The Kentucky Senate has approved legislation its sponsor argues would help reduce water patrol harassment in the state. A Marina operator testified in committee about a growing wave of boater complaints about overzealous officers.
The bill OK’d by the full Senate Thursday requires officers to have reasonable and articulable suspicion of a violation before boarding a boat.
Somerset Senator Chris Girdler is the bill sponsor. “With an industry as large as boating tourism is in Kentucky, we cannot simply sit idly by and allow this harassment to run our visitors out of state and on to more friendly waterways where other states will welcome them,” said Girdler. Girdler says the tourism impact of Lake Cumberland on the region is significant. He likened it to the Toyota plant in central Kentucky. Girdler stressed the measure pertains to all waterways across Kentucky, not just Lake Cumberland. It now heads over to the House for its consideration.