Legislative Update – 3/3/17

Late nights, packed committee meetings, and heated debate marked the fifth week of the 2017 Session. The Senate is quickly passing the remaining Senate bills out and receiving bills from the House for consideration. We wasted no time this week and passed over 40 bills including:

·         Senate Bill 9, redistricting of judicial districts in order to better align caseloads with current census data;
·         Senate Bill 11, lifting Kentucky’s nuclear ban, allowing the building of nuclear plants to keep Kentucky competitive with the energy portfolios of surrounding states;
·         Senate Bill 13, providing the next step in obtaining federal funding to build a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green;
·         Senate Bill 81, providing line-of-duty death benefits for National Guard or Reserve members;
·         Senate Bill 136, requiring any active member of the Kentucky National Guard to be given in-state tuition when enrolling in a Kentucky university;
·         Senate Bill 188, prohibiting the Kentucky General Assembly from imposing mandates on cities without providing a funding source for said mandate;
·         Senate Bill 190, allowing children in foster care to remain in the same school even if they change housing locations;
·         Senate Bill 236, permitting a parent or legal guardian to request a background check of the child abuse and neglect registry records when employing a child care provider for his or her minor child;
·         Senate Concurrent Resolution 78, designating April 6, 2017, as the World War I Centennial Day throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky;

We also passed two notable House bills, aimed at helping Kentucky’s foster children, which are on their way to Governor Matt Bevin to be signed. House Bill 180 eases the process of placing a foster child with relatives, and House Bill 192 allows a minor who is in the custody of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to obtain a driver’s license with the proper application. Both bills were championed by First Lady Glenna Bevin.

Two of the Senate’s priority bills achieved final passage this week: Senate Bill 2, which encourages transparency throughout the Kentucky Retirement Systems and Senate Bill 4, establishing medical review panels that will ultimately lower the number of frivolous lawsuits and save taxpayer dollars. Both are heading to the Governor’s desk.

The 2017 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is nearing its end. Friday marked Day 23 of 30 of the session and this was our last full week in the Kentucky Senate chamber. Sine Die, the last day of session after the concurrence and veto period, is March 30. The next few weeks will be focused on wrapping up committee meetings and passing House bills, and I am honored to represent our district throughout this legislative process.