A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commerce Lexington releases legislative agenda in preparation for 60-day regular legislative session


Commerce Lexington Inc. has released its legislative agenda developed by the Public Policy Council and aimed at improving Kentucky’s business climate.

The group’s advocacy position statements guide the organization’s advocacy efforts for the year.   

Click to access full report

Review the 2020 LEGISLATIVE FOCUS to learn about issues Commerce Lexington Inc. will be tracking on behalf of the business community this year at the local, state and federal levels of government. 
 
In January, state lawmakers return to Frankfort for the 60-day Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The priority issue will be crafting the next two-year state budget and road fund plan for transportation infrastructure projects. Despite revenue growth and a strong economy, lawmakers anticipate state revenue projections to fall short of the required budget obligations (pension systems, Medicaid, corrections) over the biennium. This outlook makes the budgeting process difficult as lawmakers work to ensure a structurally balanced budget and determine funding priorities. Governor Andy Beshear must submit his budget proposal to lawmakers by late January.
 
Other issues expected to be priorities include funding for school safety, proposals related to sports betting, modernizing the state’s infrastructure funding model, continued tax reform to improve competitiveness and provide local governments with funding flexibility, criminal justice system reforms to improve workforce participation, career readiness initiatives, and increasing taxes and regulations on vaping products.   
 
At this time, it is unclear if reforms to the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS) will be on the table. With more than $40 billion in unfunded liabilities, Kentucky has one of the worst pension systems in the nation. The actuarily required contributions to the systems total $3.3 billion – nearly 30 percent of the total state budget. Local governments across the commonwealth are also facing massive required pension payments. These obligations are crippling the ability of local governments to meet essential service needs or make investments in other critical areas. 

Commerce Lexington 
 


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