Legislation Detail

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2024-Detail – Kentucky Liberty Caucus – 20240320
DISCLAIMER: These recommendations are preliminary with 1 or 2 conservative citizens from the Kentucky Legislative Action Committee (KYLAC) having read the legislation, and hence with limited collaboration and commentary. Opposition to a bill is NOT a reflection of Legislator quality.

Feedback is appreciated. The KY Legislative LONG Session begins January 2, 2024 (and is 60 days long).

Category & Support Type Bill & Summary
Priority Level & Detailed Evaluation
Prim Sponsor & Reviewer
Business Regs HB15 Various measures to strengthen consumer rights wrt the data collected about them from businesses: Right to access, to correct, to understand those procedures, etc. J. Branscum
Support High (Pass this session)
*Concurrence
Lots of similarities to SB15, see commentary there. Needs more comparison to see which is better, but this is a strong bill that deserves support. Should be open to possible expansion with parts of SB15. L
Business Regs HB24 Estab consumer rights in regard to collection, storage, and sharing of data. P. Pratt
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Very similar to SB15. Need to get both of these reconciled into one bill.
With the massive amount of data mining occurring on (and selling of) consumer data, this is overdue for regulation.
S
Business Regs HB34 Allows recog of occupational licenses and gov’t certificates from other states, incl. using work experience as a basis. Excl interstate licensure compacts. S. Doan
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Seems to be a reasonable way to issue licenses to new arrivals to the state. It also is a comprehensive approach rather than the piecemeal approach we have been taking. Virginia and South Dakota (prob more) already have this and it is a big advantage recruiting workers.
If someone is licensed and or has been legally performing a job in another state for an extended period of time, it is both unnecessary and anti-competitive to issue addl licensing reqs here. We need more workers in almost every industry, why not lower barriers for skilled professionals to more here? HB 343 from last session.
The current approach of forming “reciprocal licensure compacts” with various other states is far inferior. You have to pass a bill in every industry and every such compact, you get roped into an agreement with another supra-state layer of bureaucracy, and more generally… I’m not particularly concerned if KY licensure allows people to work, that’s a problem for OTHER states finding people competent to work in them (let’s just take care of getting employees and workers for OUR state).
*If you want more people to work, you lower the barriers TO working: reduce moving and housing expenses so people can live where the jobs are, and reduce licensure reqs so that people can enter the industry more easily (and the people already in it don’t have a monopoly).
Amendment: Would love a provision that if the board denies an occupational license from any other state on the basis of scope or insufficiency of preparation, then they must provide a report to the GA Admin Rev committee with specs for an expedited supplemental program to obtain licensure.
L
Business Regs HB204 Moves right to have a CON hearing to more favorable terms for the applicant. M. Proctor
Support High (Pass this session) Great bill, this may be the most likely to pass with a high impact of the CON bills this session. This just assures that the current CON hearing processes are more fair: allowing applicants to have legal counsel in hearings, restricting who can request a hearing, etc. S
Business Regs HB402 Estab min state reqs for adult-oriented businesses; eg min distance from places where families gather. N. Tate
Support High (Pass this session) One of the more important bills this session. KY is WAY behind here, TN has had similar laws for about 30 years. Requires that an adult-oriented business (various definitions) should be at least 1 city block from family-oriented locations (parks, daycares, churches, etc.). Also requires that they not allow people in who may be under 18, or be viewable from the outside. All of this is common sense and it’s amazing that it hasn’t been state law (only some local city ordinances exist). SAME AS SB147.
Amendment: only thing I see missing here is a req that these businesses officially be licensed by the state and perhaps regulated by a board. Perhaps that will be added in future sessions.
L
Business Regs HB450 Prohibits social media companies from allowing minors to create accounts without parental consent. N. Wilson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) This bill would require all (new?) social media users in the state of Kentucky to provide age verification. This would put us near the leading edge (in a good way) in protecting children, but this is a problem all over the world. Social media is ON NET a mind poison for young people and every study that comes out concludes something similar, period. Change must come SOON.
Amendment: Will this require age verification of adult users who already have accounts in Section 2(1)a.2.? Perhaps it shouldn’t, just make it for new accounts and accounts currently listed as under-age to ease the culture shock.
The requirement that the social media company SECURELY(?) discard ID after verification should have some penalty for failure to comply, and also for retaining information that compromises anonymity beyond age verification, unless this is retained for all users.
L
Business Regs HB452 Prohibits financial institutions from discriminating against an individual based on a social credit score. S. Sharp
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) I would like to see the threshold lowered below a bank with over 100 Billion in assets or a processor that has processed over 10 billion in the last year. This law should affect all financial institutions. Great bill though. S
Business Regs HB463 Reqs digital service providers to register the age of the user, create parental monitoring tools and prevent minors from being exposed to obscenity. S. Dietz
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Note similarities between this and HB450 and HB241. I think all of these bills could be consolidated into one really strong bill. All are attacking the same issue but from different angles.
Amendment: Nothing stops an 8 year old from putting in that they are 18+ when registering. There has to be actual age verification (eg provide picture of license with name and birthday when making a new account.
Amendment: There’s very weak enforcement here.
S
Business Regs HB474 Reqs financial advisors /investors to disclose ESG commitments to, and obtain written consent from, customers. S. Sharp
Support High (Pass this session) Excellent idea. This needs to pass immediately.
