Skip to Main Content

Recap of the 2022 Legislative Session

Recap of the 2022 Legislative Session

Renee Shaw hosts a recap the 2022 legislative session. Guests: Terry Brooks, executive director of the Kentucky Youth Advocates; Kate Shanks, senior vice president of public affairs at Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Julia Bright Crigler, founder of Bright Strategies LLC; and Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
Season 28 Episode 75 Length 56:35 Premiere: 4/11/22

Policy Analysts Debate Legislation on Education, Unemployment Benefits, Local Government, and More

The work of state lawmakers will soon be completed, but the analysis of their actions has already begun, both on the bills they have passed and the legislation that has languished.

Veto overrides will comprise a significant part of the final two days of the General Assembly session, including Gov. Andy Beshear’s line-item vetoes of the state budget.

“This budget isn’t the best it can be,” Beshear said on Monday. “While we make some great investments in our future, the budget certainly doesn’t meet the moment when it comes to K through 12 education.”

The governor criticized the Republican spending plan for failing to fund universal pre-kindergarten, offering what he says is an insufficient increase in per-pupil funding for schools, falling short on transportation funding, and omitting teachers from a proposed state employee pay raise.

Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says educators in the commonwealth have not seen a pay increase since 2010, which he contends is making it increasingly difficult for the state to attract and retain teachers.

“Other states are looking at big raises,” says Bailey. “Mississippi just passed a 10 percent teacher raise. Alabama is looking at something that would range even higher than that.”

Budget chairs in the legislature argue that teacher pay should be decided at the district level, not mandated by Frankfort. They say their spending plan delivers enough money to school districts to enable local leaders to determine what pay raises are most appropriate for their teachers and school staff.

Julia Bright Crigler, founder of Bright Strategies LLC, says it’s about giving local districts more flexibility in how they spend their money.

“Teacher raises not happening wouldn’t be because of this budget,” says Crigler. “It’s if those school systems chose to use that money that way.”

Lawmakers remain divided on pre-kindergarten, with Republicans questioning the need for it and Democrats saying it’s an important part of early childhood development.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kate Shanks says further debate about pre-K is needed to see how it could best mesh with child care services still reeling from COVID pandemic shutdowns.

“We need to make sure that this particular child care ecosystem, which is very fragile right now, is not disrupted too much,” says Shanks. “We need to make sure that the model in place utilizes all different ways of delivering those services: In-home child care, child care centers… cooperative programs, in-workplace programs.”

A bipartisan measure that Gov. Beshear signed in to law will create an Employee Child Care Assistance Partnership to encourage businesses to offer child care options as a benefit to their workers. House Bill 499 appropriates $15 million in the next fiscal year to the effort.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks says he’s pleased with state budget support for social workers, behavioral and mental health services for children, and family resource and youth services centers. He says that given GOP leadership opposition to pre-K, lawmakers should focus future legislation on reshaping early childhood services.

“What I hope that does is spur all of us to come together with the business community, with frontline child care folks, with K-12 educators and think about how we can emulate some other states that have really reinvented early childhood into much more of a holistic, focused system.”

Public Assistance and Unemployment

Lawmakers also enacted changes to welfare and unemployment benefits for Kentuckians. House Bill 7 includes a public engagement requirement for able-bodied adults on Medicaid who have no dependents, changes the reporting requirements for people on benefits, and imposes tougher sanctions against those committing welfare fraud.

House Bill 4 shortens the period that unemployed individuals would be eligible for benefits, cuts off payments to people who decline an offer of work under certain conditions, and provides incentives for job training and certifications.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle voiced concerns about how these measures would impact struggling families, especially those living in economically challenged areas like eastern Kentucky. Bailey says 21 Republicans across both chambers voted against the unemployment limits contained in HB 4. He describes the cutbacks to unemployment payments as “crushing” and “cruel.”

“[Unemployment assistance] keeps the families afloat, circulates through the economy, supports local businesses, and helps them find a job that actually meets their skills and capacities and their family budget as opposed to pushing them into the next job that may pay only half of what their previous job did,” says Bailey,

Although HB 4 was a legislative priority for the Kentucky Chamber, Shanks says her membership is attuned to the challenges facing business owners and workers in Appalachian communities and how they could benefit from investments in infrastructure, broadband internet, and child care services.

“We’re going to be looking at eastern Kentucky and the region and what we can be doing policy-wise, what we can be doing with our programs to support re-employment in that region and to support economic development,” says Shanks.

The Fate of Local Control

This session included several efforts by lawmakers to both give more control to local decision-makers and to keep some control firmly in Frankfort.

