The 2024 Legislative Session in Frankfort is nearing the one-third mark of the 60-day budget session, as Friday marked the 18th day. The committee process is picking up steam, and with that, more proposed bills are proceeding through the legislative process.
Please check out the KYSenateRepublicans.com website to find press releases from the Senate Majority Caucus. Information on our members—your elected officials—can be found there, along with other valuable resources.
The Senate, led by our budget chair, Chris McDaniel, has begun reviewing the two budget proposals submitted by the House, House Bill (HB) 1 and HB 6. While they are likely to change as they go through the legislative process, the current versions of the two-year state budget can be found at legislature.ky.gov. As your state senator, I commit to the disciplined use of your hard-earned tax dollars. A strong objective of the Kentucky General Assembly will be to limit new recurring expenses that put taxpayers on the hook each new budget session. We will be especially mindful of this in reviewing our revenue projections.
Senate Bill (SB) 25 was a significant piece of legislation clearing the Senate this week. Unfortunately, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council is attempting to pass an unconstitutional ordinance that flies in the face of property rights of those who manage and own properties and provide housing options by mandating they accept federal Section 8 vouchers. SB 25 would prevent such an ordinance and respect the rights of Kentucky property owners by prohibiting local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance mandating a landlord participate in a housing program under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. The bill also prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance relating to landlord and tenant laws that conflict with any state law. The measure would prevent these business owners from being forced to accept a voluntary program, making them take less than market value for their properties. I view these low-income housing vouchers as transfer payments from the government, not a source of income from renters but rather financial aid that a landlord can accept voluntarily or not. Section 8 is a long-accepted and supported program in America, but it’s wrong when you start forcing people to do it.
Senate Bill (SB) 7 provides a means for students enrolled in non-certified Kentucky schools (homeschool) to have more access to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES). The scholarships will include the base amount for grade point average (GPA) by using an equivalent GPA based on the student’s American College Test (ACT) score. Eligible non-certified school graduates can only access the “supplemental” KEES award as earned on a student’s ACT score. This bill changes their annual total KEES award up to $2,500 to align with other public, private, and parochial school students. Their award will be based on their equivalent GPA and the supplemental awards. For example, a 2.7 GPA would equal an 18 ACT score, and a 4.0 would be equivalent to a 28+ ACT score. We believe these students work just as hard academically and should be awarded accordingly. Plus, we’d like these students to pursue higher education here in Kentucky and enter our workforce, strengthening our state.
Thank you for your continued engagement in the 2024 Regular Session. It is a privilege to represent you in Frankfort. Find the status of legislation by calling 866-840-2835, legislative meeting information at 800-633-9650, or leaving a message for lawmakers at 800-372-7181. You can watch and follow legislative activity at KET/org/legislature and Legislature.ky.gov.
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Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, represents the 17th Senate District, including Grant and Scott Counties, southern Kenton County, and northwestern Fayette County. He is Senate Majority Floor Leader. Thayer is the longest-serving Republican Senate Majority Floor Leader in Kentucky history. He serves as a member of the Senate committees on Agriculture, Licensing and Occupations, and State and Local Government. As Senate majority floor leader, Thayer is a member of the Legislative Research Commission, the Committee on Committees and the Rules Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee.
Please visit https://legislature.ky.gov/Legislators%20Full%20Res%20Images/senate117.jpg for a high-resolution JPEG file of Thayer.