L: I don’t know that the idea is high priority in terms of huge impact, but the importance of the issue is. Companies need to focus on fiduciary responsibility and stop pushing social agendas, period .
S / L
Business Regs SB15 Def numerous consumer rights, and reqs for large companies that collect and sell consumer data (incl legal penalties). W. Westerfield
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Lots of similarity to HB15, need to make sure the best parts of these to bills make it into law.
This bill is expansive, and needs much more study. The topic is highly important, addresses a major need, and clearly gets the law close to where it needs to be, however. SB15 from last session as well. Let this be WW’s big win this session.
L
Business Regs SB147 Estab min state reqs for adult-oriented businesses; eg min distance from places where families gather. L. Tichenor
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
One of the more important bills this session. KY is WAY behind here, TN has had similar laws for about 30 years. Requires that an adult-oriented business (various definitions) should be at least 1 city block from family-oriented locations (parks, daycares, churches, etc.). Also requires that they not allow people in who may be under 18, or be viewable from the outside. All of this is common sense and it’s amazing that it hasn’t been state law (only some local city ordinances exist). SAME AS HB402.
Amendment: only thing I see missing here is a req that these businesses officially be licensed by the state and perhaps regulated by a board. Perhaps that will be added in future sessions.
L
Business Regs SB164 Allows schools to arrange transfer (articulation) agreements from trade school and technical training institutions to regular proprietary scholastic institutions. S. Funke Frommeyer
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
This is a great idea. This allows trade schools and technical school students to get academic credit in the course of their trade or technical training without loss of time or credit. It would allow trade schools and technical schools to concentrate on skill training. We need plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters, and all trade skilled people badly. I am firmly for this. D
Business Regs SB176 Creates civil penalties for contractors who misclassify employees as independent contractors when bidding on public work projects. P. Wheeler
Support High (Pass this session) Very precise, well written, detailed bill. Recommend passage.
L: Employers have started hiring people as “independent contractors” rather than employees to get around providing them a slew of benefits. Baring a more comprehensive reform, it seems reasonable to require that businesses NOT do that when they get lucrative state contracts.
S / L
Business Regs SB182 Reqs any employer that mandates immunization for employment accept medical and religious exemptions. Permits cause of action if employers violate this and someone gets injured by a vaccine. S. West
Support High (Pass this session) I’m going to be enthusiastic if ANY covid mandate ban or exemption finally gets through the general assembly. This is a pretty good one because (a) it attacks one of the most egregious violations of rights, forced vaccination (btw, I am generally pro-vax, but anti-FORCED vax), but also (b) this applies to private employers as well. Here’s hoping something like this finally gets through. I believe 17 states have some sort of COVID mandate ban; but not KY?! L
Business Regs SB285 Name, Image and Likeness Bill. M. Wise
Support High (Pass this session) Shell bill.
Don’t like the process, but seemed like a good bill, and urgent… if the committee sub (which is not currently available) is as described.
L
Business Regs SB306 Requires any person, business or agency to accept cash as payment in face-to-face transactions. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) This has been needed for awhile.
L: This is a crucial safeguard against tracking of all purchases by gov’t or corporate entities, and esp. important with the emergence of CBDCs. The statement on US currency that this is for all debt, public or private actually has no functional meaning in federal law (though it should).
S / L
Business Regs SB364 Reqs retail electric suppliers have a plan to provide adequate reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost. States that suppliers have a privilege, rather than a right, to provide service. P. Wheeler
Support High (Pass this session) Really good requirements. Particularly like that if a supplier is notified that they have a problem supplying their customers and fail to correct, another supplier is allowed to provide service there. S
Courts & Crimes HB3 Allows AG to estab a human trafficking working group of experts. Reqs posting of signs with info on contacting the Nat’l Human Trafficking Resource center in hotels, airports, bus stations, etc. S. Miles
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Solid bill. The Working group portion should be a high priority. No issue with the data compilation.
Amendment: I could honestly do without the mandated signage for private businesses. MAYBE it will help save someone, but it feels like overreach, esp. every truck stop bathroom, and hotel, tbh. I can understand the publicly owned and financed train stations, bus stations, airports, and rest areas.
L
Courts & Crimes HB5 Incr punishments for, and protections against, a wide range of violent criminal offenses, and regs homelessness encampments. J. Bauman
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Concurrence
Omnibus bill. There is a lot of good here, incl some controversial measures (strengthening shopkeeper’s prerogative, urban homelessness regulations…), but also some bad and given that we are dealing with the criminal code we need to make sure we aren’t locking people away longer than is appropriate (KY already has one of the highest incarceration rates in the US & world). This also should have been 6+ bills, given the huge impact and wide range of topics addressed.
Amendments: (1) Make no change to the definition of “serious physical injury” (heightens the criminal severity of familial disputes, which are the most common and emotionally-driven, vs calculating and intentional); Sec 44. (2) Lower the felony classes (to C) for the new crime of carjacking if no deadly weapon was used and it is a 1st offense (B is 10-20 years in prison; C is 5-10); Sec 9. (3) Change 3 strikes portion (Sec 1): if none of violent felonies are a capitol offense, the 3rd and any future criminal offense has a 1 class sentencing escalator (Felony D=>C; MisD A=>Felony D)… 2 strikes, then we throw the book at any future offense. (4) Would love a “Swatting” inclusion within terroristic threatening (Sec. 33 & 34) and increase penalties for blocking a highway (eg as an illegal protest), (5) for a 1st violent felony, I would prefer that there be no increase in minimum time served, if need be… reduce it for subsequent felonies only; and (6) Exception for temporary “boondocking” in a vehicle outside of a municipal city limits (esp. on side of highway) in homelessness regs (Note: this one was added by floor amendment).
