matt caslinDAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (1/18/20) — Week 2 concluded in the General Assembly, and we have begun to see the movement and passage of bills in the Senate.

First, allow me to offer my congratulations to our newest colleague, and my friend, Senator-elect Mike Nemes, who was elected with an overwhelming majority in the 38th Senate district, which encompasses Bullitt County and part of Jefferson County. I look forward to welcoming him to our caucus.

Governor Beshear provided a State of the Commonwealth Address on Tuesday where he conveyed several platitudes and a somewhat unrealistic agenda that was received with a tepid response from those in attendance. However, thus far, Governor Beshear's actions speak louder than his words. He spent his entire four years as Attorney General running for governor and being the most partisan official in the state. He refused to do his job and defend laws by the Kentucky General Assembly. Even pro-life bills that protect innocent lives.

While he did not include it in his speech, media reports this week have shown that Governor Beshear has given the green light for Planned Parenthood to apply for licenses to open more abortion clinics in Kentucky. Republicans have been working since 2016 to protect the life of the unborn. Now, Governor Beshear is working to undo efforts we have made by letting more abortion facilities open up. I am going to continue to stand up for the life of the unborn. I will also continue to monitor this as it develops and pray that he does not direct his Cabinet for Health and Family Services to grant these licenses.

We are continuing to move ahead on the 2020 state budget. Drafting a budget will not be an easy task. Demands placed on state government by our priorities, and other costs continue to outpace revenue growth. In the coming weeks, legislative branch staff and other resources will be utilized to help the General Assembly better determine a path forward for this year’s budgetary balancing act. Per the Kentucky Constitution, budget bills must start in the House. I will keep you informed as the Senate begins to deliberate budgetary matters in the coming weeks. 
While the new administration tries to find ways to afford their unrealistic political promises, the Republican majority in the General Assembly is continuing to move forward with a legislative agenda supported by Kentucky voters. Committee meetings are now in full swing, as this past week legislators began discussing bills recently assigned to their respective committees. 

The State Senate passed Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) on Thursday. This a great bill that proposes a constitutional amendment to the voters of Kentucky. If adopted, the amendment would move Kentucky’s statewide elections to even number years, in unison with Presidential elections. This would save the state $3.5 million dollars and counties $13 million dollars. It’s a fiscally responsible measure that will both alleviate voter fatigue, and increase voter engagement in the election of our state Constitutional Officers. Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) also passed favorably on the Senate floor this week. SB 11 provides recourse for property owners to pursue legal action for intentional damages done to residential rental property. It would classify intentional or wanton destruction, defacement, or damage to such property as criminal mischief under Kentucky Law. 
SB 3 and SB 11 will now head over to the House for consideration. 
As we head into the third week of the 2020 Regular Session, your input is greatly appreciated. Kentuckians have many avenues to follow the General Assembly throughout the session, including seeing legislative action in person here in Frankfort, or viewing online at ;
I am thankful for the privilege of representing Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties in the Kentucky Senate, and I welcome constituent comments on issues of importance to you. You can call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can also review the Legislature’s work online at

Note: Senator Matt Castlen (R-Owensboro) represents the 8th District encompassing Daviess, Hancock, and McLean counties. Senator Castlen serves as the chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources, as well as the vice chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture. He also serves as a member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee; the Natural Resources and Energy Committee; the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee, and the 2020-2022 Budget Preparation and Submission Statutory Committee. Senator Castlen is also a member of the Public Water and Wastewater System Infrastructure Task Force.

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