General Assembly gets back to work Feb. 7

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By State Rep. Brandon Reed

As the General Assembly takes an organizational break from the 2017 regular session, we continue to focus on the issues Kentuckians elected us to address. The first week was historic for many reasons. Republicans took control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921, we saw a Republican Speaker of the House gavel in for the first time in nearly 100 years, and we passed several bills during the first week keeping good on our promise to bring each of us a better Kentucky.
During the first week, the House passed legislation to protect life, promote economic development and enact fiscal responsibility within government. I proudly cast my first vote for House Bill 2, the “Ultrasound Informed Protection Act.” House Bill 1 also passed, making Kentucky the 27th right-to-work state and giving us a leg up to attract businesses and jobs to the Commonwealth. The House also voted to eliminate our burdensome prevailing wage law. This repeal will ensure government spends your tax dollars in an efficient and fiscally responsible way. I promised to protect life, support economic development, and spend your tax dollars wisely. I am proud to report those promises were kept with a new, working majority in the House of Representatives.
I also want to share with you my 2017 regular session committee assignments. I will serve as a member of the agriculture, judiciary, and veterans, military affairs and public protection committees. Each of these committees allow me to serve our community in a unique way. I am particularly excited to serve on the judiciary committee, as it will be the first body to review legislation that has a major impact on our state. With my experience in the Administrative Office of the Courts, I feel well equipped to serve on this committee, as I will bring a perspective many of the members may not have.
This is also a busy time to file legislation for consideration during the regular session. I have cosponsored several pieces of legislation, including House Bill 13. This bill addresses the issue regarding the Bowling Green Veterans Center. House Bill 13 will prioritize funding in the state’s budget for the veterans center nursing home, a necessary step for the state to take in order for the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin construction on the facility. This is an issue I promised the voters of the 24th District I would address, and I am happy to report that House Bill 13 has been assigned to the veterans, military affairs and public protection committee for consideration. Once it passes through committee, the bill will be considered by the full House for a vote. I have also cosponsored House Bill 14, which considers offenses against police officers, fire fighters and EMS personnel as hate crimes. Putting their lives at risk, our first responders are dedicated to the safety and well-being of our community. This legislation not only shows the value of these responders’ lives, but also how seriously our state takes any offense against these brave men and women.
The first week of the 2017 regular session was historic for our Commonwealth. The General Assembly will return on Feb. 7 from the organizational break, and we will continue to forge ahead on creating a pro-business climate in our state so that hardworking Kentuckians can get back to work. I am proud to serve in the House of Representatives as a member of the new, working majority. I will continue to support legislation that makes a better Kentucky for every citizen, and I look forward to continuing this work as we continue the 30-day session.
I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues impacting our Commonwealth during the 2017 regular session. I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at Brandon.Reed@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky legislature home page at www.lrc.ky.gov.