L
Courts & Crimes HB700 Insurers must provide coverage for pregnant women & maternity care. Victim of sexual assault insurance coverage provided by the state. Child care services and college tuition paid for child born of sexual assault. A parent of a child born by sexual assault does not have custody rights if the perpetrator. An adopter of a child born of sexual assault shall have non-recurring adoption expenses paid by the state. J. Nemes
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Love Them Both Act. Doesn’t clarify if the victim of a sexual assault will have their insurance paid for life. Doesn’t clarify whether the tuition will be paid for any child born of sexual assault or just for Kentucky residents. Would this be offered for any student in any state?
L: Great bill, that needs some clean up (see amendments), but if it gets it this is one of the most important bills of the session.
Includes a lot of the insurance provisions of HB10, and HB380 (same questions apply here; see commentary).
Also, Provides that the state will pick up the insurance costs for woman who is impregnated via sexually assualted (I think only during the pregnancy). Provides that a child produced via sexual assault receive free college tuition (same as foster and adopted kids now). Provide child care assistance program for child up to age 1 for a child in this situation.
I support the concept here, but a question that follows throughout: What if the criminal complaint is NOT verified (eg accused is acquited); does making an unfounded accusation get a person free insurance, a child free tuition? Why isn’t the sexual assaulter required to reimburse the state?
Amendment: In Section 15, should the forcible adoption provision be applied under a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, like the excellent section 23?
In Section 16, shouldn’t the reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses be accessible to ANY adoption?
In Section 18, I’d be fine for the child care assistance program being applied through at least age 2 at least. I think this also probably should apply to foster and adoptive kids too.
I don’t think I agree with the concept in Section 22 of the child receiving compensation as a crime victim. The mother is, but the child is a blessing and being brought into the world regardless of who your parents are doesn’t make you a victim, or lesser.
S / L
Courts & Crimes SB126 Limits the Gov’s ability to grant pardons or commute sentences for 30 days prior to elections and for a period after elections. C. McDaniel
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Great idea. This limits the governor’s ability to grant pardons or commute sentences for 30 days prior to elections and for a period after elections.
Amendment: Should be from 30 days before election through Inauguration Day, except for commutation of sentences in Death Penalty reprieve situations. If you want to pardon someone as Governor, you have to do it before the election so the voters know your priorities.
Also, should require that all pardons be done individually and by name, not by class of criminals.
M
Courts & Crimes SB206 Adds add’l criteria a court may consider in determining the best interest of a child. Prohibits court from considering the socioeconomic status of the parent or caretaker. A. Southworth
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Very thorough list of the criteria the court is required to consider.
L: I’m not sure that SES should be taken off the list of considerations… I’d just prefer that these be tiered and it placed on 2nd tier. Money does matter, it just shouldn’t be determinative.
S / L
Courts & Crimes SB207 Reqs Commonwealth to bear the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence in a temporary removal hearing. Removes admissibility of hearsay as evidence. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) An order for a temporary removal is permissive and not mandatory (ie you may remove the child, not must remove the child).
Clear and convincing burden of proof should be required in all court cases; and hearsay should never be allowed. These are standard features of due process that get waved when children are involved.
S
Courts & Crimes SB276 Allows for a civil action against a website that provides pornographic content without age verification. L. Tichenor
Support High (Pass this session) Must verify person is 18 or older. Must not keep verification data. S
Courts & Crimes SB354 Reqs open hearings in all juvenile cases. Remove immunity of persons reporting child dependency, neglect and abuse and participation in a judicial hearing… A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) Also removes req of malice for falsely reporting & sovereign immunity of the state.

Very good recommendations. People’s lives can be ruined with false accusations.

S
Education HB2 Alters KY Constitution to allow the Legislature to fund non-public schooling (devil is in the details). S. Miles
Only If Amended High (Pass this session)
*Passed Both
Every state but KY & ND has implemented a version of school choice, because (a) it’s immoral to trap a child in an ed situation that doesn’t meet his needs due to his parent’s finances & (b) it’s established that school choice improves not only private, but also public, school outcomes. Now, given the dynamics within the legislature, if a school choice amendment gets on the ballot it likely will be one cherry-picked (like HB2) & forced through by Rep leadership. That said, I cannot support this language for 2 main reasons:
(1) I don’t believe this stilted legalese with no mention of the actual lived problem(s) that it should be addressing in the text (ie poor families can’t afford to give their kids any other option if their public school doesn’t meet their needs) has much of any chance to pass in this poor state in a populist election cycle, after it gets massacred with negative ads on “welfare for the rich”. That loss will be used by blame-shifters to keep a better amendment off the ballot for a decade+, * whereas SB358, HB208 and HB208 Amendment 1 are all VASTLY more likely to pass with voters.
