After two days of winter weather cancelling session for both chambers this week, the state Senate decided to convene Thursday and Friday while the House took the rest of the week off. The differing decisions mean the House loses two legislative days while Tuesday and Wednesday’s snow days will be made up by both chambers during the veto period.
Since the Senate did decide to meet, they held committee meetings in the morning Thursday and then convened for their regular orders of the day.
Bill to limit state spending passes committee
Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee passed Senate Bill 94, sponsored by Sen. Joe Bowen, which would limit the state’s spending to 6 percent of the state’s economy.
The Chamber has been a long supporter of this measure which encourages lawmakers to keep Kentucky’s financial house in order and adopt disciplined spending principles.
Senate committee moves workforce legislation to the floor
The Senate A&R committee also passed SCR 103, which directs the Legislative Research Commission to establish the Kentucky Workforce Oversight Task Force. This task force would study and develop recommendations concerning the benefits, investments, and funding of workforce education which is estimated at approximately $900 million a year.
According to The Georgetown University Center on Education, there will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020. 24 million openings will be from newly created jobs and 31 million openings will be due to baby boom retirements. It also predicts that the United States will fall short in filling those positions by 5 million.
The Kentucky Chamber believes that workforce training is critical and is also conducting a review of workforce policies and programs now in place. The report is to be finalized in just a few weeks and the Senate’s attempt to conduct an organized and deliberate review of the system is encouraging.
“Quality worker training programs are of critical importance to the state’s economic prosperity and we must determine what improvements are necessary to ensure that we have an educated workforce that will compete globally,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson said.
The Workforce Oversight Task Force will submit a report of their findings to the Legislative Research Commission by December 11, 2015.