“There’s an awful lot of stuff that’s going to get our attention,” State Sen. Whitney Westerfield told FOX 56.
In addition to recovery for western Kentucky after the winter 2021 tornadoes, Westerfield said redistricting will also be an early major item. On Thursday, House Speaker David Osborne unveiled early versions of house redistricting maps saying the bills for them will be filed Tuesday with the intent to pass them this week.
The crafting of a 2-year state budget is another priority. It will be the first since 2018 after the 2020 session was cut short by the pandemic.
“It takes most of the session, the governor gives input, the House gives input, the Senate gives input,” Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey told FOX 56.
Senate and House Democratic leaders announced a list of legislative priorities in a press conference Monday. Among them, expanded healthcare access, voting rights, universal Pre-K, sports wagering legalization, marijuana legalization, and restoring the Governor’s emergency powers beyond 30 days.
“You see bipartisan support for sports gambling, you see bipartisan support for medical marijuana, you see bipartisan support for every child having access to preschool,” McGarvey said.
“I think a couple of those things, the Republicans have already been showing a lot of leadership on,” Sen. Westerfield said, responding to the Democrat’s agenda priorities, saying there are some in that list he’d support both others he’s iffy about. One issue Westerfield mentioned where there is healthy bipartisanship is Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) legislation concerning college athletes.
“There is going to be lots of opportunities and ways that we can work together on bipartisan efforts, won’t always be that way, and we won’t always agree on everything we work on this session, but that’s an example where we will,” Sen. Westerfield said.