The new majority floor leader in the Kentucky Senate is optimistic more will be accomplished when the politically divided legislature convenes this winter. Republican Sen. Damon Thayer takes over for Robert Stivers, who will likely be the Senate’s next president.

Thayer said the aim is to work through differing political views.

“We’re going to disagree with the governor and the speaker of the house from time to time, but I think when we do so, we should do so agreeable,” Thayer said. “And when we find areas that we can work together to move Kentucky forward, I think we should. I don’t think we should just be against something because someone else is for it, or for something because someone else is against it.”

Thayer said conservatism will still be emphasized in the Senate, but it doesn’t necessarily imply more gridlock with the Democrats who control the House.

“I think we can get things done,” he said.

“I think we can work on consensus building on pension reform, on special taxing district reform, and there is probably areas of agreement on tax reform that we can work on. So I think, yes, there is a way forward here.”

This winter, when the general assembly convenes, Democratic Rep. Carl Rollins also looks forward to better relations between Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

‘No, we’re still gonna have differences of opinion and differences in how we want things done, but at least the working relationship I think will be better,” Rollins said. “There will be more discussion, some of it may be behind the scenes, but at least there will be open discussion I feel. I think we can maybe make some big differences.”

Lawmakers return to Frankfort the first week of January to officially choose political leaders in each chamber.