legislature

With hopes of passing a charter schools bill out of the legislature by the end of the day, the Senate Education Committee Wednesday approved last-minute changes to a bill that would allow the organizations to open up across the state.

Gov. Matt Bevin showed up to the committee to once again throw his support behind the bill.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that it’s needing a debate at this point,” Bevin said. “This idea that some would say ‘well we’re not ready, we haven’t had time, we haven’t studied it.’ Really?”

Kentucky.com

The state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is implementing monthly alcohol serving classes across the state aimed at creating a consistent training schedule as the number of wet counties grows.

The Server Training in Alcohol Regulations or STAR classes are for ABC licensees and their employees.  Classes are intended for people who serve or sell alcoholic beverages.  They'll be held monthly at state park venues.  Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Christine Trout said the training is not state mandated.

Kentucky.com

Women in Kentucky with so-called dense breast tissue would be notified of that under legislation before state lawmakers aimed at improving early detection of breast cancer.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard testimony saying 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue.  It’s described as breasts with more of such tissue than fatty tissue.  Bill sponsor Jim Duplessis said these women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer. 

Proposal for Adoption Task Force Before Ky Senate

Mar 13, 2017
Kentucky.gov

Kentucky lawmakers are being asked to establish an adoption task force,  the proposed legislation is awaiting action in the state Senate.

House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade said the panel would work to modify the adoption process in Kentucky.  He said it took 3-years for he and his wife to adopt their daughter.  The Stanford lawmaker said it’s very expensive and requires a lot of redundant paperwork.


A controversial bill that would change the way local school districts assign students to schools is running out of time as lawmakers close in on the final four working days of the General Assembly.

The bill would give priority to students who live closest to schools — and would likely mean the end of Louisville’s anti-segregation program designed to mingle students from different races, backgrounds and parts of town in the same schools.

Bill Aims To Reduce Student Athlete Concussions

Mar 9, 2017
Kentucky.com

Kentucky lawmakers are considering steps to reduce concussion-related complications for student-athletes with a bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee Thursday.

Kentuckytourism.Gov

Two state legislative resolutions calling for a national constitutional convention got a hearing Monday in Frankfort.  Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair Kenny Imes told the packed room no vote would come this session, but the issue would be studied over the next year. 

 Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare’s resolution contains balanced budget and state’s rights language.

Eku.edu

Proposed legislation that would institute performance-based funding for public universities and community colleges is now on its way to the floor of the Kentucky House not without an unsuccessful effort Tuesday to make changes in the budget committee.

'Religious Expression Bill' Moving Forward

Mar 6, 2017
Kentucky.com

The so-called “Freedom of Religious Expression” bill is before Kentucky House members and likely to get a vote this week after winning overwhelming approval in the Senate.

Senate Bill 17 spells out permission for school students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments or during school activities.   Elizabethtown Representative Tim Moore carried the bill in the House Education Committee.

With the clock ticking on this year’s General Assembly, a charter schools bill will be given its first hearing in a legislative committee on Friday and House Speaker Jeff Hoover said the measure will likely be heard on the House Floor for a potential vote later in the day.

Hoover said he’s confident the bill will pass despite past disagreements among Republicans over crucial parts of the legislation.

Kentucky.com

A Kentucky House bill that would prohibit shock probation in the case of fatal accidents caused by driving under the influence is heading for a vote in the full Senate.

Bill sponsor Robert Benvenuti told the Judiciary Committee Wednesday that Kentucky is one of six states that allows shock probation in such DUI cases.


Kentucky.com

Proposed legislation regarding solar energy was passed over during a legislative meeting Tuesday. The bill concerned with net metering was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.


Nuclear Waste Bill Passes In Kentucky Senate

Mar 2, 2017
Kentucky.com

Proponents of nuclear power are hoping the seventh time is a charm at Kentucky's capitol.  The state Senate voted Wednesday to lift a moratorium preventing the storage of nuclear waste in the commonwealth. 

That action is viewed as opening the door to future nuclear reactor construction. Bill sponsor Danny Carrol admits, even with passage of this bill, such a project could be a decade away.


Bill Could Increase Food Bank Donations

Mar 2, 2017
Kentucky Association of Food Banks

A legislative effort to expand primarily retail and farmer donations to Kentucky food banks is one step away from general assembly approval.  The House bill won backing from the Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday. 

Kentucky Association of Food Banks Director Tamara Sandberg said the bill ensures donors don’t face liability issues when making food donations.  She said it affects grocery retailers and individual growers.

