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Joint committees to meet in Interim

By Sen. Ralph Alvarado

More than a month has passed since the conclusion of the 2017 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, but my work as your senator has not slowed.

Between answering your letters and phone calls, I have been visiting with constituents in our district and listening to your concerns and preparing to discuss many of those topics during the Interim.

Being back home gives me time to sit and talk with people in the community about local needs while my colleagues and I in the General Assembly focus on statewide issues.

In the last month, I’ve spoken with fiscal court members from Clark and Montgomery county, city commissioners, students and teachers, health care professionals and college students and faculty.

I have also held many small forums with citizens in the district to provide a legislative update and a 2018 legislative preview.

The 2017 Interim begins on June 1. Many of the issues left unaddressed at the end of this session will be discussed during the upcoming Interim, which is a time designated for a more in-depth look at policy matters. Committees called “Interim Joint Committees” are standing committees that meet when the regular session is adjourned. According to the Legislative Research Commission (LRC), there are two types of Interim committees:

— Interim joint committees are formed from the standing committees of both houses. For instance, the Education Committee of the Senate and the Education Committee of the House become the Interim Joint Committee on Education after the regular session.

— Special committees, appointed by the LRC and function primarily during the Interim, usually study a specific topic. Examples include the Tobacco Task Force and the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

All committees during the Interim are open to the public and the press and both are encouraged to attend.

These committees have the power to draft and prefile bills, discuss policy issues within their committee subject, and forward policy recommendations to the General Assembly and the LRC. For a list of interim committees and more information on them, visit lrc.ky.gov/committee/interim.htm.

Besides being a time for legislative updates and meetings, this is also an exciting time for our high school seniors.

I want to congratulate the Class of 2017 from Montgomery County, Bryan Station and George Rogers Clark high schools and wish all of you the best in your future endeavors, whether that be a career, technical school, college or another path.

If you have questions about planning for college or a career path, I encourage you to visit the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s website at educationcabinet.ky.gov or visit the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority’s (KHEAA) website at kheaa.com.

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Ralph.Alvarado@LRC.ky.gov.

You can also review the legislature’s work online atwww.lrc.ky.gov.

Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th State Senate District including Clark and Montgomery counties and the eastern portion of Fayette County.