FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky lawmakers will return to the State Capitol on Tuesday for the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly with legislative redistricting and a two-year state budget at the top of their order of the day.
Redistricting will likely be the first major project lawmakers undertake. It is conducted every 10 years, due to population shifts within the state that appear in US Census Bureau results.
Since the release of census data has been postponed until the fall, the redistribution will be done in two phases. The first week will see the adoption of a law which brings back the deadline for filing to January 25. That was Jan. 7, but the redistricting won’t pass until after that date, so candidates won’t know which district they reside in until the redistricting bill is signed into law. The later date was the traditional date, but it was recently brought forward because no controversial bills are voted on before the filing deadline, giving challengers no incentive to enter the race.
Once the filing date change bill is passed and signed into law by the governor, they can then begin the redistricting process. House Republicans unveiled their chamber plan last week, but Senate Republicans will not release their plans that include their chamber and Kentucky’s six congressional districts until lawmakers are called into session.
Given that the GOP has a supermajority in both the House and Senate, it’s likely their plans would pass unless there is a mass defection from Republicans to vote no.
Once the governor has signed the redistricting bills, they can still be challenged in court.
The second major task, which occurs every even-numbered year, is to enact a two-year state spending plan for the next two fiscal years, which begins July 1. It would be the first two-year budget passed since 2018, as lawmakers in the 2020 session only passed a one-year plan, due to uncertainty over state revenues, as the pandemic of COVID-19 had just started. The budget for the second year was adopted during the 2021 session.
With a record surplus for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, and state revenues continuing into the current fiscal year, lawmakers will have more money at their disposal than in recent years.
Those two projects aside, the normal crush of legislation is expected for the remainder of the 60-day session, which, including vacations and vacations, is due to end on April 14.
So far, nearly 200 requests for bills have been generated through a process they call pre-filing, because nothing can actually be filed with each chamber’s clerk until lawmakers did not meet. Topics range from accountants to the workforce.
Visit https://legislature.ky.gov to follow the progress of the session and read in full any legislation that interests you.
Additionally, chambers and all committee meetings can be viewed live on KET.