(The Center Square) – A long-time Kentucky Senate member announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election next year.
State Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, said in a statement he would retire from his seat serving Northern Kentucky after finishing his fourth four-year term at the end of 2024.
The former law enforcement officer turns 70 next March 29, during the veto recess for next year’s 60-day session that ends in mid-April.
“The Kentucky General Assembly, like the U.S. Congress, was founded to be a citizen legislature,” Schickel said. “Members of the House and Senate come from many professions, including law enforcement and corrections, like myself, and others are educators, attorneys, small business owners, and more. I have always thought citizen legislators should not make a career out of their service because I strongly believe in the founding principles of a government of the people and by the people.”
As the chairman of the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee, Schickel sponsored Senate Bill 120 in 2021, the bill that allowed the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to approve and regulate historical horse racing.
That bill was necessary after a state Supreme Court opinion said the commission had no authority to approve the pari-mutuel gaming machines, which had been operating in the state for a decade.
This past year, he sponsored a bill to allow homeschooled students to receive college scholarships funded by Kentucky Lottery proceeds. That bill, Senate Bill 24, passed the Senate last year by a 33-2 vote, but the House did not act on it before the session ended.
Earlier this month, Schickel and state Rep. Steve Rawlings said they intended to file similar legislation for the session starting in January.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, noted that Schickel always ran his committee meetings “with military precision.” He also wished his outgoing colleague well moving forward.
“Despite being a part-time legislator, John has always brought everything he has to Frankfort during our General Assembly and while back in our districts,” Stivers said.
Besides the homeschooling bill, Schickel said that he also plans to continue championing legislation that supports small businesses across the state.
“I will be working hard for you until the very last day,” he said.