(2) This “in particular places” phrase aims to circumvent the general applicability req of Section 59 and/or 60, codifying geographic discrimination in the KY Constitution. Doing so asserts it is affirmatively RIGHT in our Constitution that families in one part of Kentucky (eg Louisville) should be able to get their kids taxpayer-funded ed help, while another (eg Harlan County) will be trapped in a failing ed situation only because of their zip code. School choice is needed everywhere. No version of school choice that exempts the Section 59 or 60 restrictions is worthy of support, this is the Constitution. The “we will fix it next session” logic, often very reasonable on KRS bills (even on this topic), does not apply altering a foundational document.
* This also isn’t legally airtight. Thinking that “as it deems proper” gives the legislature a blank check to do anything it wants is not how citizens or Sup. Court will interpret it (if it were, it would be in every amend.). One has to specify how it relates to the other parts of the constitution, and/or strike those sections out (eg in 184) it intends to render completely void. The reference to KY Const. Section 171 may mean something will be done to property taxes, what?
Most importantly, (a) I STRONGLY doubt HB2 avoids the referendum req of Section 184 (“notwithstanding” < “shall not prevent”, and it needs to make it clear that this ballot amend. IS the 184 tax referendum; the GA already has the ability to do most of what HB2 does, the problem is that Section 184 reqs a tax referenda before doing it), and (b) the Sup Court can still use Section 183 to strike down any bill that affects public school funding in any way on THAT basis. HB208 addresses most of this.
Amendment: Some grown-ups need to merge the good things from this & HB208 and put something that addresses the real issues everywhere in this state, appeals to voters in this election cycle, IS legally airtight, and that KY can be proud of by bringing parents options EVERYWHERE.
R: I like this proposed amendment, because it is clean and clear, with no limitations. It will permit the GA to have freedom to legislate as it thinks best. However, upon further review, I see serious problems with it that need to be remedied. First, it does not expressly remove the req for a tax referendum to spend money outside of the common (public) schools. Second, it attempts to provide for special legislation notwithstanding Section 171, saying “in particular places”. This will give the courts an easy way to strike it down, since laws have to be generally applicable, not special. Third, it starts out with legalese, “notwithstanding sections….”. That will be confusing and off-putting to voters. It should start out with “The General Assembly may provide financial support…” and move the “notwithstanding” to the end of that sentence.
Da: Section 1 Why not put to give… “all” families and children, regardless of income, race,creed, or sex”….the problem I see here is this needs to be explained in terms of fundamental fairness to all Kentuckians. The less legalese and more plain talk will do more to persuade voters.
L / R
Education HB9 Comprehensive ban on DEI admins, related mandatory statements, trainings & discriminatory hiring or enrollment practices from public higher ed. J. Decker
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Definitely one of the most important bills this session. In same vane as SB6, but more comprehensive and appropriately aggressive.
Comprehensive DEI (“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and often now Belonging) administrator (officer) bans in public higher ed: Public colleges have to eliminate these positions and expend no resources on their mission, not just alter their focus as in Section (2)(4) of SB6. Schools cannot alter the composition of the student body, or hire, fire, promote, contract renew,… on the basis of religion, race, sex, color, or national origin, nor require statements in support of this ideology. Eliminates “bias incident investigation” teams which are used to police (often without due process) legal speech and limits such speech policing to bonafide student harassment cases. Gives the AGs office, employees, and applicants cause to sue for discriminatory treatment (complaints about this ballooning legal liability here are overblown, suing is not easy or cheap and this is difficult to prove, but should be punished when it does occur; wouldn’t oppose some caps though, like SB6).
Unlike SB6, regulates governing boards of each institution and Council on Postsecondary Ed.
Amendments: There are actual majors that specialize in divisive concepts. If those divisive concepts cannot accumulate credit, are those majors disbanded (fine with me), or would the credit ban apply only to non-majors? Florida’s approach was to disallow these courses to be applied to core curricular requirements (ie general ed requirements, the courses that all students are required to take), making them only elective or part of a major.
J P: Eliminate/Halt all DEI-related practices and guidance by KY colleges & universities. I strongly support this bill. DEI is a Marxist-driven blight on this state and our country as a whole. Regarding course work, I interpreted it to ban credit for any course that promotes DEI (presumably because those tenets directly conflict with our Civil Rights Act of 1964). If it doesn’t, it should.
L / J
Education HB46 Open up KEES scholarships for non certified private and homeschool students with strong test scores. S. Rawlings
Support High (Pass this session) Expands the Kentucky educational excellence scholarship program to students who didn’t graduate from a public school in Kentucky (eg homeschoolers and other non-certified private schools), and sets parameters for that. The idea is that since “GPA” isn’t really a reliable way to evaluate these students, use performance on standardized tests (eg ACT) as an indicator of how good of a student they were/are/will be.
Same as SB7. Also same as SB24 from last session, which passed the Senate. It’s time to finally pass this.
L
Education HB96 Reqs K-12 schools to have a 1 to 2 minute moment of silence at schools. D. Fister
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Good idea. This may be a long enough period of silence to become awkward and create discipline problems, but kids will adjust.
Amendment: Could make it 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
D G
Education HB119 Allows homeschoolers to participate in public school extracurricular activities (eg band, sports). R. Dotson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) It’s time for this bill to finally get a look and discussion after multiple years (Was HB119 last time; the House passed a Tebow bill (this should be much broader than that, as the sports stuff is the MOST controversial) back in 2017!). Good bill, these parents are taxpayers as well, why shouldn’t their kids be able to make use of public school resources for their kids?

