The 2013 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly will convene on January 8, 2013. The General Assembly will initially meet for four days before recessing until February 5. The session—which is known as a “short” session—will then proceed until March 30.
Kentucky businesses—or those doing business in the Commonwealth—have reason to pay careful attention to the 2013 session. First, this will be the first session in a decade featuring a new Senate President. This raises questions about whether new types of legislation might be considered that were previously “off the table,” and whether legislation that was allowed to expire under the previous leadership might be resurrected. As one example, the state version of the New Markets Tax Credit enjoyed an inaugural and successful two-year run from 2009-2011, only to have its reauthorization stalled—without a vote—in 2011. The legislation’s sponsor, Senator David Givens, is a powerful figure in his caucus who might have success should he push the reauthorization again this year.
Also at issue are hot-button topics such as pension reform, tax reform, gaming, and new regulation of special taxing districts. Which of these issues, if any, will be tackled primarily depends on whether the General Assembly chooses to deal with redistricting during the session. Recent history shows when redistricting is addressed, all other legislation is delayed until a final plan is approved. How long that might take, and the level of divisiveness it might create, will dictate whether any other substantive legislation is addressed. While pre-filed bills are not predictive of the topics that are addressed during a given session, the Legislative Research Commission has made them publicly available here: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/13RS/prefiled.htm.