Big questions ahead of Kentucky's legislative session

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Kentucky lawmakers head back to work this week for the first legislative session of 2018 and there are some questions hanging over the upcoming session.

Who will be the new House Speaker?

Jeff Hoover stepped down from that post after it was made public Hoover and three other Republican lawmakers secretly settled a sexual harassment claim. However, some Republicans said Hoover never officially resigned because the House was not in session.

The pension system

Kentucky's retirement system is one of the worst-funded in the country. State workers are owed billions of dollars in benefits over the next three decades, but the government is at least $41 billion short.

Governor Matt Bevin proposed a plan in October to replace the current system with a 401K style plan, but state workers rejected that idea. Bevin and others scrapped it and promised a new plan this year.

Republicans defend their House majority

House Republicans will have to defend their majority in the upcoming elections in November. Right now, Republicans have 63 out of 100 seats.

One race to watch will be the special election in the 49th district. That is the seat Representative Dan Johnson narrowly won in 2016. Johnson committed suicide last month shortly after an investigative report alleged he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

Johnson's widow Rebecca was nominated to run on the GOP ticket and will face Linda Belcher in a special election on February 20.

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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