FRANKFORT, KY (June 16, 2022) – Senate Leadership recently announced the appointment of Sen. Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, to the newly formed Benefits Cliff Task Force, which will conduct business through the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly Interim.
The task force will review the impact of the public assistance benefits cliff on labor force participation, employment, wages, and benefit duration. It will also address benefits use across the Commonwealth and develop public policy recommendations to support working families transitioning off of public assistance into gainful employment and self-sufficiency.
“The goal of public assistance is lending a helping hand to individuals in their time of need, while also identifying the best way to help them develop financial stability and independence,” said Wheeler. “With the formation of this task force, we will be able to identify ways to create better employment opportunities while also figuring out how to assist businesses with their hiring needs”
The task force will report findings to the Legislative Research Commission by Dec. 1, 2022.
“Senator Wheeler will bring a crucial level of expertise to this task force,” said Senate President Robert Stivers. “Phillip has nearly 20 years of experience practicing worker compensation and Social Security law here in the commonwealth, giving him a unique perspective that will help us identify the best ways to help people get back to work.”
A legislative task force is also known as a special committee. They are established by the Legislative Research Commission and function primarily during the interim, typically studying a specific topic. The Benefits Cliff Task is one of six new task forces established to conduct business through the Interim.
Additional task forces include the:
- Bourbon Barrel Taxation Task Force — Created to study the current ad valorem tax rate structure for bourbon barrel sales in the Commonwealth.
- Cabinet for Health and Family Services Organizational Structure, Operations and Administrative Task Force — Created to study the organizational structure, operations and administration of programs, policies and procedures within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
- Early Childhood Education Task Force — created to conduct a comprehensive review of the commonwealth’s early childhood caregiving and educational structures and operations.
- Emergency Medical Services Task Force — Created to study the provision of emergency medical services in Kentucky.
- Executive Branch Efficiency Task Force — Created to study the effectiveness of current executive branch cabinet working procedures for administering services to citizens of the commonwealth.
The 2022 Interim will serve as a primer for the 2023 Kentucky General Assembly Regular Session as legislative efforts in the months ahead will be critical in crafting potential legislation.
Visit legislature.ky.gov for details on Sen. Phillip Wheeler and more information on legislative committees, such as membership and scheduling.
Tune in to live interim coverage at ket.org/legislature or via the Legislative Research Commission YouTube Channel.
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 Standing Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor. He also serves as a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Transportation, Natural Resources and Energy, Judiciary, and State and Local Government. Additionally, he is a member of the Capital Planning Advisory Board. Lastly, Wheeler was recently appointed to the Benefits Cliff Task Force during the 2022 Interim.