Amendments: Why INTERscholastic, why not scholastic as well (drama club, chess club, whatever)? Why only homeschool, why not any private school without an extracurricular?
Restrict participation in sports to the geographically nearest public school with the activity to their home within their county (since Jefferson has a crazy busing policy).
Req parents to have health insurance and/or sign a liability waiver. With these amendments, this becomes one of the highest priority bills of the session.

L
Education HB208 Allows state to fund education outside common schools without a referendum. J. Calloway
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) This bill is, in my opinion, the most important of the session. (Note: HB2 on same topic.)
Great. If this passes it requires that it be put on the November ’24 ballot for voter approval.
The state does not have a right to do whatever they want with our tax dollars, nor to subsume a parents’ duty to educate their Children. One size does not fit all. No one wants ignorant children who can’t compete and that is what we are producing… This state is crying for school choice, and Our kids need it.
Amendment 1 is a Version of the bill without any mention of means testing.
(Amendment: I would amend it to include the language “regardless of race, creed, color, or sex” to increase the appeal on the ballot.)
R: I like it with floor Amendment 1. I do not support it in its original form.
L: Note every version allows GA to define all relevant terms.
The 2 most important (and positive) parts of this const amendment, aside from it giving the GA wide discretion but requiring them to actually do something, and being legally sound (eg addressing its relation to reqs of Section 184), are:
(a) it has populist appeal in this economically poor state because it immediately identifies the problem that it is addressing which should have sympathy from everyone wherever they live (specifically, most poor parents don’t have educational options for their kids in cases that the public school isn’t working for them; this gives them options), and
(b) it actually addresses the elephant in the room, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Section 183 where currently the state only has a responsibility to public schools, which in turn must meet the Sup Court’s legislating from the bench def of “efficient” (equitable)… instead this says the state’s responsibility to public schools is not providing Equity but Oversight, and the state also has an affirmative responsibility to provide some funding to education outside of the common schools. (Note: I do think there should be some measure of equitable distrib of ed funding, but that ISN’T in the Constitution, only the statutes, but the Sup Court created it and has used it as a cudgel.)
Amendment: Sentence 1 COULD be interpreted to mean that each parent has an individual right to some funding (of course, that “portion” may be defined near zero) for their child’s educational cost (probably intentional). Striking “for parents of children” would make it clearly a general responsibility to fund education, not each parent has a right to funds (that’s where I’d be on this).
D / L
Education HB224 Def free speech on campus and prohibits institutions from infringing upon this right & Estab penalties. S. Maddox
Support High (Pass this session) Very thorough and detailed.
L: Good legislation, covers lots of speech suppression issues on college campuses. Higher ed should be bastions of free speech, not enemies of it… but “Progressive” Marxists are profoundly ILliberal.
HB139 from last session. It’s time this finally got some movement. DEI & CRT regulation is a hot topic this year, this bill keeps things from going too far. Why not deal with these free speech issues on campus comprehensively, while also dealing with DEI and CRT?
S
Education HB304 Declares parental rights in their children’s education. S. Baker
Support High (Pass this session) Great requirements.
L: Most of this didn’t make it into SB150 last session, why can’t we just address these issues well once, instead of rushing through half-measures at the end of session?
Most of this amounts to the school system having to disclose what is happening with a child to his/her parents, which obviously should be in law already. Eliminates any requirement (ie no compelled false speech) to use pronouns opposite to a person’s biological sex (not just students). Reqs that parents wishes on instructional topics that they don’t want their kids to be exposed in writing are respected. Fixes the “or” ambiguity. Allows parents to file suit against the school district (not the employee) for violations of the statue, and for the employee’s license to be suspended for 2 years.
Amendments: (1)3.b.4. shouldn’t it be ALL health or mental health services, beyond perhaps applying a bandaid; (1)2.b.6. shouldn’t you notify all parents regardless of whose kid has been molested or groomed?
S / L
Education HB346 Reqs public school health instruction to incl human growth and development (fetal) instruction. N. Tate
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Good requirement.
I don’t know that this is urgent, but it’s definitely a good idea that I see a few states are proposing this cycle. Teaching teenagers about fetal development is so common sense it SHOULD be this session.
Amendment: I wouldn’t even have the “opt-in” provision for this material (or any human development material; just strikethrough that addition), it should be opt-out (if even that). This isn’t “sex ed”, this is a video on simple human development, why do we need to have parent opt-in for THAT?
S / L
Education HB383 Reqs school boards to set a policy forbidding student use of personal telecommunications devices (eg cell phones) during instructional periods. J. Bray
Support High (Pass this session) Will help all students focus on academics.
L: This is a great idea being implemented haphazardly throughout the state as people figure out how much of a distraction these are. I have heard some school board objection to what I consider a no brainer that cell phones are used in some classrooms to supplement the lack of computers (I don’t regard that as a fully good faith objection given the cost-benefit trade off, but it’s at least a consideration). If your instruction requires a cell phone, teach something different or teach it differently IMO. This does allow that instruction exemption, although I think allowing that exemption is going to make enforcement of this difficult (“turn your cell phone in at the principal’s office and get it when you leave” is easily enforceable, “make sure the hard teachers don’t see it” won’t REALLY do what is intended).
My only real topic for discussion is: would this be better handled, in the spirit among some of the party to “avoid local (school board) mandates”, as a req for a KDE regulation or even KDE bulletin / best practice recommendation.
