I am honored to serve as Majority Whip. In this role, I meet daily with the Senate president and other members of Leadership to weigh in on priorities in our chamber, as well as to report to them the temperature of our members on specific pieces of legislation. That is to say, I “whip” up a vote count so we know whether each bill stands to pass or fail. I’m the chief vote counter so to speak.
Having a seat at the leadership table is an honor I do not take lightly. I am proud to represent our area in Frankfort. It was such a joy to share the experience of being officially elected Majority Whip on the Senate floor with my family and friends present, especially my wife and two youngest children, Houston and Creston.
In addition to the swearing in of our newly elected senators and caucus leadership team, I met with many constituents and lobbyists about upcoming issues. I was happy to meet with members of Appalachian Regional Healthcare, including Jerry Haynes, Chief Executive Officer and President; Joe Grossman, Chief Financial Officer; Holly Phillips, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Tony Sholar, to work on adjusting issues with Medicaid managed care. I was also pleased to reach out to all of my high school guidance counselors and principals to encourage participation in my legislative intern program which allows high schoolers to come shadow me for a day at the capitol.
Although I had to forgo my position as chairman of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee due to the Whip position, I am happy to remain co-chair of the committee. I have already been meeting with my staff, as well as the Legislative Research Commission experts to study the upcoming issues to continue to protect our signature coal industry.
I’ll keep you informed as we address these issues and others this session. Your input is invaluable, so please call me in Frankfort toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.