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Legislative Updates – February 4, 2016

The fifth week of the 2016 Legislative Session in Frankfort was historic in many ways. Governor Matt Bevin signed his first legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 4. We also said goodbye to former State Senator and civil rights activist Georgia Davis Powers.

Senate Bill 4 was the first pro-life bill to pass both chambers in over a decade. SB 4 requires a woman to consult a doctor either face-to-face or by video-conference at least 24 hours prior to going forward with an abortion procedure. After the bill received concurrence in the Senate Tuesday, SB 4 was immediately delivered to Governor Bevin’s office by a large delegation of our Senate members. The Governor signed the bill on the spot, further promoting our efforts to protect the rights of the unborn.A memorial service was held to honor the late Senator Georgia Powers, who was the first African-American and first woman elected to the Kentucky Senate. Her visitation attracted Kentuckians from all corners of the state to pay respects to her and her family. First elected to the senate in 1967, Powers was a pioneer in Frankfort who fought hard to end discrimination across the state. 

Three other Republican priority bills passed the Senate this week in SB 2, SB 7, and SB 15. SB 2 would create much needed transparency in our pension systems by disclosing transactions for all state employees. SB7 is another pro-life measure aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and I am proud to say it passed the Senate with bipartisan support. SB 15 protects religious and political freedoms to those in educational institutions including students, teachers and administrators.

I also welcomed several constituents to Frankfort this week; I spoke to a large group from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, led a mock session for the Leadership Northern Kentucky class, and spoke to the Leadership Scott County Program. 

A wide range of other bills passed the Senate this week; one aiming to accommodate our police officers’ work schedules, another to create more accountability among county jailers in counties without a jail facility, and yet another promoting computer science education.