S / L
Education HB446 Req KY Dep of Ed to create a transportation policy for disruptive students on busses and for local boards of ed to implement it. E. Callaway
Support High (Pass this session) Uniform policy across the state for dealing with disruptive pupils and guardians. Discipline includes suspension of riding privileges for the pupil up to misdemeanor charges for threatening violence (incl for guardians). THIS is the core reason that finding bus drivers is so hard, student discipline. S / L
Education HB553 Estab a student loan repayment program for veterinarians who serve at least 5 years in an underserved rural KY area with at least 50% of their practice in livestock. M. Koch
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
This is a DRASTICALLY better use of resources than the Veterinarian doctoral program at Murray State (HB400 / SB289; and yes, it is either/or because we live in a world with finite resources including very few KY graduates wanting to be vets).
It addresses the ACTUAL problems the state has in veterinary care, not the number of slots in veterinary schools (less than 100 minimally qualified candidates applied last year):
(a) a lack of young people from this state wanting to be vets, and
(b) a lack of vets willing to come serve in KY in livestock medicine and in rural locations.
If we have a huge boost in undergrad recruitment and lots of people want to be vets, that is best handled by sliding into South Carolina’s vet school slots at UGA or Mss. St. that are being vacated in a couple of years.
L
Education HB612 Prohibits use of the three cueing system of reading education in public schools. Prohibits postsecondary education training programs from instructing on the three cueing system. J. Tipton
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Promotes the use of phonic system of instruction.
L: I think the science is pretty clear that Phonics works.
S
Education HB652 Prohibits public schools and postsecondary institutions in the state from complying with any Title IX mandate from the U.S. Department of Education that equates gender identity with biological sex. J. Calloway
Support High (Pass this session) Great bill.
L: Almost everyone agrees with Title 9, very few think it is fair to apply it to boys in dresses.
S / L
Education HB683 Prohibits the instruction of social and emotional learning in public schools. C. Massaroni
Support High (Pass this session) Just another type of indoctrination in the CRT/ DEI initiative vein.
Social Emotional Learning is another way of phrasing: the state will teach children what is an acceptable and unacceptable thought, and way to treat everyone else (hint: not anything unsanctioned by the academie and the political establishment). This is the responsibility of parents.
S / L
Education HB719 Allows physically demanding interscholastic athletics to satisfy the P.E. requirement for graduation. S. Bratcher
Support High (Pass this session) This could free up class time to focus on math or science perhaps.
Debatable whether this is high priority, but it’s definitely a silly requirement that we can remove from students’ plate before graduation.
S
Education HB767 Reqs school districts to implement social media safety mechanisms in internet access policies. Reqs social media safety policies to be given to all students grades 6-12. K. Moser
Support High (Pass this session) Parents have the right to opt their children out of the safety policy instruction. S
Education HB828 Certify teachers for 5 years who complete a prep program and pass the req’d assessment. Removes internship req. Creates a teacher induction and mentor program. K. Timoney
Support High (Pass this session) Not real fond of the reporting requirements, but really like the mentoring program. Could really help new teachers. S
Education SB2 Allows the employment of retired law enforcement or honorably discharged veterans to serves as school “guardians”. Adds reqs, including plans, for trauma-informed teams at each school. M. Wise
Only If Amended High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Parts of this bill are very good. Guardians include: honorably discharged veterans, retired Kentucky state troopers, retired special and sworn law enforcement officers, and former federal law enforcement officers. I believe Texas, among some other states, implemented something like this. As long as the retired law enforcement or honorably discharged persons are properly trained, have no history if inappropriate violence, and are otherwise fully screened for mental issues (most of which is specified here)… great.
Below is slightly overstating the case, but closer to the reality of the situation:
A better approach on the “trauma-informed” approaches and teams is found in SB93 which strikes through all of this nonsense and ends this mechanism by which left-wing activism infiltrates the schools via mental health providers. Should schools have a person capable of counseling abused and neglected children or those who have experienced traumatic situations like death of someone they know? Yes.
Is that what trauma-informed approaches mean in practice? No, it is too often “counseling” kids about how evil it is that their parents aren’t validating the child’s typically insane & stupid life choices.
Amendment: Replace every section here on trauma-informed approaches that overlaps with SB93 with SB93’s striking-through approach.
L
Education SB6 Bans any req that a collection of discriminatory CRT/DEI concepts be affirmed for employment, admission, or promotion in KY public higher ed. M. Wilson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed Both
Overall, a strong bill (though see HB9 for a more comprehensive approach; dealing also with the CPE and Boards of Regents/Trustees). The list of CRT “divisive” concepts is very good. No major issue with the 1st half of the bill or the prohibitions on reqs to ascent to divisive concepts. This really needs to be merged with the Decker DEI bill (HB9) in the house, which is stronger in the back half on topics beyond hiring, firing, and statement, and more generally on enforcement (it bans DEI administrators, doesn’t try to reinterpret what they do, section 1(4)). In an ideal word it would also be merged with HB224 to make sure constitutional liberties are clearly protected even as we bring sanity back to campus.
