Planning ahead during a pandemic: Indiana, Kentucky lawmakers preview legislative session

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(WEHT)- It’s the legislative season in Kentucky and Indiana again as lawmakers prepare for their returns to Frankfort and Indianapolis, respectively, on Tuesday.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into yet another year, some are wondering what impact it will have on the state level as legislators come together during the General Assembly.

Kentucky State Sen. Robby Mills (R-Henderson) says he anticipates COVID to be a top priority, alongside redistricting and a new budget. Sen. Mills says Kentucky lawmakers have budgeted “very conservatively” and still have approximately $1 billion in CARES Act funding to spend.

After a session spent prioritizing keeping kids in school last year, Sen. Mills says he expects lawmakers to focus on expand COVID testing access across the Commonwealth. Across the Ohio River, Indiana State Sen. Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville) says he expects education to be a priority.

Sen. Tomes referenced critical race theory and giving parents a voice with regards to what is being taught in schools. While he says neither of those were major issues in southwest Indiana, Sen. Tomes says he has been receiving calls from constituents regarding those issues.

One thing Sen. Tomes does not anticipate passing this session? Marijuana legalization in the Hoosier State. Sen. Tomes says he still does not support legalization, asking “do we really need another drug right now?”

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