The first week of the 2020 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to a close. We had a productive week in Frankfort and left with confidence in what the session has in store. It was a pleasure to begin the session on Tuesday with a visit from the 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, who performed an extraordinary rendition of "My Old Kentucky Home" and our National Anthem.

As with the early stages of any session of the General Assembly, some procedural measures were in order. The Senate Majority has listened to feedback from our constituents and have prioritized several pieces of legislation that are hopeful of passing this session. Those bills, among others, were assigned to their respective committees this week. Committee hearings begin next week and provide the public an opportunity to hear about the legislation.

My bill to ensure continued cooperation in the enforcement of federal immigration laws between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and public agencies across the state has been designated as Senate Bill 1, which means it is a top priority for the Kentucky Senate Majority Caucus. The companion bill will be filed in the Kentucky House of Representatives by my friend, colleague and retired Kentucky State Police Trooper, Representative John Blanton. This bill will help to protect our citizens and law enforcement officers.

Bills must be presented at a public committee meeting and passed with a majority vote before heading back to the Senate to be voted on by the entire Senate body. If the bill is approved by the Senate, it heads to the Kentucky House, where the same process occurs. Bills that are passed by both chambers are submitted to the Governor for his approval.

The proverbial legislative "elephant in the room" for the 2020 Session is, of course, the General Assembly's duty to pass a balanced two-year budget and two-year road fund plan. My colleagues and I in the Kentucky Senate Majority are working diligently with members of the Kentucky State House in preparation for this crucial responsibility. I look forward to continued discussions on this matter throughout the coming weeks.

Finally, I was honored to meet with several constituents this week who were in Frankfort for the Annual State Chamber Dinner. I was also honored to have my friend and directing attorney for the Paducah Public Defender's Office, Chris McNeil, with me on the Senate floor on Thursday.

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy, call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you and value your feedback throughout the 2020 Legislative Session.