FRANKFORT — State Representative Fitz Steele filed his re-election papers for State Representative in the 84th Legislative District in the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, Dec. 7. Representative Steele was first elected in 2008, serving the citizens in the 84th Legislative district representing Harlan and Perry Counties. Representative Steele is Chairman of the State Budget and Review Subcommittee on Economic Development, Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. He also serves as the Vice-Chairperson of Tourism and Energy, Vice-Chairperson of Natural Resources and Environment, is a member of the Banking and Insurance Committee, Transportation Committee and the Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Representative Steele is committed to working on the issues that will provide all the citizens of the 84th District a better quality of life. He is dedicated to attracting jobs to the area, building our infra-structure up by having better roads and making them more accessible to the citizens. Education has and will continue to be a cornerstone of Representative Steele’s legislative agenda.
Since his tenure began in 2008, Representative Steele has passed more bills than any other newly elected member of the legislature. Bills that Representative Steele has sponsored and passed have provided a positive effect on all the citizens of the Commonwealth. In his first year as a member of the legislature, Representative Steele introduced a bill that would require someone needing cough syrup with Dextromethorphan to have to get it from the pharmacist behind the counter. He learned of just how bad our children and others were abusing the Dextromethorphan by working with a nurse over in Leslie County who fought for her son’s life. You would think that a bill that would limit access to deter cough syrup abuse would sail thru the legislature, but it took six years. Dealing with resistant legislators and special interest groups, Representative Steele had to fight to get the bill out of committee and then a hearing on the floor of the House of Representatives. Once he was successful in the House, the bill had to go through the same process in the Senate. The bill was signed into law on June 24, 2015 and Representative Steele is proud to say we are saving lives because of it.
Over the last eight years Representative Steele has secured over $294 million in education projects. This was instrumental in replacing outdated schools. Representative Steele has worked tirelessly to build our educational infrastructure and make sure that our classrooms have the necessary tools for the 21st century. The 84th District Representative Steele serves is very unique, in the fact that there are five high schools and three colleges in the two counties he represents, and every one of them has different needs. Working with leaders like the Governor of Kentucky and Congressman Rogers, we need to find one billion dollars in education funding just to start meeting the needs of our children’s educational needs. Representative Steele believes if we are serious about creating jobs and building a better future we must do everything in our power to provide the best educational opportunities for every one of our young people.
From 2008 to 2014, Representative Steele has worked to return over $214 million in road projects to the two counties. Representative Steel feels it is imperative that we open Eastern Kentucky by expanding our highway system. Expanding our highway system will further open our area to the world and show job creators that Eastern Kentucky is dedicated to keeping up with the times and providing better opportunities for all of our citizens.
Since 2008, Representative Steele has brought back more than $46 million in coal severance tax money to our two counties. Additionally, in each legislative session, Representative Steele has fought for the 50% of the coal severance tax money percent to be increased to 100% and that it should be returned solely to the coal producing counties. Representative Steele says it is our money – it was our coal that was mined and taxed, therefore it should be our money that is returned to us. Representative Steele is committed to continuing to introduce legislation every year he is in office, requesting that 100% of the severance tax be returned to the coal producing counties.
Representative Steele feels the great state of Kentucky is counting on its elected leaders. Perry and Harlan Counties deserve the best, and Representative Steele is intent on giving it his all in serving the families of Harlan and Perry Counties.