Alvarado files state Constitutional amendment to allow tort reform

01/09/2018 08:21 PM

FRANKFORT — One of the Senate’s top priorities this year will be a Constitutional amendment which allows lawmakers to address tort reform.

Senate Bill 2 was filed by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, a physician, who said that the legislation would allow the General Assembly to eventually set limits on liability claims.

The Winchester Republican said he would talk with each member in the upper chamber in an effort to reach a Constitutional majority.

“Once it’s in the House it’s a much more different venture — we still have a lot of unknowns as to what that count would look like,” he said. “Again, this isn’t necessarily setting caps per-say, but this gives the General Assembly the authority to set something, and get away from the Judicial Branch which, frankly, in my opinion, is probably not taken this the way most people would mostly want to have done.”

With an uncertain path in the Republican super majority that is the House of Representatives, there is still the full Senate to contend with, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, who said the legislation would equate a loss of rights for everyone in the commonwealth.

Jones said that the legislature, which has not been able to deal with billions in under funding to the pension systems, should not be in charge of tort reform for that very reason.

“Keep in mind the Republicans that have been advocating this want to remove protections in Kentucky’s Constitution that allow jury’s to determine if someone is injured or their property is damaged how much they should be compensated,” Jones said.

If passed by the General Assembly the amendment would then appear on the Nov. ballot for ratification by voters in Kentucky.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

2 Comments

Comments

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 09, 2018 09:08 PM :

    Sen. Alvarado needs to work closely on this Constitutional Amendment and work in concert with Rep. Chad McCoy in the House. I have been very impressed with Rep. McCoy. His law practice is in this domain, and I think Sen. Alvarado would be wise to work out all the kinks, cross all the T’s, and dot all the i’s, with Rep. Chad McCoy, sooner rather than later. If McCoy is good with it, everyone should be.

    I cannot tell you how disappointed I have been with the senate body these first 5 days of the 2018 General Assembly. I give them a F, and I think every single one of them, democrat and republican, male and female, in that body, should be ashamed of the display they have put on in this state’s time of need.

    Every senator that is an even number, 2, 4, 6, 8 10, 12, etc. is up for re-election. This needs to get out in the local communities they represent. Not a one should accept a dime for these first 5 days for any of their production. How many times, over the last several years, have we heard the senate is open for business, and the House democrats are not on board? How many times have we heard Sen. Damon Thayer say that?

    Friends, how polar opposite is the 2017 session from the beginning of the 2018? This time last year, they threw everything they could throw at us, even staying over on a Saturday to complete their mission. This year, we are giving Sen. Jimmy Higdon to get an opportunity to get comfortable up there speaking in the lights, and then we are adjourning. I do not know why they sent out information to tune in to KET, because when you do tune in, they have already went home. This bunch doesn’t have an inkling of what perception or inspiration means. I don’t even think they care. I think it is all about them. You will remember a few years ago, when they came to work in the senate, in 2 feet of snow, when no one else could make it but the senate and their lobbyist friends. Oh, they can do whatever they want to do and when they want to do it.

    We need a PG version of KET’s Kentucky Tonight. I’m not going to watch it anymore. Those 4 leaders, on TV last night, not one took any blame. Not one gave any vision. Not one had any answers. What beats me the most, is that we are over 10 years in to this pension crisis. It is on full display, but we still can’t figure out who is to blame, what happened, who needs to be held responsible, or how in the world no criminal charges have been filed against anyone. Robert Stivers and Damon Thayer are lock, stock, and barrel in with Gov. Bevin. Ray Jones and Rocky Adkins have taken and taken and taken from this system. We are never going to get any change with this bunch. So, who is going to step up and lead?

    Every Committee chair, in the senate, should know what their number one bill is for 2018. I have not heard one speech, from any senator who chairs their committee to say what they are trying to accomplish in this 2018 session. What in the world are you people doing? Explain to me what leadership means to you guys and girls. I’m sick of hearing about Stivers. Stand up and speak. The state is dying for some kind of guidance. What kind of bubble are you blue bloods living in? I’m sick of hearing you file for re-election. I’m sick of hearing your opinions on Kentucky sports and 17-20 year old kids. I’m sick of hearing your thoughts on the Golden Globe winners. We want to hear how you are helping the state in these times of desperate need.

    Friends, we have to get people to get involved in the process. Every House seat is up for re-election. Every even number senator is up for re-election. The only reason these first 5 days, in years past, have played out like they have, is because we keep voting these bums in. Get involved or we are going to keep getting what we have seen the last 5 days. I have friends sitting in those seats, but they have just sat there and let day after day go by. Wasting time. Giving little hope to a Commonwealth that is starving for inspiration and finding none in sight. For sure not finding any on KET, other than on Friday night at 8pm. RL

  • Raymond Hurst wrote on January 14, 2018 11:59 PM :

    I guess I do not understand what is going on here. A doctor who is also a lawmaker wants to pass a law limiting the amount HE could be sued for?!?! That would be as bad as a sitting President passing tax laws which would fatten his own pockets by millions of dollars. It all sounds kosher to me.

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