Kentucky Senate Republican leaders say creation of jobs will be their priority in the upcoming state legislative session.
More controversial topics, such as tax reform and social issues, probably will have to wait until future law-making sessions, they said.
The five GOP senators in leadership — President Robert Stivers of Manchester, President Pro Tem David Givens of Greensburg, Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown, Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum of Louisville and Majority Whip Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon — held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the 2017 General Assembly that begins in January.
Republicans, who outnumber Democrats in the Senate 27-11, held a retreat this week in Paducah.
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While the GOP leaders said their focus will be jobs creation in next year’s session, they offered no specifics on how that can be done.
Stivers said the group will talk with Gov. Matt Bevin and the House GOP leaders to come up with plans.
Givens noted that about $900 million in state and federal money is spent each year in Kentucky to train its workforce. He said he did not know if that is too little or too much but the state should look closely at how the money is spent.
“We know where we want to be. Now we have to lay out the road map,” said Thayer.
Since the 2017 session will last only 30 days, compared to 60-day sessions in even-numbered years, the legislature probably will not have time to consider social issues, Stivers said.
Bevin has said he wants tax reform but Higdon said that is likely to occur in a special session called by the governor after a consensus is reached on its details.
Stivers also said the legislature might not reopen the two-year state budget bill it approved earlier this year, but he could not rule that out.