“This bill also establishes and clarifies that the farmers would not be liable, unless there is intentional misconduct, for any of the food that they allow volunteers to come pick in their fields,” she said.

A bill that would separate the relatively healthy retirement fund for local governments from one of the state’s ailing pension systems is dead — despite a push from local officials.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced on Thursday that he has asked bill sponsor Sen. Joe Bowen to pause the legislation.

“The most critical thing is to make sure we get this right,” Bevin said.

Bowen said he still supports the bill and argued that tabling it now would help its chances in the future.

A bill that would centralize Kentucky’s driver’s licensing program and bring the state into compliance with federal ID card rules has received initial approval from a legislative committee.

The General Assembly needs to pass the bill in order to meet stricter REAL ID standards passed by Congress more than a decade ago.

If lawmakers don’t pass the legislation, starting June 6, Kentuckians will have to bring additional identification — like a passport — in order to access military bases.

Kentucky.com

A county clerk in Kentucky is backing legislation aimed at reducing the number of special elections across the 120 counties supporting a measure approved Monday by the House Election, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.

Criminal Justice Reform Bill Moving Forward

Feb 23, 2017
Kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate will consider a lengthy criminal justice reform bill after a Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure without testimony and little debate.  

The measure resulting from months of study focuses on ways to move more inmates into productive roles in society and save corrections dollars.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Whitney Westerfield said the legislation will improve public safety. “I think it will hold offenders accountable,”  Westerfeld said. “I think it will reduce recidivism and reduce future crime.”  


Officer.com

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly approved legislation focused on reducing gang-related violence in the state.  

The bill makes recruitment of gang members a felony and defines a gang for criminal purposes as three or more people.  Current law sets the standard at five or more.  Louisville Assistant Police Chief Kim Kraeszig said last year 40 percent of a record number of homicides were under 26.  “Last year we had over 400 shootings.  We are losing so many lives in our community,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

 

Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s been impressed with Trump’s picks for cabinet positions and is encouraged by the administration’s pledge to cut federal regulations.

Bevin took part in a panel discussion Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC in Washington.

He also touted his own initiative to cut bureaucratic red tape in Frankfort.

“We’ve pledged to cutting 30 percent of all the red tape in Kentucky in the next three years,” Bevin said. “We have 130,000 rules. Pretty confident that we can govern everybody with 90-something-thousand.”

Legislation to remove the state entirely from regulating telecommunications firms like AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell is moving to the full Kentucky Senate. 

The Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee Tuesday approved the deregulation bill.  

Genome.gov

Kentucky’s genetic counselors could be licensed under senate legislation now before house members. 


Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley region once helped give rise to the labor movement. Now it’s shifting toward what’s known as right-to-work law. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed right-to-work laws and Ohio is considering a similar bill.

Kentucky Education Reform Bill Set For Vote

Feb 16, 2017
Kentucky.com

An education reform bill, a top of the Republican-led Kentucky senate is headed to the floor Friday.

A major thrust of is to give local schools more say in revising academic standards.  Bill Sponsor Mike Wilson said it increases local decision making and decreases bureaucratic burdens on educators.


Filson Historical Society

Kentucky’s bourbon industry is looking for legislative approval to open the door to new in-state sale of whiskey dating back decades.  Under current law, these, often discovered, bottles of aged distilled spirits can’t be resold. 

Stu Johnson/WEKU

The Kentucky Senate voted to double the amount of campaign contributions allowed for some donors after an emotional floor debate.

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky senate voted Wednesday to make all public school campuses tobacco free 

Bill Sponsor Dr. Ralph Alvarado told senators Kentucky’s youth smoking rate is higher than the national average for adult smokers. The Winchester physician was asked about having tobacco products in a vehicle on school grounds.


The Kentucky Senate has approved a resolution condemning a white nationalist organization’s planned spring rally in eastern Kentucky. 

 Members of the Traditionalist Worker Party along with the Nationalist Front and National Socialist Movement are scheduled to gather at Jenny Wiley State Park in late April.  A rally is expected to take place in Pikeville. 

Pike County Senator Ray Jones called it disgraceful for the participants to gather near a memorial to those who fought and died in World War II.

Senate Passes Strict Penalty For Drug Dealing

Feb 15, 2017
Kentucky.com

 The Kentucky Senate has voted to make all trafficking in heroin or Fentanyl Class C felonies, a measure designed to help reduce overdose deaths.


Kentucky.com

The current heroin abuse problem in Kentucky is causing lawmakers on the House Education Committee to look for new ways to prevent sometimes deadly consequences of opioid use.


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