Amendments: “diversity initiatives” is used in subsection (4) without defining it, but even more, doesn’t ban the employment of people whose primary role is promotion of them. Personnel IS policy, JUST BAN THEM (as HB9 does). At the very least remove funding from the university in the exact amount of their salaries. I agree that promoting intellectual diversity is a prized means to an end of a university, but “diversity initiative” employees are not actually there to do that, regardless of how they spin it.
Dol: BAN CRT and DEI, Teach our students real world needs, finances, etc. Schools are teaching kids division by race, the general public is not. It is way past time to stop funding schools if they keep teaching/pushing that agenda.
L
Education SB7 Allows students in non-certified schools to receive KEES money. M. Wilson
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Expands the Kentucky educational excellence scholarship program to students who didn’t graduate from a public school in Kentucky (eg homeschoolers and other non-certified private schools), and sets parameters for that. The idea is that since “GPA” isn’t really a reliable way to evaluate these students, use performance on standardized tests (eg ACT) as an indicator of how good of a student they were/are/will be.
Same as HB46. Also same as SB24 from last session, which passed the Senate. It’s time to finally pass this.
R
Education SB93 Removes DEI and trauma informed counseling approach from our K-12 public school system. S. Meredith
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Great bill. Hope we can get this passed.
L: This is really a few bills cobbled together, all of which I like. What this addresses that the other DEI bills this session don’t is the removal from K-12 (the other bills so far have been higher ed) of this “trauma-informed” mental health counseling that got added as a requirement a few years ago. Honestly, that would be best as a stand-alone bill (perhaps combined with efforts to include pastoral counselors as school mental health providers) since other bills are more comprehensive on the DEI portion of the bill. This is a big, important, and controversial enough change on its own.
Dol: “Some” counselors have tried to PUSH a child into thinking they would need a sex change. Big PHARMA and some doctors are making a fortune at the children’s expense. NO CHILD under the age of 21 should be making that decision or encouraged down that road.
S / L
Education SB166 Prohibits China affiliated nonprofits from contracting with KY schools (K-12 and Post-sec) to provide educational services. L. Tichenor
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) The fact is, China is our #1 geopolitical threat. Malcolm X, of all people, said “Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” If their government is funding these programs, it is a virtual certainty that they are intended for the benefit of the Chinese gov’t, whether or not they also benefit the US gov’t (and often, and increasingly, those interests conflict).
Now, I don’t want to cast aspersions upon the Chinese people as a whole, or even suggest that Confucius institutes on our college campuses or chinese language academies that provide Mandarin and Cantonese language instructors to our schools are nefarious entities, or that the individual instructors are anything but well-meaning. They very well may all have positive intent for their students. A healthy skepticism and “better safe than sorry” approach at an institutional level is best here, however. At the very minimum these need to be CLOSELY monitored.
Amendment: I’m VERY skeptical of the language banning this for non-public schools that receive state funds. I don’t know if that is constitutional given Rudasill (1979) and Section 5 of the KY Constitution… I really don’t want to open that door (at most, and I don’t like this precedent either, discount the state funding of private school proportionate to the per pupil cost of these teachers).
L
Education SB168 Rem minority member req for school councils (SBDMs), changes election protocols, and incr parent membership from two to three. L. Tichenor
Support High (Pass this session) All of these are positive changes. Encoding racial quotas in our gov’t structure is an abomination and antithetical to Republicanism and a colorblind gov’t. Increasing Parent representation on site-based councils is also a big improvement.
Note: this should have been done in SB1 a couple of years back rather than moving responsibilities away from SBDMs (Personnel IS policy).
D G / L
Education SB212 Prohibits school district from entering agreements with providers of digital instruction that collect, share, or use data not directly related to the function of the service. Limits screen time per day for students. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) Very good prohibition to keep these companies from mining data of the children. May be difficult for schools to track screen time for students throughout the day as they go from class to class but a great suggestion.
This SHOULD get out in front of the Chromebook / Google social indoctrination.
S
Education SB358 Allows GA to fund education outside of the common (public) schools. G. Williams
Support High (Pass this session) This language is somewhat close to HB208 Amendment 1 (without specific means testing language), and much better than the current language of HB2. (See detailed commentary on those bills.)
I assume this is the compromise bill that leadership has decided to run with. I could quibble, I think means testing language is borderline necessary to pass on the ballot, but I could live with this and just hope Trump turnout and info campaigns push it toward pass.
L
Elections HB44 Reqs a public listing of the number of voters by address. J. Hodgson
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
This Bill may help get rid of the dead and moved voters and improve general voter roll integrity.
R/L: Good bill! It includes a public listing of the number of voters by address so citizens can check their own address and notify the state if there are too many voters listed at their address.
J P: Strongly Support this Bill. This is a no-brainer. Great provisions that should’ve already been law.
