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2018 General Assembly - off to a rocky start
Majority Floor Leader senator Damon Thayer and Governor Matt Bevin

The Kentucky General Assembly got off to a slow start as leadership in the House began as a murky mess. At this writing, the post of House Speaker remains empty.

Representative Jeff Hoover, announced his attention to resign from his role as House Speaker this fall after a sexual harassment scandal broke. House rules say that leadership posts are elected by the whole House (a polite fiction because the ruling party elects leadership. Nevertheless, Hoover's resignation had to be during the Session, not before it gaveled in on January 2nd. Hoover had second thoughts and gave a fiery speech on the floor of the House, blaming other members of the GOP for his troubles, most prominently Governor Bevin. Soon after he said his piece, he resigned as speaker.

Leadership in the House is now

House Speaker
Vacant

House Speaker Pro Tempore
David Osborne

Majority Floor Leader
Jonathan Shell

Majority Caucus Chair
David Meade

Majority Whip
Kevin D. Bratcher

Minority Floor Leader
Rocky Adkins

Minority Caucus Chair
Dennis Keene

Minority Whip
Wilson Stone

The GOP controlled Senate has been a quieter place. The LRC website lists leadership of the Senate as:

Senate President
Robert Stivers

Senate President Pro Tempore
Jimmy Higdon

Majority Floor Leader
Damon Thayer

Majority Caucus Chair
Dan Seum

Majority Whip
Mike Wilson

Minority Floor Leader
Ray S. Jones II

Minority Caucus Chair
Dorsey Ridley

Minority Whip

Dennis Parrett

2018 is an even numbered year which means a long session, beginning in early January and wrapping up with a veto session in April. It's also a budget year. This will Republican Governor Matt Bevin's second since his election in 2015. His first in 2016 cut higher education by 17%. State colleges and universities have been told that there are more cuts to come.

Bevin has banged the drum for several months about the state's pension crisis. Subdivisions of state government, local governments, school systems, and the aforementioned colleges and universities, are anticipating higher pension contribution costs and budgets cuts.

On Tuesday, January 16th, Governor Bevin will depart from earlier executives and combine the budget address with a state of the state address to both houses of the General Assembly. His remarks will air on KET at 6:00 CDT.

It does not promise to be a fun session.


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