The 2015 NKyTribune Reader’s Guide to the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus

For Northern Kentucky Tribune
Published: Jan 16, 2015


(Counties represented in the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus)

(Counties represented in the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus)


Covering a wide swatch of upper-region counties, the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus has several prominent and powerful state legislators in its ranks. Each is listed below, along with those committees they sit on this year* and the bills they will be sponsoring in their respective chamber.

Although most of the legislators have co-sponsored a variety of the bills, only their own bills–those showing them as the primary sponsor–are listed. Readers can find out all of the bills a legislator is currently co-sponsoring by checking either the House or Senate for an updated-daily listing.

The caucus is scheduled to hold its next public meeting, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., on Feb. 7. They have yet to announce the location.

image16Sen. Minority Whip Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, Senate District 7:
Committee on Committees (S); Health & Welfare (S); Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S); Rules (S); Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection (S)

Primary sponsor, 2015: Senate Bill 73

Legacy statesman Julian Carroll would like to allow anyone receiving a homestead property tax to transfer that benefit to a surviving spouse.

image02Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, Senate District 20: Agriculture (S) [Chair]; Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S) [Vice Chair]; Natural Resources & Energy (S)

Primary sponsor, 2015: Senate Bill 3

Hornback would deregulate telecommunications companies, reducing the obligation of providers like AT&T to provide basic emergency phone service in some places, instead allowing them to offer expanded digital and internet access.

image13Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, Senate District 23: Appropriations & Revenue (S) [Chair]; Banking & Insurance (S); Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S); State & Local Government (S); Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection (S) Senate23.jpg

Primary sponsor, 2015: Senate Bills 5, 20, 22, 23

This year, McDaniels (who is also running for Lieutentant Governor under Jamie Comer) wants to address the state’s heroin problem by adding $7 million in funding to prisons for substance abuse treatment programs. He also seeks to open up the state’s pension investments to General Assembly members and find out which third party placement agents made uncertain bets with state pension money.

image05Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, Senate District 11: Banking and Insurance; Judiciary; Licensing and Occupations [Co-Chair]; Natural Resources & Environment

Primary sponsor, 2015: Senate Bills 12, 13, 24, 41, 48, 49, 62, 81

Schickel has a full plate this session. Some of his proposed laws include:instituting mandatory minimum sentences for heroin traffickers, making private school tuition tax deductible, asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to redistrict court boundaries, preventing the General Assembly from levying unfunded mandates on public schools, and making sure people fishing on their own property don’t have to have fishing licenses.

image04Sen. Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, Senate District 17: Agriculture (S); Committee on Committees (S); Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S); Rules (S); State & Local Government (S)

Primary sponsor, 2015: None currently

Though Thayer isn’t yet listed as the first-in-line sponsor to any legislation, he is the co-sponsor of several high-priority bills in the Republican-led state Senate, including Senate Bills 1 – 5 which range from restricting abortion access to enacting Right To Work legislation.

image03Sen. Will Schroder, R-Wilder, District 24: Appropriations & Revenue (S); Economic Development, Tourism & Labor (S); Judiciary (S) [Vice Chair]

Primary Sponsor, 2015: None currently

A freshman senator, Schroder has co-signed on a number of right-leaning proposals in the Senate, though he has yet to put his name on a bill of his own. The session–however short– is still young, though.


image19Rep. Joseph Fischer, R-Ft.Thomas, House District 68: Banking & Insurance (H); Elections, Const. Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs (H) [Vice Chair]; Judiciary (H) [Vice Chair] House68.jpg

Primary sponsor, 2015: House Bill 110

HB 50 is the only bill so far where Fischer’s name is first. It would waive the $5 specialty license plate fee for veterans. Fischer has also, however, joined other Northern Kentucky legislators from Campbell County in a push for charter schools in the state

image15Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, House District 67: Banking and Insurance; Economic Development and Tourism [Vice Chair]; Economic Development Task Force; Licensing and Occupations [Chair]; Budget Review Committee on Transportation [Vice Chair]

Primary Sponsor, 205: House Bills 53, 60, 118, 134

Keene’s HB 53 is one of the many House Bills aimed at fighting heroin, with an emphasis on growing addiction treatment options. Keene’s other measures include reducing taxes on historic properties and installing breathalyzer-like tests on the vehicles of repeat DUI offenders.

