House GOP leadership plan for control of chamber includes Right to Work, tax reform, action on kynect and more

09/03/2014 05:04 PM

On the road to trying to take control of the state House, Republican leaders of the chamber have announced their plan of action to pass legislation they believe the state desperately needs if they gain the majority.

The “Handshake with Kentucky” platform released by House GOP leaders Tuesday includes legislation dealing with job growth, spending, stopping the Affordable Care Act’s impact on the state and “ending corruption in the House of Representatives.”

In the statement about the plan, the party leaders say the specific legislation they consider a priority would be enacted within the first 30 days of the 2015 session, which is a 30 day session.

At a press conference about the plan in Louisville on Wednesday, Republican leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, said it was time for some new leadership who will step up and do something in the chamber.

Those pieces of legislation include:

  • Right to Work legislation to allow workers to choose whether or not they want to be a member of a union, something the House GOP proposed in the 2014 session but did not get passed.
  • Public-private partnership legislation allowing private entities and government agencies to work together on major infrastructure projects, a bill also proposed in the last session but was vetoed by Gov. Steve Beshear .
  • A tax reform plan that “encourages and does not penalize productivity” by reducing the tax burden on Kentuckians
  • The Responsible Budgeting and Spending Act, legislation to “require state revenue estimates be based upon a 15-year rolling average rather than unsupported revenue projections.
  • A constitutional amendment to take action on repealing the expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the state that would “prohibit any person, employer or healthcare provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system”

Hoover said the amount that the state is going to have to pay down the line for the expansion is just too much and something needs to be done to correct course.

Other proposals put forth in the plan include expanding broadband access, legislation to establish a Medical Review Panel , addressing unfunded liabilities in the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System , and looking at ways to help more Kentuckians afford college.

One point in the platform that does not include a legislative proposal is the House Republican leaders’ pledge to “end corruption in the Kentucky House of Representatives.” The release about the plan states that during the time Democrats have controlled the chamber, “an atmosphere that breeds corruption and misconduct has grown out of control.”

Referencing allegations of sexual harassment and other ethics issues which have come to light in recent years, the GOP leaders said the problems have caused the public to lose trust in the General Assembly and they say that needs to change.

On the plan current leader of the chamber, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, says his caucus is the one passing legislation to address the problems in the state and he looks forward to building on those gains in the coming years.

“While the House Republicans make empty promises, or take our ideas as their own, our Democratic members are the ones sponsoring the laws that create jobs, promote government transparency and accountability and make life-saving gains in combating drug addiction,” Speaker Stumbo said in a statement. “House Democrats will continue working with Governor Beshear to free Kentucky from the Republican-caused recession our nation has suffered under for years. ”

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