Rep. Kim Moser says having connections with legislators prior to her first term in House helped in navigating the legislative process

05/08/2017 05:52 PM

INDEPENDENCE – 64th District State House Representative Kim Moser, R-Independence, found success in her first session of the General Assembly thanks in part to her party gaining control of the body for the first time in nearly 100 years.

Moser, a registered Nurse with a specialty in Neonatal ICU and flight nursing, currently serves as the Northern Kentucky Director for the Office of Drug Control Policy, and says her medical background allowed her to already have past working relationships with some legislators which helped during the session.

“I worked well with Addia Wuchner who’s chair of Health and Family Services on the House side, Julie Raque Adams from the Senate side, and Dr. Ralph Alvarado and I are good friends from before I was elected, and we were able to work on quite a few health care related issues,” Moser said. “So, having gone to Frankfort and having a lot of friends in the legislature prior to being elected, I feel like we had a good team and really got off to a great start and really didn’t have to a lot of the basic getting to know each other because we already knew each other.”

Moser was proud to sponsor House Bill 333 which passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin on April 10.

The new law limits prescriptions for addictive opioid pain killers like oxycodone, fentanyl and morphine to a three day supply, with exceptions for the terminally-ill and some others.

In addition, it increases felony penalties for those who illegally deal in the synthetic opioid pain killer fentanyl and make it a felony to deal in drugs derived from fentanyl as well as carfentanil, which is used as an elephant tranquilizer.

Even though Moser saw it as a no-brainer type of bill, she admits a lot of work was required to make it law.

“I worked just tirelessly with all of the advocates here, and I think what folks may not understand is the amount of work it really takes to work on any piece of legislation,” Moser said. “With House Bill 333, I probably met with no less than 50 or 60 people about the bill.”

One disappointment for Moser was the failure of House Bill 305, which focused on involuntary treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse. The bill failed to get a vote in the Senate after breezing through the House.

“The “Casey’s Law” issue was trying to improve an existing statute and make it easier for families to utilize (treatment),” Moser said. “It ultimately was not heard in the Senate which was very disappointing for me because it passed the House unanimously with bi-partisan support.”

Moser fully expects a special session to be called by the governor to deal with tax reform and state pensions and hopes that it will take place in early fall since legislators use the later part of the season to begin work on the upcoming session.

“There are states who have revamped their entire tax structure, so we’re looking at what a lot of other states have done,” Moser said. “On the pension side of things, we want to make sure that the KERS and CERS, you know, all of these pensions are that we’re keeping our promises to the folks who have come into the system expecting a certain pension. We’re looking to keep those promises to those folks.”

Last week, the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted 217-213 to pass the amended American Health Care Act, which would effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known also as Obamacare.

If the new AHCA become law, it will have many Republicans tied to it which could be a liability in 2018 if it fails to deliver what was promised, or if it results in a sizable portion of Americans losing coverage.

“The governor’s office has applied for the 1115 waivers, and I think the recent federal legislation allows for the states who’ve applied for those waivers to be able to work on their Medicaid issues and health insurance issues on a state level, and I think that’s the goal,” Moser said.

As for 2018, Moser doesn’t have any specific legislation written yet, but she knows that she’ll be concentrating on improving treatment in the addictive services area which will include criminal justice reform, as well as reentry and rehabilitation.

“As we know, there’s really no point in incarcerating folks if we aren’t truly helping them rebuild their lives,” Moser said.

Moser succeeded Tom Kerr who decided not to seek reelection in 2016 after representing the district for 32 years.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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