Task Forces Will Conduct Business Over 2023 Interim Period
FRANKFORT, KY (May 26, 2023) — Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, has named Senator Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, as a member of both the Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force and the Task Force on Local Government Annexation. These special committees will operate during the 2023 Interim, which is set to begin on Tuesday, June 6.
ABOUT THE JAIL AND CORRECTIONS REFORM TASK FORCE
The Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force was formed as a result of House Concurrent Resolution 82, sponsored by Rep. Josh Bray, R-Mount Vernon. Members will study existing jail and correctional facilities; possible realignment and closure of jail and correctional facilities; adequacy of existing jail and correctional facilities; management of Kentucky’s incarcerated population; personnel and other costs associated with jail and correctional facilities; pretrial and post-conviction incarceration data from the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Department of Corrections, and jails; pretrial defendants, including a breakdown by the jurisdiction of the financial conditions of release and charged offenses for those defendants; and the number of supervised individuals incarcerated on new changes versus those incarcerated due to revocation.
“I want to thank President Stivers for allowing me to serve on this critical task force,” Wheeler said. “We have many issues facing our corrections systems at the state and local levels, but I am confident that with this group of lawmakers joining me in this effort, we can identify legislation and reforms that will help alleviate those problems.”
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ANNEXATION TASK FORCE
Additionally, Wheeler will join the newly formed Task Force on Local Government Annexation. Annexation is the process by which incorporated cities in Kentucky physically expand their boundaries. In consensual annexation, landowners agree in writing to be annexed by the city.
The task force will study the required city annexation methods. In addition, the task force will review the beneficial and deleterious effects of city annexation on taxation, economic development, provision and sustainability of water, gas, electric, sewer, and other utility services, police protection, fire protection, and emergency services from the perspective of local governments and residents. The task force will also recommend statutory law changes resulting from discussions.
“The annexation issue has been an unfair burden for many rural counties for some time now,” Wheeler said. “I am grateful for President Stivers’s unwavering leadership and support to solve this problem. He’s brought stakeholders from across the state to find a solution that will be palatable for all parties involved. With his involvement and the guidance of Senator Robby Mills as co-chair, I am confident that this task force will accomplish its objective.”
Additional Information on 2023 Interim Task Forces
Additional special committees established by the Legislative Research Commission to conduct business over the interim period include the Task Force on School and Campus Security, the Health and Human Services Delivery System Task Force, the Multimodal Freight Transportation System Improvement Task Force, the Lottery Trust Fund Task Force, and the Certificate of Need Task Force.
Each task force comprises 10 legislative members:
- The House speaker appoints four members of the House majority.
- The House minority floor leader appoints one member of the House minority.
- The Senate president appoints four members of the Senate majority.
- The Senate minority floor leader appoints one member of the Senate minority.
Each will submit its findings and recommendation to the Legislative Research Commission by December 4.
Task force meetings will be live-streamed via the LRC YouTube Channel and ket.org/legislature. Archived footage of meetings can be accessed at KET.org/legislature/archives and on the LRC YouTube Channel. Follow the LRC Legislative Calendar for task force meeting information.
Senator Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, represents Kentucky’s 31st Senate District, including Elliott, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, and Pike Counties. Wheeler is vice chair of the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor, and the Senate Judiciary committees. He is also Capital Planning Advisory Board co-chair. Additionally, Wheeler serves as a member of the Senate Transportation, Natural Resources and Energy, State and Local Government, and Transportation committees.