Kentucky Legislative Leaders Call 2013 Session A Success
Kentucky legislative leaders say they're proud of the 2013, with legislators having accomplished pension reforms, cleaned up other bills and passed others dealing with hemp, special taxing district and military voting.
Many of the legislature's top priorities were passed in the 30-day session, although most of them were hatched as last minutes deals in the waning days of the session.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo said the 2013 session may have been his proudest in more than a decade.
"I think that history will not have seen the chaotic events of the last day but it should record that this was a very successful session," he said.
Senate President Robert Stivers says the success of the session doesn't rest on any one person's shoulders, but collectively on the legislature.
"If people deem this session to be a success, it is because of numerous people. As I said down there, I am a link in the chain. So when you look around if there has been a change it has been because the body as a whole brought the change to the senate and to the process," Stivers said.
Here's the list of "major bills" lawmakers passed this session, not to mention numerous others:
* Pension reform and funding
* Authorizing bonds for universities to build new or renovate dorms, academic buildings, etc.
* Updates to pill mill and synthetic drug laws
* A bill gradually raising the dropout age to 18 in Kentucky
* Human trafficking safe haven legislation
* Codified a child fatality review panel
* Transparency for special taxing districts, like sewer districts and library board
* Regulatory framework for hemp growing, should the federal ban be lifted
* A bill allow overseas military to receive a ballot electronically for voting
* Changes in liquor laws, including being able to buy alcohol on election day
* Requiring prompt pay for health care providers in the Medicaid managed care system
* Allowing a Christian Health Sharing organization to come back to Kentucky
In a press conference celebrating the pension bill passing, Gov. Steve Beshear also said he was proud of what he and other lawmakers were able to accomplish this session.