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Senate Republican leadership begins to set agenda for upcoming session, expects two pro-life measures


Kentucky Senate Republicans began formulating their agenda for the upcoming General Assembly last week that included introducing at least two pro-life measures.

Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said one of the pro-life measures will be similar to a bill Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed earlier this year and aimed at protecting “born-alive infants after a botched abortion.”

“Because of the shortened session due to the coronavirus, we did not have enough time to override his veto,” Thayer said, adding that Republicans plan to move quickly on the measure when the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 5.

Senate Republican leaders meet. (Photo by Tom Latek/Kentucky Today

A second pro-life bill will be introduced in the House that mirrors one Republicans “coupled late in the session with Senate Bill 9,” the majority leader said. This bill will be related to the attorney general’s ability to defend pro-life cases.

During their two-day retreat, the 30-member Republican Caucus also plans to discuss liability reform to protect businesses who followed guidelines against COVID-related lawsuits, banning no-knock warrants for police under most circumstances, the unemployment insurance claw back and helping businesses who will have to pay for rebuilding the unemployment insurance fund.

Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, said that with the GOP holding 30 of the 38 Senate seats, “it will be a very interesting retreat because we are going to have new dynamics. We’re going to have to deal with a budget and we are dealing with new committee chairs.”

The new chairs and vice-chairs announced by GOP leaders are:

• Sen. Wil Schroder, R-Wilder, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Economic Development, Tourism and Labor. Sen. Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, will be the new vice-chairman of the committee.

• Sen.-elect Brandon Storm, R-London, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Enrollment.

• Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary.

• Sen.-elect Jason Howell, R-Murray, vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations.

• Sen.-elect Johnnie L. Turner, R-Harlan, vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Energy.

• Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on State & Local Government.

• Sen. Mike Nemes, R-Shepherdsville, was named vice-chairman of the committee.

• Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation. Sen.-elect Storm was named vice-chairman of the committee.

• Sen. C.B. Embry, R-Morgantown, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection. Sen. Steve Meredith, R-Leitchfield, was named the new vice-chairman of the committee.

Kentucky Today


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