Getting House in order is first week’s focus – The Richmond Register

By: Rep. Donna Mayfield / R-Winchester
Source: The Richmond Register

This week marked the start of the 2015 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. In this year’s session, we are only scheduled to meet for 30 days, and we spent the first week more or less getting the House of Representatives in order.

One of our first responsibilities was to elect the individuals who will lead our caucus for the next two years. These are important and crucial roles, not only for our caucus but the General Assembly as a whole.

As a member of the House Republican Caucus, the people we selected, Rep. Jeff Hoover as our Floor Leader, Rep. Stan Lee as our Caucus Chair, and Rep. Jim DeCesare as our Whip, will not only work with us on legislation to help our counties and local communities, but also seek to accomplish the goals we have to make Kentucky better by reaching across the aisle in a bipartisan manner.

Another item taken care of this week was committee assignments. These assignments are of great importance to you, and not only reflect where we can use our experience and background but also to better represent the needs of our districts. For example, a legislator who has extensive background in farming or a lawmaker who owns their own business could be a wealth of knowledge to the House Committee on Agriculture and Small Business.

While this year’s legislation session runs only 30 days, we have much work to do in Frankfort to address some crucial issues. One is addressing the growing scourge of heroin in our commonwealth. Its use has increased as we have helped crack down on the illegal prescription drug trade. According to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, nearly 30 percent of the autopsies its performed in 2013 for deaths attributed to drug overdoses were caused by heroin, double the number from the year before.

We hope to also tackle issues related to job creation, including passage of public-private partnership and broadband expansion legislation, and to also address the unfunded liability in the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System.

House Bill 1 for this session is focused on local option sales tax, which means local voters could decide whether to allow a temporary sales tax increase of up to one percent to pay for local infrastructure projects. Once the project is completed, the sales tax goes away. If HB 1 is approved by the General Assembly, a Constitutional amendment will be placed on the ballot for Kentucky voters to decide if a local option sales tax should be allowed.

In addition to the issues I mentioned, there could be ideas and concerns important to you that need to be addressed between now and the middle of March. I encourage you to contact me by e-mail at donna.mayfield@lrc.ky.gov, or call our toll free number at 1-800-372-7181.

Rep. Donna Mayfield, R-Winchester, represents all of Clark County and a section of northeastern Madison County.

What People Are Saying

  • “Putting the local-tax amendment on the November 2014 statewide ballot is a no-brainer. If local people want to levy local taxes on themselves, they should be able to.”

    Al Cross, Courier-Journal columnist
  • Jeff-Bringardner-headshot-only“This is a way to keep dollars in the area, to come up with a diverse slate of projects that sync up with the long-term plans of the community and get voted on by the people”

    Jeff Bringardner, President, Humana Kentucky
  • BillLamb“If Louisville could adopt a 1% Local Option Tax, it would impose a minimal burden, but would raise over 90 million dollars a year.”

    Bill Lamb, President and General Manager for WDRB and WNYO
  • Bill Samuels Bellarmine Portrait“Local option makes all the sense in the world. Offering citizens the opportunity to vote on investing in their community is how our country ought to operate.”

    Bill Samuels, Chairman, Emeritus Makers Mark
  • …a new way for communities to see the projects they want and need go from the drawing board to reality — and to do it for themselves.

    Jim Host, founder of Host Communications and former State Commerce Secretary
  • LIFT is a tried-and-true tool that allows for more voter involvement in the process.  Voters, not politicians, would help determine big picture, visionary projects that could improve quality of life.

    Dave Adkisson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • …an idea whose time has come, and could be a crucial economic development tool which will help our local communities build a better future, and the new jobs and businesses we need.

    Hal Goode, President and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Economic Development
  • In our opinion, Kentucky voters should be allowed to vote on the local option sales tax because it could fund public facilities without increasing property taxes.

    Morehead News
  • It will allow communities to plan and pay for improvements to enhance civic and economic life without going hat in hand each budget session to Frankfort.

    Lexington Herald-Leader
  • The beauty of it is that local voters have the say-so as to its enactment, and they have a sense that they are getting what they pay for.

    Princeton Times-Leader