State Rep. Sannie Overly is calling for an independent review of the Legislature's policies regarding workplace behavior in the wake of sexual harassment complaints against a western Kentucky lawmaker.
Overly, chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday she intends to file a bill next year to mandate the review and create a new personnel system that would ensure a harassment-free workplace.
The move is in response to sexual harassment complaints filed by two legislative staffers against Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis.
A special legislative committee has been appointed to investigate those complaints. That committee could ultimately recommend Arnold's censure or expulsion from the Legislature.
State Rep. Sannie Overly has filed a bill that will allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to explore public-private partnerships to help construction projects with big price tags.
The bill doesn't specifically name any projects, but Kentucky currently has multiple instances where the bill could help work start, namely the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky and Interstate 69 in western Kentucky.
Overly, a Paris Democrat, said the goal is to help the state have one more avenue to help fund its infrastructure projects.
"This bill is not designed for any one particular project, it is really nothing more than an additional tool in the toolbox of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet," she said.
House Majority Caucus Chair Sannie Overly, D-Paris (right), is congratulated by Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, on her election as the first woman to a leadership post in the Kentucky House of Representatives
State Rep. Sannie Overly will be the first woman in history elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Overly, of Paris, on Tuesday was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair in private leadership elections today. Overly beat state Rep. Bob Damron, of Nicholasville, for the position; all other House Democratic leaders retained their posts.
“It was a humbling experience to be the person that this caucus would choose for the first time in the commonwealth’s history to serve in House leadership," Overly said. " I’m honored, I’m humbled, I look forward to serving."
Overly has served for more than six years, after originally winning a special election for her seat. She was also transportation budget sub-committee chair in recent budget cycles.
As for why she chose to run now, Overly says she felt the timing was right.