FRANKFORT – A bipartisan committee of state legislators empowered to review the operations of state agencies and programs met today to elect new co-chairs and vote on topics to study during the remainder of the year.
Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Paducah, and Rep. Terry Mills, D-Lebanon, were elected as co-chairs of the 16-member group, known as the Program Review & Investigations Committee.
Their elections were followed by a selection of topics to be studied during the interim, the period of time between sessions of the legislature.
“The best, fairest way, that I could come up with to do this … is allow each caucus to choose a topic rather than getting into a controversy, discussion, hard feelings,” said Carroll. “I think that is the fairest way.”
The Senate Republicans asked that the defunct Kentucky Health Cooperative be studied while the Senate Democrats asked for a study of county jails that hold state prisoners.
House Democrats asked for the committee to analyze the practices, procedures, administrative regulations and state laws related to foster care and adoption in accordance with House Resolution 282. House Republicans asked for an examination of possible abuses of the farmland tax break.
Mills said the committee reduced the number of issues to study this year by two in an attempt to stay focused on relevant topics. Reports are expected to be published on each of the four issues by the end of the year. That way legislation to address any problems uncovered could be introduced during the 2017 General Assembly.
Carroll said the committee will remain flexible by looking at additional issues as they arise.
“Just to make it clear, there will be other topics that we will address,” Carroll said. “We will hear other testimony on other topics that we will choose from month to month. That will depend when reports are ready to be presented and how much time that we have. We do plan to cover a wide array of topics that are pertinent in this day and time during the interim.”