Two Bills Clear Kentucky Senate Panel

Two key planks of the Senate Republican agenda for the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly have cleared their first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Budget Committee said yes to legislation calling for creation of the Council on Revenue Reform. The panel of economic experts would recommend ways to improve the efficiency of Kentucky’s tax code, and then lawmakers would have to vote the plan up or down in the 2012 session. Senate President David Williams, the bill’s primary sponsor, says he’s tired of task force studies that just sit on shelves gathering dust in Frankfort.

“That’s already happened. We’ve already had those task forces on tax reform. The recommendations have already been made. No one has come forth with a consensus,” he said.

The committee also approved legislation requiring revenue bills to be posted for public review 48 hours before being called for votes. Both measures now head to the Senate floor.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.