Infrastructure, tax reform, among Republican’s legislative goals

Lawmakers find themselves in an enviable position with large amounts of unspent money.

CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Infrastructure, healthcare, workforce shortages, broadband, affordability for higher education and tax reform are just some of the topics the super majority Republican Party plans to bring forward into the 2022 Legislative Session.

“A lot of road projects bridges, some of the things we’re considering is raises for state employees, law enforcement, social workers” said Senator Alvarado.

Monday night in Clark County, Republican State Senator Ralph Alvarado spoke alongside republican house representative Ryan Dotson, detailing some of their priorities.

They say at the forefront of the session this week will be legislative re-districting based on the new census data, and the next state budget.

Lawmakers find themselves in an enviable position with large amounts of unspent money.
According to Senator Alvarado, the state has about $3.1 billion dollars in surplus state money…with $1 billion in the rainy day fund.

“Western Kentucky, with what’s going on there right now, I’m sure they will have some discussions about some of those funds being used to help rebuild to what extent, and how much, I don’t think we have a clear understanding yet.”

And education will be discussed.

“Doing what we can to help our school systems and always putting our children first and listening to everybody’s input when it comes to education” said Rep. Dotson.

Some topics Senator Alvarado said would be brought forward include, one time investments with ARPA money, unemployment insurance reforms, lower income taxes, improve workforce, substance use treatment and reentry, liability reform bills, improving coroner education, agency gauging, boater safety and many more.

Tax reform is also expected to be a big topic.

“Kentucky ranks 18th, when it comes to taxation which is pretty good the problem is all of our neighboring states outrank us” said Senator Alvarado.

“If we can lengthen our base and make it more attractive for people to retire here were going to see a whole change in our tax code” added Rep. Dotson.

With the Republican super majorities, the party can push through the legislation it wants…but Democrats say they’ll fight for the party’s agenda, which includes returning power to the governor the Republicans took away when it comes to dealing with emergencies like the pandemic or natural disasters.

Though Senator Alvarado and Representative Dotson say they didn’t take away…that Governor Beshear has emergency powers, but if he wants to extend what he has, he must talk with the general assembly first…which they say he hasn’t done.

“There’s always a debate, always a discussion, you don’t always get 100% of what you want. If you get 80% of what you can get, you don’t forsake the good for the perfect, you get what you can get done in there” said Senator Alvarado.

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