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 email@example.com, 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.