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Schickel: GOP Agenda in Frankfort Likely to Be Approved Quickly

The presidential election in Boone County is the talk of the town. President-elect Donald Trump carried Boone County with almost 70 percent of the vote—not a surprise to folks who follow Boone County politics. What was a surprise to me and many others is that he won nationally. In many ways it was similar to Governor Matt Bevin’s election a year ago when the underdog candidate with the least money that all the pollsters said was going to lose won the election. I, for one, am very happy with the results of both of these elections.

However, there is another big political story which happened Tuesday night that I find few Boone Countians know about. This is unfortunate, because this story will probably have a greater direct impact on their lives than the presidential election. This is the story of Republicans taking control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921. To add to this, the last great icon of Democratic power in the state, longtime Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, surprisingly lost his re-election bid.

The Democratic wall in the House of Representatives came crashing down and at the end of the night. Republicans took control of the House Chamber by a historic 64-member supermajority to the Democrats’ 36 members, making it possible for the Republicans to virtually run the table on their legislative agenda. The Kentucky House was also the last legislative chamber in the South to be held by Democrats—a trend that died with the new Republican majority. With all three chambers controlled by the same party, the Republican legislative agenda should be passed without delay.

While most Kentuckians are well aware of this change, many Boone Countians get their news from Cincinnati outlets so it has received little coverage in our local media. I thought it important for all Kentuckians to know of this historic event and the effects it will have on our Commonwealth.

What does this mean for Boone County and the citizens of Kentucky? Plenty. For years, legislation such as Right to Work, tort reform, and school choice were passed by the Republicans in the Kentucky State Senate only to die in the Democratic-controlled House. Look for this to change this session, when I expect a variation of all this legislation to be passed and signed into law by Governor Bevin fairly quickly. There is definitely a new political dynamic at our State Capitol. 

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this issue or any other public policy issue, please call me at 502-564-8100, Ext. 617, or visit my LRC webpage to submit a message. You can also follow me on Twitter at @SenatorSchickel. You can review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Senator John Schickel is a Republican from Union.

Photo: John Schickel (via Legislative Research Commission)