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With a huge state budget deficit looming, one could forgive newly elected state Rep. Kent Stevens if he were feeling a bit anxious about being sworn into the job Jan. 6.
Not to worry. Stevens says he’s raring to be the first Lawrenceburg resident to represent Anderson County in Frankfort in nearly 20 years, budget deficit or not.
“Yes, I am very much looking forward to it,” Stevens said Monday afternoon. “I have the opportunity to make Anderson, Mercer and Spencer counties a better place to live.”
Not that Stevens isn’t very concerned about estimated $500 million budget deficit.
“It is a concern,” he said. “First of all, I’m a citizen and I make my home in Kentucky. I have children, relatives, a mother and friends and we’re all involved and interested.”
Stevens said while some have questioned the severity of the state’s financial woes in the recent past, the current situation leaves few doubters.
“I think more people now are beginning to realize that this is a problem,” he said. “I think the consensus now is that it is a problem, and we have to address it and take care of it.”
The past few weeks have been busy ones for Stevens as he prepares to succeed Harrodsburg’s Milward Dedman, who he defeated in last May’s democrat primary.
Stevens attended what he said was an intense three-day training session two weeks ago, giving him some of the tools he’ll need to hit the ground running when the House returns to session.
He said he knows, though, that until that first session begins, he won’t know what it’s actually like to do the job he was elected to do.
“I’ve spoke with some of the other reps and they say you can do all the training you want, but until you get your feet wet, you don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into,” Stevens said. “You don’t know what the experience is like until you wear those shoes.”
Stevens said he’s already filled out a wish list for committee assignments, but has not been told on which committees he will serve.
Regardless, he said he’s aware of how serious the work he’s about to embark upon is, and is ready for the challenge.
“I don’t take this as some sort of a song and dance routine,” he said. “I’m one of 100 people elected to make some very important decisions. I plan to be at every meeting I’m supposed to attend, and know how important this position is.”
See Stevens sworn in
What: Lawrenceburg’s Kent Stevens being sworn in as the state representative for Anderson, Mercer and Spencer counties.
When: Noon, Jan. 6
Where: Kentucky State Capitol building, Frankfort
Seating: Each newly elected representative is allowed four seats on the floor. Stevens said he has invited his wife, two children and mother to sit in those seats. The public is welcome to sit in the gallery, based on available seating.