FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Just a few hours stand between legislators and the beginning of the 2018 legislative session.
“I think we're at a crossroads in our state. This current 2018 session is probably one of the more significant sessions that I can remember in my lifetime,” said Rep. James Tipton.
Republican Representative James Tipton represents part of Bullitt, Spencer, and Anderson Counties. Tipton's party currently has control of all branches in Kentucky. Tasked with passing a state budget for the next two years, he says 2018 is about real action.
“We've talked and we've talked and we've talked about pensions, about all these other issues I'm ready to get down to the job of doing the peoples' business,” Rep. Tipton said.
Pensions will certainly be a top priority for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle going into 2018.
“The legislative members such as myself and the others have to step up to the plate. We've promised certain kinds of things, we need to find a way to keep those promises,” said Sen. Gerald Neal.
Democratic Senator Gerald Neal represents part of Jefferson County. Pension reform could lead to a restructuring of the pension system that many state workers are rallying against. Senator Neal says instead, the state needs to look for other sources of revenue, like legalizing marijuana or adding a cigarette tax.
“No matter what we do I think we have to keep in mind we have to prepare for the future. We have to take care of the short-term considerations but we really have to lay the foundation for the future as we go,” said Sen. Neal.
The 2018 session officially begins on Tuesday at noon. Other than the budget and pension reform, other issues still surround the legislature. At the beginning of November, Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover resigned after sexual abuse allegations. Rep. Tipton and Sen. Neal both said they expect Speaker Pro Temp David Osbourne to act as speaker for now
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