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The Lege is back in town

Here we go: 26 days of hearing bills, passing bills, doing the work of the people – and possibly damaging things along the way.

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The Kentucky House in session.

Today, the Kentucky General Assembly begins “part 2” of this year’s session. Since this is a short-session year, they only have 26 legislative days left before sine die on March 30th.

This is not a budget year, so the legislators don’t have to deal with that large piece of work. But that also means that they have time to address other issues, and perhaps pass some good bills to address those issues.

Or, of course, pass some bad bills. Possibly even some REALLY bad bills.

Joannie Prentice has already given us her list of bad bills to watch this session. If you haven’t perused that article, start there. (She’s also working on a list of good bills, which we’ll post later this week.)

And yes, there are actually some good bills. HB 17, for example, would require the state to pay for full-day kindergarten, instead of just half-day. SB 45 would eliminate the death penalty. And SB 47 would make medical marijuana legal.

Since these are sponsored by Republicans, they have a chance of passing. (Dem bills, for the most part, are dead on arrival.) Will they pass? We shall see.

One thing to watch today is if the Senate waives readings and passes HB 1, the income tax cut bill, first thing today. Since there are no Orders of the Day posted (!), we have no idea if it is even on the agenda. I guess we’ll find out at 2 PM when both chambers gavel in.

And one last note: You may be wondering about calling our legislature “The Lege.” It is a tribute to the late Molly Ivins, one of the most quote-worthy political writers of all, and one of my heroes. She called the Texas legislature “The Lege” in her writing, so I’m adopting it in tribute. (And if you want to see why I miss Molly and her writing so much, check out these quotes.)

I started to title this article “The circus is back in town,” but decided against it. Let us hope that my attempt at humor doesn’t come true.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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