Growing the Commonwealth for the Common Good.

Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens
Week in Review

February 13, 2017

Members of the General Assembly returned to the State Capitol on February 7th and jumped right back into confronting some of the major challenges facing our state.

In doing so, we are continuing the momentum that built during our first week of the session, which was held in early January. In that unprecedented first week of legislative action, we moved seven major bills through the legislative process and sent them to the Governor’s office. All of those bills have been signed into law, creating changes that will touch people across the Commonwealth.

In the week’s Senate action, the full chamber approved bills dealing with pension transparency and school calendars while our committee system advanced measures that would ban the use of tobacco products on school property and create stiffer penalties for drug traffickers.

Another highlight of this past week was the convening of a joint session of the General Assembly, during which Senate and House members heard Governor Matt Bevin offer his State of the Commonwealth Address. The governor emphasized many of his top priorities, which included the need to reform our tax code, create jobs, and shore up our public pension system.

The need to improve the solvency of the state’s retirement systems has been an ongoing issue, one that was a major consideration last year when we put together the state’s current two-year budget. We returned our attention to the wellbeing of our pension systems this week by approving legislation in the Senate that will improve the transparency of the state’s three main state public pension systems: The Kentucky Employee Retirement System, the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System, and the Judicial Form Retirement System.

Supporters of the legislation, Senate Bill 2, say that in addition to making the state retirement systems’ transactions more transparent, the legislation would also hold the systems accountable when contracting out services. The measure would also require that pension trustees have actual investment experience.

The measure also codifies a reorganization of the Kentucky Retirement Systems board that was called for in an executive order issued by the governor last year.

Much work also took place last week in our legislative committee system, where we take a close look at bills before deciding whether they should go to the full chamber for a vote. The number of bills lawmakers consider will continue to grow over the next several weeks. That makes this a particularly important time for lawmakers to stay in close contact with constituents. If you have any questions or comments on legislative issues, I urge you to share your thoughts by calling the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Sincerely,

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 http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/pubinfo/Portraits/senate09.jpg.

 

David Givens
Kentucky's
9th District
Senator


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