Local/Regional News
6:21 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Stumbo Makes Predictions On Minimum Wage, Limiting Executive Powers, And Child Care Assistance

Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo offered some predictions for the 2014 regular session in Frankfort Tuesday.

On the perennial issue of expanded gambling, the speaker echoed the cautious optimism of other lawmakers, spelling out what he sees as a possible way forward.

He hopes the "Senate would pass a clean constitutional amendment, that's what they want to do, and send it here, and that's a sign the Senate is receptive. I think we can put together some enabling legislation that would be triggered with the passage of the constitutional amendment. I think that's a way forward."

And while Senate Republicans have shown little interest in Stumbo’s opening bid to raise the minimum wage, the speaker did tell WUKY he agrees with the Senate’s first bill in principle. SB1 seeks to give the legislature more power over regulations implemented by the executive branch.

"I believe that is correct to say that there are times that executive branch agencies have overreached their authority," the speaker agreed.

However, Stumbo says there is hesitation to place the authority Republicans are seeking in an eight-person Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee. Senate Republicans want to see a constitutional amendment enacting the change. If passed, it would have to be approved by voters in November.

The Democratic leader also signaled that lawmakers are unlikely to restore cuts to the Child Care Assistance Fund. Last year, the program froze new applications and made the approval process more stringent.

Pension liabilities and efforts to return K-12 and postsecondary education to its 2008 levels are likely to eat up any gains in revenue.