New Warren Co. reps reflect on first week in Frankfort during early session

Kevin Jackosn and Robert Duvall, two new Republican state representatives, reflect on their first week in Frankfort.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 4:01 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The first part of the legislative session adjourned on Friday, and with that, two area lawmakers wrapped up their first experiences at the state capitol in Frankfort.

The session started Tuesday, adjourned Friday, and will reconvene in early February.

This year, Warren County has two new state representatives in the House, Kevin Jackson, 20th District, and Robert Duvall, 17th District. Both are Republicans.

“When you have the best interest of your constituents back home and mine, you know, every decision we make, I think is going to be based on that. I’m excited to have this opportunity,” said Jackson.

Jackson is helping sponsor a bill that takes away requirements for school system workers. House Bill 32 would allow employees without GEDs or high school diplomas to be hired as custodians, bus drivers, cooks, and in other positions.

“I just spent the last five years on the Warren County School Board and I know how desperate we are for custodians, cooks, and bus drivers, and those people are the heartbeat of your school system. We desperately need to find new ways to attract people to those positions. And I hope that’s what this bill does,” said Jackson.

In turn, the school system could help the employee work toward achieving their GED while working there.

Last week, lawmakers discussed a number of topics, but perhaps the most popular item was reducing the state income tax again.

Legislation passed during the last 2022 session signaled a half-percent drop to 4.5%, which took effect on January 1, 2023. Now, lawmakers have advanced House Bill 1, a measure to drop it further.

The Budget Committee voted 16-4 last Thursday morning to lower the income tax to 4%, effective January 2024. Thursday afternoon, the full House sent HB 1 to the Senate in a 79 to 19 vote.

Jackson said he believes that cutting the state income tax down to zero like Tennessee and Indiana have done, will benefit Kentuckians as they will be paying increased taxes on certain services.

“If the average person doesn’t want to do that, then they don’t have to pay the tax on it, and yet they still get to keep their personal income tax money.”

Jackson and Duvall were each assigned to three committees while serving in Frankfort at this time. Jackson will be on the economic development and workforce investment, education and licensing, occupations, and administrative regulations committees.

Duvall will serve on the banking and insurance, health services, and state government committees.

“We had a great start to the 2023 session by lowering everyone’s income taxes and providing the needed funding for the construction of Bowling Green’s veterans nursing facility. When we return in February, we must focus on providing a safe environment for learning, so I expect to see progress related to our juvenile justice system. Giving our judges more time flexibility to adequately assess situations will be key,” Duvall said in a statement to WBKO News.