Sen. Stan Humphries, R-1st
Editor's Note: Humphries was 75% right. Social issues are on the front burner in the House.
(Mayfield KY, December 19, 2016) - Senator Stan Humphries, who represents counties in the farthest corner of southwestern Kentucky, (see map at right) addressed city and county leaders of the Purchase Area Development District (PADD) giving elected officials a preview of the coming attractions of the upcoming session beginning on January 3rd.
Senator Stan Humphries (R- 1st District) told the crowd that "what we did on pension reform during the session in no way solves the pension issues." He anticipates pensions to be a generational struggle. Fixing and funding will take more than one long and short session.
Humphries predicted that there will be fewer bills considered under GOP rule than under Democratic. Two years ago, 700 bills were filed. He said that some legislators file bills "just to make the people back home happy." That isn't his way.
There will be pressure on his Party. "A lot of eyes will be on Kentucky" because of the historic flip of the Kentucky House to a Republican majority after ninety years of Democratic dominance.
Humphries sounded positive that repealing Kentucky's prevailing wage law, passing right to work and tort reform will pass in the short session beginning in January. He did not think social issues will be on the front burner. (The House may not agree with that plan. See Richard Heath article)
Humphries admitted there is a lot of talk about charter schools. He asked the audience if they knew what a charter school is. There were no takers. He sees charter schools as part of the public system. He has concerns that "we don't leave public schools behind."
He sees that under GOP rule that regulations that schools operate under will lessen considerably. He also sees tax reform happening. He cautions that it should be done slowly. He anticipates an agreement in principle with the Governor during the short session, then a special session late summer or early fall to work out the details.
Humphries continues to support local option sales taxes. The bill to authorize local option sales taxes for targeted local projects failed in the last session. It will come up again.
Another bill that failed previously that will come up again is the TVA in lieu of tax bill. Taxes presently paid by TVA are split between counties it serves and the state 70/30. Under the "in lieu of" plan, all TVA taxes will go to the counties it serves.
Also to be considered - possibly - is judicial redistricting and tort reform. If the proposed changes are passed, there will be significant changes to courts in the Purchase.
Finally, Humphries, a former county judge, said that he supports the area development district system. There is talk of disbanding the area development districts because of waste and management issues in at least one district.
That brought a sigh of relief from the audience.