February 26 is a significant day in the 2016 Kentucky general assembly session for two primary reasons. It’s the day lawmakers hear the two year budget suggestions from new governor Matt Bevin. It’s also the candidate filing deadline for various races including the House of Representatives. The political party makeup is closely divided between democrats and republicans. Senate President Robert Stivers believes it will be hard to hold the party line. “Neither party in my opinion will be able to hold all their members on every vote where there’s a constitutional majority needed,” said Stivers.
Stivers admits attention to the filing deadline traditionally puts a damper on consideration of high profile legislation until after the date has passed. He says special house elections on March 8 for two seats could also delay some key votes. Stivers would like to see a schedule change where lawmakers come in for a few days and then recess in the first month of the session. “It would give the governor, especially on those years he has a budget due, more time to focus on that,” Stivers explained. “It would save the taxpayers money and I think it would be beneficial to the system overall.”
Also Tuesday, Governor Bevin will deliver his State of the Commonwealth speech along with budget recommendations.