Growing the Commonwealth for the Common Good.

Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens
Week in Review

April 18, 2016

After numerous long nights highlighted by plenty of healthy debate and number crunching, the Kentucky General Assembly finally reached an agreement on the two-year state budget early Thursday morning. Between a newly elected governor and new political dynamics in the House, the process may have lasted a bit longer than usual, but we were happy with the bipartisan effort shown by all Senate members, House members, and respective staff. In the end, we are confident that the budget passed on Friday is a structurally-balanced budget that addresses our most vital areas of government without jeopardizing the financial soundness of our children’s future.

The Senate’s main objective throughout budget negotiations was to confront Kentucky’s $36 billion unfunded pension liability, which has undoubtedly jeopardized the financial stability of our Commonwealth. According to Governing Magazine, Kentucky’s pension systems were ranked at the top of the worst-funded of all 50 states. We originally proposed to give an additional $322 million to fund pensions than our House colleagues.

Thankfully, after nearly three weeks of negotiations, the Senate and the House reached a budget compromise that leaves our state with one of the most conservative and responsible budget documents we have seen in many years.

In the final budget compromise, we are dedicating more than $1.2 billion above our required minimum contribution to the unfunded pension liabilities. This budget also exempts KET, K-12 education, and Learning and Results Services (LARS) from any funding reductions. Performance-based funding for universities was also included which provides incentives for postsecondary education institutions to raise their education standards in areas such as graduation rates and retention rates. A $100 million workforce development bond pool was another included item which will permit one new project in each congressional district to promote workforce development. Also included in the budget were much-needed pay raises for Kentucky State Police.

While the budget was being debated, several important bills were signed into law by Governor Bevin: · Senate Bill 193 will provide insurance coverage for children with special nutrition needs. · House Bill 40, which places a constitutional amendment on the ballot this November, would give the citizens of Kentucky the option to decide if they want to give the Kentucky General Assembly the ability to set criteria to expunge some low-level felonies. · Senate Bill 56 increases the look-back window for DUI offenses from five years to 10 years. · Senate Bill 63 will expedite the testing of rape kits. · Senate Bill 179, known as the “ABLE Act,” will help establish savings accounts for people with disabilities. · Senate Bill 43, also known as the “John Mackey Memorial Act,” provides death benefits to families of EMS workers killed in the line of duty. · Senate Bill 195 provides death benefits to families of firefighters who die from cancer caused by their line-of-duty work.

It has been an honor to be your voice in Frankfort during this 2016 Session. However, my work is not done as we continue to debate issues during the interim. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my office if there is anything we can do for you.

You can stay up-to-date on all these bills and other legislative actions throughout the session by logging onto the Legislative Research Commission (LRC) website at or by calling the LRC toll-free bill status line at 866-840-2835. For committee meeting schedules, please call the meeting information line at 800-633-9650. To comment on a bill, please call the legislative message line at 800-372-7181.


David Givens
State Senator
District 9

Note: Senator David Givens (R-Greensburg) represents the 9th District including Allen, Barren, Green, Metcalfe, Monroe and Simpson Counties. He is the vice-chair of both the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and the Health and Welfare Committee. Senator Givens chairs the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee as well as serving on the Education Committee and the Agriculture Committee. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Givens, please log onto


David Givens
9th District

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April 1, 2016
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September 19, 2014
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October 18, 2013
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January, 2010
2009 Session

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