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Legislative Update – January 22, 2016

Between the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the inclement weather Friday, we had a short but productive week in the Kentucky Senate, passing significant bills and welcoming visitors who braved the weather to get to Frankfort.

On Tuesday we passed two of our priority bills: Senate Bill (SB) 4 and SB 10. SB 4 would require those seeking an abortion to have a face-to-face, in-person counseling session with a physician 24 hours prior to the procedure. This effort to promote the rights of the unborn passed with bipartisan support. 

Senate Bill 10 would move statewide constitutional elections to even-numbered years. Final passage of SB 10 would save the Commonwealth and its counties an estimated $20 million per election cycle. Research has also shown that hundreds of thousands of additional Kentucky voters participate in elections during even-numbered years, as opposed to odd-numbered years. The measure would not extend Governor Bevin’s current, four-year term and, as a constitutional amendment, requires a statewide vote of Kentucky’s citizens.

 We unanimously passed SB 52 on Wednesday, which would allow veterans to receive a provisional teaching certificate upon the completion of certain criteria. This bill would not only encourage veteran participation in the civilian workforce, but also would relieve some of the burdens our veterans face while making that transition. We also passed SB 56, which would increase the DUI “look-back” window from five to 10 years in order to discourage repeat, drunk driving offenders.

Senate Bill 60 and SB 68 passed the Senate on Thursday. SB 60 creates additional protections for the vulnerable child victims of sex crimes and SB 68 would not hold property owners responsible for dog bite incidents caused by irresponsible tenants’ dogs.

As these winter storms come through, please remember you can check road conditions by calling the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at 511, and stay tuned for weather updates from the National Weather Service.

If you have any questions or comments about the issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at [email protected].  You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

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Note:  Senator Thayer represents the 17th Senate District which includes southern Kenton County, as well as all of Grant and Scott Counties.  He is Senate Majority Floor Leader, as well as a member of the Agriculture Committee, the Committee on Committees, the Legislative Research Commission, the Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee, the Rules Committee, and the State and Local Government Committee. For a high-resolution JPEG file of Senator Thayer, please log on to www.lrc.state.ky.us/pubinfo/ephoto.htm.