For example, the final version of Senate Bill 1 gives school superintendents authority over principal hiring, yet also includes a list of 24 historic American documents and speeches that students would be required to learn. In other bills, lawmakers required schools to have armed safety officers, include public comment periods at school board meetings, and ban transgender athletes from playing girls’ sports.

Louisville Democrats also decried how SB 1 singles out the Jefferson County Board of Education by setting limits on how often it can meet. Crigler says it’s only natural for lawmakers to take interest in the state’s largest school district given the problems it has faced over the years.

“There’s administrative issues certainly, there’s inequalities in how education is being carried out there, and there’s a lot disparities,” says Crigler. “I think the legislature is doing the right thing in taking a second look and maybe taking a little more of a hands-on approach.”

As a former school administrator, Brooks acknowledges that there are issues in the Jefferson County schools that have been ignored for decades. But he says the lawmakers should focus on current conditions under JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio, not historical ones. Brooks says SB1 and other legislative actions have left him wondering if the GOP still embraces the philosophy of local control as thoroughly as it once did.

“Is that still a north star, or have [Republicans] become the big government party where Frankfort knows best?” says Brooks.

Beyond the education arena, some Jefferson County lawmakers have decried what they see as a larger legislative “war on Louisville.” They point to House Bill 314 which would allow residents of unincorporated areas of Jefferson County to vote to create a new city outside of Metro Louisville.

Bailey says that’s an effort to dismantle the merger of Louisville and Jefferson County governments that residents there approved in 2002.

“It’s our strongest economic engine and if we affect the way that it’s able to operate… it will trickle down to potentially harm the entire state,” says Bailey.

Work Left Unfinished

The fate of bills on sports wagering, unregulated “gray” slot games, and medical marijuana remain uncertain in the closing days of the session. Shanks says Chamber members are also watching bills on addiction treatment and giving certain convicted felons access to KEES scholarships. She applauds lawmakers for passing a plan to gradually lower the state income tax to zero and she’s looking for even more tax changes in the future.

“There will be more conversations about tax reform,” says Shanks. “There’s some business taxes we’d like to look at, the limited liability entity tax.”

Brooks says he’s curious to know what happened to efforts to address racial inequity in the commonwealth. He says he was encouraged by meetings of the new Commission on Race and Access to Opportunity chaired by Sen. David Givens (R-Greensburg) and Rep. Samara Heavrin (R-Greensburg). But he says those conversations during the interim last year resulted in no legislation this year.

“The Commission on Race needs to be praised,” says Brooks. “My question is what happened to their good work? What happened to their great recommendations?”

Sponsored by:

You give every Kentuckian the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through KET.

Host Doug Flynn stands outside smiling in a red shirt. A "Check Schedule" button is to the right.Host Doug Flynn stands outside smiling in a red shirt with his hands clasped. A "Check Schedule" button is to the right.

Program Details

Kentucky Tonight

About Kentucky Tonight

Kentucky Tonight, hosted by Renee Shaw, is an hour-long, weekly public affairs discussion program broadcasted live on Monday evenings. Discussions focus on issues confronting Kentuckians.

TV Schedules

Jump to Recent Airdates

Upcoming

Kentucky Tonight

  • Monday July 11, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday July 11, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 12, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 13, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY

Kentucky Tonight

  • Monday July 18, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday July 18, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 19, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 20, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY

Kentucky Tonight

  • Monday July 25, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday July 25, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 26, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 27, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
Jump to Upcoming Airdates

Recent

Abortion - S29 E24

  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 29, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:56 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 1:56 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 28, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 27, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday June 27, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET

COVID-19 - S29 E23

  • Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 22, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 22, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 21, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 20, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday June 20, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET

Opioid Addiction - S29 E22

  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 15, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 14, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 13, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday June 13, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET

Mass Shootings and Gun Laws - S29 E21

  • Wednesday June 8, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 8, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 8, 2022 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday June 8, 2022 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 11:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 10:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 2:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 1:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 6:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday June 7, 2022 5:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday June 6, 2022 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Monday June 6, 2022 7:00 pm CT on KET
Top

Season 28 Episodes

Kentucky's Ban on Abortion

S28 E85 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 6/27/22

Discussing New Developments in the COVID-19 Pandemic

S28 E84 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/20/22

Reducing Opioid Addiction Rates in Kentucky

S28 E83 Length 56:36 Premiere Date 6/13/22

Mass Shootings and Gun Laws

S28 E82 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/6/22

Discussing the Rise in Gas Prices and Inflation

S28 E81 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 5/23/22

Previewing Kentucky's 2022 Primary Election

S28 E80 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/16/22

Third Congressional District Democratic Primary

S28 E79 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/9/22

Candidates in the 2022 Primary Election: Part Two

S28 E78 Length 58:33 Premiere Date 5/2/22

Candidates in the 2022 Primary Election: Part One

S28 E77 Length 58:40 Premiere Date 4/25/22

Lawmakers Review the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E76 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/18/22

