House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell shares his ideas on 2018 priorities

05/14/2017 11:00 AM

House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell isn’t sure what will be on the table when a special session is called to tackle tax and pension reform. But, he does have ideas on what he sees as a priority for the 2018 session.

Shell, who was at the Northern Kentucky Republicans Spring Fling in Covington this week, said that one of his main focuses will be a familiar one – improving the job skills of Kentuckians.

In regard to pensions, Senator Joe Bowen has a proposal which would allow the County Employee Retirement System to leave the Kentucky Retirement System. That idea is causing fears of collapse among some pensioners, if performing pension funds are removed from the plans. Shell believes that the idea needs to be studied further by state legislators.

Recently, Governor Matt Bevin received some criticism for the price tag that came along with hiring Adoption Czar Daniel Dumas. Dumas will be paid $240,000 dollars annually, plus benefits. Some are saying that the money could have been better spent by increasing the number of front line workers. Shell says that he and the rest of the General Assembly will evaluate the results that Dumas delivers on the job.

Additionally, Shell is excited about the newly established House adoption task force. The bipartisan group of state lawmakers will meet during the summer to craft legislation aimed at overhauling the state’s adoption and foster care system.

Shell didn’t have much to say about Judge Mitchell Nance, the Barren-Metcalfe Family Court Judge who has recused himself from adoption cases involving same-sex parents. He believes that for right now, whether or not Nance will stay on the bench is for the courts to decide and not something the General Assembly is looking to take up.


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