Senate Leaders Don't Anticipate Substantial Tax Reform This Session

Jan 13, 2020

Senate President Robert Stivers and Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer consult near the conclusion of Friday session.
Credit Stu Johnson

A leader in the Kentucky senate anticipates five more priority bills to be filed during the second week of the session including measures related to legislative pensions and school safety. 

In addition to a new legislative proposal requiring school resource officers in all districts, Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said funding for last session’s school safety bill will get legislative backing. “There will be a lot of things that are difficult to fund this session, cause we don’t have the money to fully take care of everybody’s wants, but one of the needs is funding for school safety and that’s a priority for us,” said Thayer.

Thayer noted bills will be heard in senate committees this week.  He says bills on issues like illegal immigration and photo identification for voting could get floor votes this week, but it’s not a certainty.

The Scott County lawmaker isn’t sensing much backing for significant tax changes during the current budget session.  The tax reform topic invariably surfaces every time lawmakers gather in Frankfort.  Thayer doesn’t envision substantial reforms, but he admits it’s still very early in the 60 day session.  “I don’t see a lot of momentum for any further tax changes.  We would like to further cut the income tax and move more toward consumption taxes, but I just don’t know if that’s going to be something we have enough band-width to deal with this session.  That however could change,” noted Thayer.

Since the filing deadline for candidates for a number of political races has come and gone, Senate President Robert Stivers expects the pace of activity in the legislature to pick up this week.  Previously, a late January filing date had created some hesitancy for lawmakers to take up politically sensitive measures.​

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