Acting House Speaker Osborne says essential skills, tort reform and workers compensation are top priorities for 2018 session

As the 2018 session approaches, acting House Speaker David Osborne outlined 2018 Legislative Priorities beyond pensions, budget and taxes in an interview with The Bottom Line.

Osborne first pointed to essential skills as a top priority. The bill, led by House Majority Leader Shell and heavily supported by the Kentucky Chamber, aims to incorporate key essential skills such as attendance, work ethic, and interpersonal skills into the state’s education system.

Workers’ compensation and legal liability reform are two other pro-business issues Osborne expects the legislature to address in the 2018 session. The Chamber supports legislative reforms to control the rising costs of the workers’ compensation system that are fair to the employer and employee, returning the employee to work as soon as medically appropriate. The Chamber supports legal liability reform due to the increased costs for consumers and the inability to attract and retain sufficient numbers of physicians to the Commonwealth.

In terms of legal liability reforms, the Chamber supports peer review legislation, which would increase protection for medical providers to effectively review their own performance in a frank and open manner without threat of a lawsuit—Kentucky is the only state in the U.S. without confidential peer review. Peer review legislation has passed the Senate for several years, but not the House floor.

Osborne said the House has been studying the issue and said it is a bill that could see passage in 2018.

Lastly, Osborne spoke about the recent ruling that says Kentucky’s legislative ethics prohibition on gifts and contributions from lobbyists is unconstitutional. He said, “I think everyone is still committed to the broad concept of what we’re doing. I think that certainly every single day we see an increased need to up our game and to make that sure we’re keeping the highest of ethical standards.”

For more of acting House Speaker Osborne’s discussion on the issues ahead of the 2018 session:

House Speaker Osborne expects “severe” budget cuts to deal with revenue shortfalls, pension funding needs, and more

Acting House Speaker Osborne says pension reform agreement and bill drafting process ‘substantially complete’

More on the 2018 Legislative session can be found on The Bottom Line.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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