2019 Interim Legislative Update

Several months
have passed since the conclusion of the 2019 Regular Session, but my work as
your senator has not slowed. Between answering your questions, concerns,
letters or phone calls, I have met with constituents throughout our district in
preparation for the Interim committee meetings and the 2020 Regular Session.

The Interim
period is a time where we address a variety of things, many of which are issues
left unaddressed at the end of the Regular Session. This is an opportunity to
have a more in-depth discussion on policy matters. Interim joint committees
(IJC) are standing committees that include members from both the House of
Representatives and the Senate, and meet when the Regular Session is adjourned.
According to the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), there are two types of
Interim committees:

  1. Interim joint committees are formed
    from the standing committees of both chambers. For instance, the Education
    Committee of the Senate and the Education Committee of the House become the
    Interim Joint Committee on Education following the Regular Session.
  2. Special committees, are appointed
    by the LRC and function primarily during the Interim, usually to study a
    specific topic. Examples include the Mileage Based Transportation Funding Task
    Force and the Kentucky Career and Technical Education Task Force.

This year,
leadership within the General Assembly decided to amend the interim meeting
calendar in an effort to utilize our time in Frankfort more efficiently and
ultimately save taxpayer dollars. This new setup is working as intended.  The consideration of this new plan is in
response to what many states have already implemented by moving all committee
meetings into one week rather than have them throughout the month. The main
reason for this type arrangement was to have all legislators in Frankfort the
same week each month to create a “session like” atmosphere. Furthermore, we
wanted to give constituents an opportunity to visit and participate in the
legislative process.

With county fairs,
horse shows, and other summer activities, the Interim is also a great
opportunity for legislators to visit and be present within their districts and
throughout the state.  The General
Assembly recently had a change of scenery and conducted committee business at
the Kentucky State Fair. As one of the oldest state fairs in the country, the
Kentucky State Fair offers a beautiful collaboration of counties and
associations each representing a unique facet of Kentucky’s rich tradition and
heritage. I am proud of Kentucky agriculture and the influence it has on the
national market. Agriculture also offers many educational opportunities for our
students. No matter where you live, I encourage you to take advantage of the
wonderful summer events within your district.

Lastly, I would
like to note that all committees during the Interim are open, and both the
public and the press are encouraged to attend. These committees are in place to
widen the window of opportunity to forward policy recommendations to the
General Assembly and to the LRC.

As we finish out
these final weeks of summer, I wish all of our parents and students a happy and
healthy school year. It is an honor to serve you in Frankfort.