In an exclusive sit down interview with The Bottom Line, Gov. Matt Bevin said he has heard a lot of great feedback on the laws already passed in Kentucky during the first five days of the 2017 session and expects great results from this new political atmosphere as the legislature still has more to do this year.
“People are delighted. This is what they expect folks in Frankfort to do is actually do the people’s work and to it with a sense of urgency and purpose,” Bevin said of the unprecedented first week of the 2017 session where lawmakers passed multiple bills during a time normally reserved for organizational tasks.
The Bottom Line: Gov. Matt Bevin says the state is already seeing positive effects of right-to-work and prevailing wage repeal laws, school choice should be increased through public charter schools to any community that could see value, medical review panel legislation needs to be passed to take a serious step on legal liability reform, justice reform has to be done to save state dollars and give people a second chance, and transparency should be brought to all areas of spending including workforce investments.
On right-to-work, Bevin said the state has received a lot of interest from companies and site selectors since Kentucky passed the law making union membership optional for an employee (at 2:00 in the interview below.) The Republican governor said making Kentucky the 27th right-to-work state helps show the Commonwealth is open for business which he believes will attract more jobs and economic growth.
Repealing the state’s prevailing wage, Bevin said, will help the state as the artificial wage set by the government was causing taxpayers to overspend on projects and stifling construction of schools and other public building projects.
“On many fronts, the taxpayers have won, the people of Kentucky have won, the economic possibility has increased, so I am excited about what the future holds,” Bevin said.
As for what’s left on the to-do list this session, Bevin discussed the following issues as priority legislation:
- Legal liability reform (tort reform) in the form of medical review panel legislation (discussed at 5:00 in the interview)
- Increasing school choice options with legislation to allow charter schools in Kentucky (discussed at 7:00 in the interview)
- Tackling criminal justice issues through bills and executive actions (discussed at 9:00)
- Increasing transparency of workforce dollars and other areas of state spending (discussed at 11:20)
Watch the full part one interview segment below:
Bevin also discussed the work on pension and tax reforms he feels the state needs to address in 2017, likely in a special session of the General Assembly later in the year. Check back on The Bottom Line tomorrow for part two of the interview with the governor where he discusses those topics.