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NKY Forum to Explore What to Expect from General Assembly this Year

Here is your chance to preview what to expect from the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Northern Kentucky Forum will host a panel of Northern Kentucky legislators. The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, January 6 at the Campbell County Administration Building, Fiscal Court Chambers.

The panel will include Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Taylor Mill), Representatives Arnold Simpson (D-Covington) and Representative Addia Wuchner (R-Florence). McDaniel’s position as Chair of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee has the potential to bring more dollars from Frankfort to Northern Kentucky.

John David Dyche, longtime political columnist at The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and now writing for the opinion section at WDRB.com, will moderate.

“2016 should be an exciting time for our legislators. Our annual focus on the General Assembly provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to understand the issues and have an opportunity to interact with legislators,” said Northern Kentucky Forum Board Chair Carla Landon. 

The 2015 General Assembly saw over 200 bills introduced in just the first week and many Northern Kentucky issues were among the first presented to the Assembly. 

With Governor Matt Bevin now in office, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives in jeopardy, and more Northern Kentuckians holding positions of influence in Frankfort, Wednesday's forum should make for an informative discussion.

Across the board, one issue that will to be discussed at length will be Kentucky’s Pension issue. The legislature needs to determine a long-term funding solution for the various Kentucky retirement systems, all of which are underfunded. This topic has the potential to affect budgeting for everything else the state does. “Dealing with our state pensions will take first priority and I’m confident that the House, Senate and Governor’s office will work together to come up with a real and palatable solution, “ said McDaniel, in a statement.

With a Republican Governor now in office, a number of conservative issues will also likely dominate the conversation in Frankfort. A bill has already been filed for school choice, or charter schools, that will pilot an approach in Fayette and Jefferson Counties. Legislation on Right to Work, Prevailing Wage law, and Tort Reform will also likely be discussed. Kentucky’s Kynect healthcare exchange along with the state’s expansion of Medicaid under Governor Beshear will also be a topic of interest.

The Northern Kentucky Forum’s “Look Ahead” will mark one of the few opportunities voters will have to reach their delegates before they head to Frankfort.

The event is scheduled for January 6, from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the Campbell County Administration Building (1098 Monmouth Street, Newport).

-Staff report

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