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner says he hopes that changes when lawmakers return to Frankfort for the 2017 legislative session Jan. 3. With 43 examples to craft a charter school program here, Heiner says he doesn’t see the need to implement a pilot program for the new schools, as has been laid out in previous legislative proposals that have been opposed by the Kentucky Education Association and the Democrat-led House of Representatives…”

Judicial redistricting plan for Kentucky’s Circuit and District courts

“Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. has introduced the first Judicial Redistricting Plan Kentucky has seen in decades. The Kentucky legislature will consider the plan during the 2017 regular session of the General Assembly. If passed, the plan will take effect in 2022 … ”