SENATOR STAN HUMPHRIES’ LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of Senator Stan Humphries

For Immediate Release


March 26, 2020

Contact: Morgan P’Pool

Morgan.PPool@LRC.KY.GOV

Members of the Kentucky General Assembly returned to Frankfort on Thursday with the primary goal of advancing the state’s biennial budget plan. While negative economic impacts due to the coronavirus are inevitable, I am confident in the legislature’s ability to reconcile political differences and craft a balanced, two-year financial plan for the Commonwealth.

Economic relief for COVID-19-impacted businesses and workers passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support. Senate Bill 150, which originally dealt with out-of-network insurance billing, was amended in free conference negotiations between the House and Senate. A key provision would extend unemployment eligibility to the self-employed, including many small business owners and independent contractors who were not previously eligible for unemployment benefits under Kentucky law.

The budget conference committee, leaders from both chambers, began meeting this week. This group was tasked with reexamining the current budget document and determining the most financially responsible avenue moving forward given the economic climate. To get a clearer view of what the state’s financial future could look like, the committee heard a report from the State Budget Director, who offered a less than optimistic projection with an estimated $300 million in revenue losses over the next two years. These difficult financial conversations and budget revisions will be ongoing until a final version of the budget is agreed upon.

We are constitutionally required to pass a budget prior to adjourning the legislative session. Therefore, it is anticipated that both chambers will vote on the finalized budget bill when we reconvene on Wednesday, April 1, which is the next legislative day. We will be in veto recess until the session’s final days on April 14 and 15.

There are many ways for you to stay informed on legislative happenings as we continue our work in Frankfort. Livestreamed video feed is available for all General Assembly meetings. Kentucky Educational Television (KET) currently livestreams Senate and House proceedings, as well as many committee sessions. The Legislative Research Commission (LRC) will livestream any committee meetings that are not covered by KET on YouTube.

To see the daily meeting schedule with links to livestreams visit:

LRC: legislature.ky.gov (link to watch is on the homepage).

KET: ket.org/legislature

The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is working expeditiously to better serve those who have been displaced from work during this frustrating and challenging time. To expedite the process, Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims will be filed on a specific day of the week based on the first letter of your last name:

Sunday: A – D

Monday: E – H

Tuesday: I – L

Wednesday: M – P

Thursday: Q – U

Friday: V – Z (and all who missed their day)

Please be on the lookout for UI information and other updates from the cabinet via social media and its website www.kcc.ky.gov.

I welcome your thoughts as we continue to finalize the state budget and road plan. If you have any questions or comments about any of these issues or any other public policy issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.  The toll-free number is 1-800-372-7181 or you can email me at Stan.Humphries@LRC.ky.gov.

# # #

Note:  Senator Stan Humphries (R-Cadiz) represents the 1st District including Calloway, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, and Trigg Counties. Senator Humphries serves as vice chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and co-chairman of the Capital Planning Advisory Board and the Public Assistance Reform Task Force. He also serves as a member of the Agriculture Committee; the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee; and the State and Local Government Committee, and the 2020-2022 Budget Preparation & Submission Statutory Committee. Additionally, he serves as an ex-officio member of the Senate Budget Review Subcommittee on Economic Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection; Education; General Government, Finance, and Public Protection; Human Resources; Justice and Judiciary; and Transportation. For a high-resolution .jpeg of Senator Humphries, please log onto https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators%20Full%20Res%20Images/senate101.jpg

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