A Kentucky lawmaker says it wasn't so bad being mocked on national television. Republican Senator Damon Thayer of Georgetown recently appeared in a segment on Comedy Central that poked fun of legislation he introduced in the General Assembly this year.
The segment was called "Can't Touch This" about states trying to pass laws to counter-act federal laws, a procedure called nullification that's been ruled unconstitutional several times by the Supreme Court.
Thayer told comedian Jason Jones about a bill the state Senate passed this year to say Kentucky won't go along with any new guns laws from Washington.
Thayer: "There will be federal gun laws that actually take away what we believe is our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms."
Jones: "Other than that premise being completely false (audience laughter), what kind of message did you send to those gun grabbers in Washington D.C.?"
Also appearing on "The Daily Show" segment was Larue County Judge-Executive Tommy Turner discussing counties like his moving to nullify state laws.
For Thayer's part, he says he doesn't take himself nearly as seriously as he did 15 or 20 years ago, so when asked to do the show, he said "why not."
The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would reform the majority of the state's pension system.
Senate Bill 2 contains the recommendations of a legislative task force on the underfunded pension system. It suspends cost of living adjustments and creates a hybrid, 401-K style pension plan for new hires.
Bill sponsor Damon Thayer says the bi-partisan support for the bill shows the need for continued cooperation on pensions.
"This is not a perfect bill," said the Georgetown Republican. "There are certainly other ways that this can be done. But in this town and in this building, when have we ever given up the good for the sake of the perfect. This is a good bill, Mr. President."
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber is still debating ways to handle the pension issue. Stumbo says any legislation must fully fund state pensions, and Senate Bill 2 currently does not.
Efforts to reform the laws concerning more than 1,000 special taxing districts are quickly moving in Frankfort this week.
The reforms were filed as House Bill 1 Tuesday and are a partnership between Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo. It would create an online registry to list the special districts and their required financial paperwork.
It would also re-designate them as special purpose governmental entities. The registry will be paid for initially with a special appropriation through the governor's office, then supplemented by fees on the special districts.
Edelen says the quick path the bill is expected to take shows that Frankfort can work to together on meaningful reforms.
Another change in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.
Standard and Poor’s has changed Kentucky’s outlook to negative, citing the state's large unfunded pension obligations as the main reason.
In response, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as 50 other business groups, held a news conference to demand that lawmakers pass the recommendations from last year’s pension task force as they were presented.
Chamber President and former Owensboro mayor David Adkission said the change is the best reason for why reforms need to happen soon.