2014 Legislative Session: Week 6

Thank you again for the continuous flow of surveys; each one gives me “food for thought” on how I can better represent you and our community. Everyone has a personal and new perspective on issues that I take into consideration. I am trying to make contact with those who have questions, but it might take awhile. Please be patient, I have over a thousand surveys (and counting) to respond to. Just remember, my heart is in the right place and I will do my best to be responsive to all of you.

Now to the Legislature! We are nearing the end of the session, which means that we are in a “log jam.” The process has been slow, and at times, not of good spirit. Both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office have different plans for a possible Medicaid expansion, as well as different views on where funding for education should be spent. Will we have the resolve to find the necessary solutions? Yes, but the path will be bumpy.  My vision is that the Governor’s plan will fit more comfortably with the Senate's piece of legislation. This could rectify some of the differences in the legislation, but only time will tell.  We are continuing to move forward because the legislature ends this Thursday, but we might need to call a special session to settle our budget woes. I sit in leadership in the Senate and it has been a wait-and-see adventure for all of us as we work through the last bit of legislation.

I still have several pieces of legislation in process. Four are just waiting for the Governor to sign them, which will take place soon, they include:

  • SB 127–Labor Commission Amendments
  • SB 106–Work Place Safety Week
  • SB 44–Workers Compensation Fund Workers Misconduct
  • SB 96–Veterans Registry

A few highlights:

  • Legislation on E-Cigarette's and a possible age change for buying tobacco products was defeated.
  • Legislation to support a "Commission on Women" is moving along.
  • Transportation legislation is being considered in both chambers

Legislation to Watch:

The bills that deal with the Medicaid Expansion and the multiple bills that will settle our next year's budget.

In friendship,

Karen

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