Recap of the 2022 Legislative Session

S28 E75 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 4/11/22

Public Assistance and Jobless Benefits

S28 E50 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/28/22

Abortion Legislation in the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E49 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 3/21/22

State Budget, Taxes, and Other 2022 General Assembly Topics

S28 E48 Length 57:42 Premiere Date 3/14/22

Critical Race Theory and Approaches to Teaching History

S28 E47 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/28/22

2022 Legislative Session at the Midpoint

S28 E46 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/21/22

Name, Image and Likeness Compensation

S28 E45 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/14/22

Child Abuse and Neglect

S28 E43 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/7/22

Debating School Choice in Kentucky

S28 E42 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 2/1/22

Debating Provisions in the Proposed State Budget

S28 E41 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 1/24/22

Redistricting, State Budget, and Other Legislative Issues

S28 E40 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/10/22

Discussing Legislative Goals for the 2022 General Assembly

S28 E39 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/3/22

City and County Issues

S28 E38 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 12/13/21

Previewing the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly

S28 E37 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 12/6/21

Compensating College Athletes: Name, Image and Likeness

S28 E36 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/22/21

Trends in State and National Politics

S28 E35 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 11/15/21

Abortion Rights and Restrictions

S28 E34 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/8/21

Kentucky's Social Services System

S28 E33 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 11/1/21

School Choice in the Commonwealth

S28 E32 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/25/21

Historical Horse Racing: A Growing Pastime in Kentucky

S28 E31 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/11/21

New Developments and the Unknowns of COVID-19

S28 E30 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 10/4/21

COVID and the Classroom

S28 E29 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 9/27/21

Remembering 9/11, 20 Years Later

S28 E28 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 9/13/21

Kentucky's Response to COVID-19

S28 E27 Length 56:35 Premiere Date 8/30/21

Discussing the Surge of COVID-19 Cases in Kentucky

S28 E26 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 8/23/21

Fancy Farm Preview and State Politics

S28 E25 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 8/2/21

Back-To-School Issues in Kentucky

S28 E24 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 7/26/21

Childcare Challenges

S28 E23 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 7/19/21

The Urban-Rural Divide in Kentucky

S28 E22 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 7/12/21

Work Shifts: Kentucky's Labor Shortage and Hiring Challenges

S28 E21 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/28/21

Public Infrastructure: What Kentucky Needs

S28 E19 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 6/21/21

Debating Critical Race Theory

S28 E18 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 6/14/21

Kentucky's Rebound From COVID-19

S28 E17 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 6/7/21

Jobs and the Economy

S28 E16 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/17/21

The Future of Policing in America

S28 E15 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 5/10/21

President Biden's First 100 Days

S28 E14 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 5/3/21

Mass Shootings and Gun Laws

S28 E13 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/26/21

Voting Rights and Election Laws

S28 E12 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 4/20/21

The 2021 General Assembly: Debating Major Legislation

S28 E11 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 4/12/21

Wrapping Up the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E10 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 3/29/21

School Choice in Kentucky

S28 E9 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/22/21

No-Knock Warrants

S28 E8 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 3/15/21

Proposed Legislation to Modify Kentucky Teachers' Pensions

S28 E6 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 2/22/21

Debating Historical Horse Racing Legislation

S28 E5 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 2/8/21

New Lawmakers in the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly

S28 E4 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 2/1/21

A Nation Divided

S28 E3 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/18/21

Recapping the Start of the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E2 Length 56:34 Premiere Date 1/11/21

Previewing the 2021 General Assembly

S28 E1 Length 56:33 Premiere Date 1/4/21

About

Kentucky Tonight, hosted by Renee Shaw, is a public affairs discussion program broadcasted live on Monday nights at 8/7c on KET and KET.org/live.

Viewers with questions and comments may send e-mail to kytonight@ket.org or use the message form on this page. All messages should include first and last name and town or county. The phone number for viewer calls during the program is 1-800-494-7605.

After broadcast, Kentucky Tonight programs are available on KET.org and via podcast (iTunes or Android). Files are normally accessible within 24 hours after the television broadcast.

Kentucky Tonightwas awarded a 1997 regional Emmy by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The series was also honored with a 1995 regional Emmy nomination.

To purchase a DVD:

Call 1-800-945-9167 or e-mail shop@ket.org.

Contact

Explore KET