image10Rep. Thomas Kerr, R-Taylor Mill, House District 64: Banking & Insurance (H); Economic Development (H); Judiciary (H); Labor & Industry (H); Tourism Development & Energy (H)

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bills 15, 17, 22, 33, 88, 89, 95, 104

Kerr looks to be a busy lawmaker this year. His proposals include a move to give grandparents visitation rights, change inheritance tax, and include stalkers in domestic violence protective orders. He also wants to eliminate Common Core learning standards in schools and take away the tax returns of poor people if they can’t afford to pay public defenders.

image08Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, House District 69: Banking & Insurance (H); Labor & Industry (H) [Vice Chair]; Licensing & Occupations (H); Local Government (H)

Primary sponsor, 2015: None currently

So far, Koenig hasn’t become the primary sponsor of any legislation, but he joins other Northern Kentucky lawmakers in supporting the addition of charter schools to Kentucky.

image09Rep. Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge, House District 61: Education (H); Local Government (H); Tourism Development & Energy (H)

Primary sponsor, 2015: None currently

Linder was elected to the House in 2012. He hasn’t sponsored any bills yet this year nor co-sponsored any legislation.

image12Rep. Tom McKee, D-Cynthiana, House District 78: Agriculture & Small Business (H) [Chair]; Local Government (H); Tourism Development & Energy (H); Transportation (H) House78.jpg

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bills 169, 170, 171

McKee is a veteran legislator in the House. This year he wants to change Open Records laws around Kentucky’s air ambulances, stop vehicles from parking along highways, and make property fence lines tax deductible expenses.

image00Rep. Ryan Quarles, R-Georgetown, House District 62: Agriculture & Small Business (H); Banking & Insurance (H); Judiciary (H) [Vice Chair]

Primary Sponsor, 2015: None currently

While not a primary sponsor of any of the measures, Quarles has co-signed on bills that would exempt livestock medications from taxes. He also wants to exempt bees from being taxed if they’re being used to make local honeys.

image07Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, House District 47: Appropriations & Revenue (H) [Chair]

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bill 152

Notice there’s only one committee next to Rand’s name? That’s because A & R may be the most time-intensive committee in the House. He also sitting on a smattering of budgetary subcommittees unmentioned here. This year, aside from his fiscal responsibilities, he’s carrying a sister bill to Hornback’s senate bill on telecommunications.

image18Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence, House District 60: Appropriations & Revenue (H); Education (H); Licensing & Occupations (H); State Government (H); Transportation (H)

Primary Sponsor, 2015: None currently

Santoro may not be the primary sponsor, but he joins Keene, Kerr, and Rand as a co-sponsor on bills to get rid of Common Core standards, slowing down drunk drivers, and re-wiring telecommunications laws.

image11Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, House District 65: Appropriations & Revenue (H) [Vice Chair]; Economic Development (H); Licensing & Occupations (H); Local Government (H); Rules (H); Transportation (H)

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bill 136

Simpson wants to make sure that city taxes get collected in 2015 if the sheriff doesn’t collect them. He’s also up for making sure that folks who can’t pay their taxes find some kind of amnesty.

image17Rep. Diane St. Onge, R- Lakeside Park, House District 63: Licensing & Occupations (H); State Government (H); Transportation (H) [Vice Chair]

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bills 12, 13, 14, 16, 61, 98

St. Onge doesn’t want police to use drones to collect evidence in 2015. She also wants to exempt Gold Start Siblings from paying a fee for specialty license plates. She’ll be carrying a heroin bill this session, as well as a couple of bills on specific types of taxes.

image14Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, House District 66: Appropriations & Revenue (H); Education (H); Health & Welfare (H) [Vice Chair]; Transportation (H)

Primary Sponsor, 2015: House Bills 50, 51, 119, 120, 139, 140

Wuchner will be holding her own heroin bill in the House which nearly mirror’s McDaniel’s. She also wants to outlaw Zohydro and prevent administrative regulations with a big fiscal impact (e.g. Kynect) from taking effect until the legislature can ratify the regulation.



* Committees listed for each legislator are only those in which they may vote during the 2015 session. They do not include interim or statutory committee assignments, nor do they include budget review subcommittee assignments, nor those committees of which they are ex-officio or non-voting members.

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