As the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly draws to a close, some western Kentucky lawmakers will have to think about which pieces of stalled legislation they will bring to Frankfort again next year.
State Rep. Kenny Imes of Murray went 0-8 with bills for which he was the primary sponsor. Imes’ bills included legislation that would reset the election cycles of statewide constitutional officers to even-numbered years beginning in 2020 and a bill that would raise the speed limit on all four-lane state highways to 65 miles per hour, including U.S. 68/80 in Calloway County.
Imes says getting bills through the assembly is a matter of time and educating the public.
“Getting them in, getting proper media exposure so people really understand them if they’re interested," Imes said. "Then getting the hearings. But that’s one thing we will be doing, through the interim, once the interim committees start meeting probably again in June. Then you’ve got more time, you can have more testimony and witnesses to build your case for that.”
Imes plans to make another run at all of his legislation from this session in 2015, especially the bill concerning moving elections to even-numbered years.
"Next year, we have the statewide races, which is just the constitutional offices of the state of Kentucky and that's all that will be on the ballot," Imes said. "Well, it's costing the taxpayers about $15 million a year every time we have an election."
Imes said the vast majority of the $15 million comes from county taxpayers, who would save $13 million in years without elections. He said that the bill didn't gain traction because the legislature didn't have a "taste for constitutional amendments" this year.
With two more days of the General Assembly left beginning April 14, Imes said he still has some hope for a bill that would recognize trapshooting as a sport in Kentucky high schools. But he said that two-day period will be mostly reserved for overriding any vetoes made by Gov. Steve Beshear in the next week and a half.