The thirty-day session of the General Assembly saw much action on a variety of legislative items. While not all of my goals were accomplished, I believe that through bipartisan compromise, many top priorities were achieved. Legislation was passed that will produce jobs, provide oversight and transparency in government and protect the public.
Oversight for Taxing Districts – Legislation was passed to strengthen accountability and oversight of state’s 1,200-plus taxing districts that collect revenue from the taxpayers.
Hemp – creating jobs and providing a boost for Kentucky’s farmers was achieved with passage of industrial hemp legislation.
Economic Development – On March 19th, the Governor signed into law new tax increment financing adjustment legislation to make economic development in Newport more feasible for developers.
Pension Reform – The House and Senate came together to pass bipartisan reform that includes funding and reforms for new hires to strengthen the state pension program.
Human Trafficking – Governor signed House Bill 3 into law that will strengthen enforcement against the fast growing crime of human trafficking.
Prescription Drug Regulation – The General Assembly passed new legislation to cleanup issues with the sweeping prescription drug abuse legislation that passed during last year’s session.
Child Pornography – House Bill 39 was signed into law making viewing of child pornography a criminal offense.
Military Voting – Legislation was passed to make it easier for Kentucky’s active duty citizens to vote while serving in the military overseas during election season.
Land Line Protection – An attempt to de-regulate telephone service in Kentucky was defeated because of the fear of leaving certain areas without reliable telephone and Internet services.
Simplify Alcoholic Beverage Laws – I served on the Governor’s task force and we passed legislation to clean up the state’s hundreds of alcohol laws, meeting the recommendations of the task force. House Bill 300 provides consistency for the industry, regulators and law enforcement.
Redistricting – The House passed a modified redistricting plan that more fairly aligns legislative districts with the changing population demographics.
Looking ahead to 2014’s legislative session, next year’s major focus will be adopting a budget that includes funding for transportation and road projects. This will be among my top priorities. I will also continue to work for tougher DUI laws, passage of my rape victim protection legislation, angel tax credits and support for tougher laws against heroin dealers in the Commonwealth.
Representative Dennis Keene has served the citizens of the 67th District since 2005 and is the chairman of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, Vice Chairman of Economic Development, Vice Chairman on the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation and a member of the Banking & Insurance Committee. Keene is a small business owner and an economic development advisor for EGC Construction. For more information, visit: www.DennisKeene.com.