D G / J
Elections HB53 Details a planned, mandatory hand-to-eye audit of an election-day result for a randomly selected race in each county in order to validate results. J. Hodgson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
J P: As an amendment/addition to the existing statute, this is an excellent concept; but auditing one race in one precinct is totally inadequate to provide sufficient proof against election fraud in a county the size of Jefferson. Auditing only one precinct may be reasonable and sufficient for the majority of rural counties that have only 10-20 voting precincts, but some of our more populated towns like Bowling Green, Paducah, Somerset, Ashland, etc. may have 30-100 precincts. Lexington obviously even more. Jefferson County, however, has over 670 precincts. Auditing one would prove little-to-nothing to the host of citizens who have legitimately lost faith in the integrity of voting machines and our voting system as a whole. The audit should be based on some reasonable, workable metric (sliding % of precincts?) at least a significant portion of which should be selected by the losing candidate of the most significant race in that election. The County Clerk can administer as prescribed, but should be accompanied at all times by two individuals, one selected by the losing candidate and one selected by the winning candidate. The oversight prescriptions sound reasonable and adequate. John O & L: I don’t know what happened to your comments. I apologize profusely if something I did erased them. They were very good and worthwhile. J / L
Elections HB622 Reqs Governor to sign a proclamation for an election to fill a vacancy in the office of United States Senator. Repeal statute requiring governor to fill vacancy. S. Rudy
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
I would suggest you add a time frame in which the Governor will have to call for an election. Otherwise, he can drag the process out indefinitely.
L: This is a high priority for obvious…… reasons. Many people, including myself, worry that the “select from this poll of 3 candidates” approach won’t hold up in court, Beshear obviously doesn’t think it will. This is a better approach anyway. What IS the time frame within which a special election has to happen/be scheduled?
S / L
Elections HB688 Elim the 2 notarized Signatures from party members in a candidate’s district req to run in partisan races in the state. Retroactive to Nov, 2023. J. Calloway
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Great bill, long overdue. This has long been a senseless requirement that is used to kick people off the ballot for paperwork errors. ANY candidate can find 2 people, even family members, like this in their district within a day; this just trips up people who are under a mistaken assumption that someone else is a member of a party, or who their notary didn’t catch space being filled in the wrong place. Each candidate already files a sworn attestation that they meet all requirements to run for office with a given party.
The current law also discriminates, in practice, against people not located near Frankfort, who can rush another signatory to the capitol on filing day when an error is discovered, whereas some places in the state getting to Frankfort can take 4 hours.
Amendment: Needs to declare an emergency to assure with no doubt that it applies to the upcoming primary election.
There are recent court challenges around the time this was filed that could be affected potentially.
L
Elections SB39 Bars lobbyists from making campaign contributions through various current loopholes: permanent committees, caucus campaign committees. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) Good bill, Anti-corruption and reduces the ease of influence peddling in existing law.
Amendment: Should include a prohibition on donations to a party’s building fund.
Amendment: Dol: Corporate / companies lobbyist who could affect our health, food and environment should be BANNED from any type of lobbying. Case in point, look at NH HB1700 (2024) our food, health and environment, quality of life is being destroyed by advanced technologies and radio frequencies. These type of lobbyists should not EVER be allowed.
L / D
Elections SB80 Disallow student or employee ID or debit/credit cards to be used as proof of ID for voting purposes. High Fidelity, Gov’t Issued Photo Voter ID only. A. Southworth
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
MUST have a photo voter ID. Credit and debit cards as a secondary identification is not a good idea, easy to counterfeit and we really need photo ID to make sure it is you.
For employee and student (Photo) ID there is no way to confirm how thorough the employer or school was to determine if it is an actual authentic ID (that the person taking the picture is who they say they are, etc.). Falsifying these documents also would be a relatively easy thing to do.
Amendment: Not too happy about the “personally known to election worker” loophole here either, nor SNAP/EBT Cards which are Gov’t issued but don’t even have a picture. (Social Security cards are iffy, no picture, but at least most people guard those closely.)
D / L
Elections SB108 Enhances privacy for voters and returns the responsibility for updating voter rolls to the counties. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) At least some of these provisions should become law this session.
Require that no election worker can attempt to influence a voter regarding registering or voting. States that the county clerk is responsible for removing a voter’s information when necessary (a process that purportedly has recently only been the purview of the SOS office). Require that the county board of elections purge voter registration roles as necessary and provide the updated list to the State Board of Elections once per month. (I would suggest that both the SOS and county BOE’s share this responsibility.) The outside groups provision is good, not allowing non-profits which are political in all but name to access and data mine KY voter data at scale.
Amendment: If the outside groups provision doesn’t get us out of ERIC (which would be a good move) it should be, but some other network for making sure that voters aren’t registered in multiple state (approved by the general assembly) should replace it and the SOS should NOT be able to distribute our voter lists to other states without specific GA permission.
M / L
Elections SB172 Reqs employees have ‘reasonable’ time off work to vote. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) This requires an employer to allow an employee time to vote. This defines what an employee and employer is. It sets forth penalties for violations. If a corporation is guilty then it will lose its charter in addition to being fined up to $1,000.00 per incident.
Amendment: The term ‘reasonable’ is used and it should define a specific amount of time instead (perhaps, at minimum 2 hours).
Amendment: Also while modifying this bill, references to gender specific functions could be updated. The word ‘he’ is used and ‘person’ or ‘he or she’ would work as well.
L: I’m not sure if it needs to be req’d by law, as all businesses that I know of have this policy, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt. I do like this better than making election day a full holiday.
M
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB259 Lower the concealed carry age from 21 to 18. S. Maddox
Support High (Pass this session) If someone is old enough to serve in the military, they are old enough to carry.
Note: this does NOT include an 18 student carrying a gun into high school.
S
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB288 Allows concealed carry in public schools (not by students). Removes ban on concealed carry at postsecondary institutions. S. Maddox
Support High (Pass this session) Great bill. Simple and clean, the only reliable way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. S
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB329 Allows police officers leave time to attend mental health treatment. C. Freeland
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) “All police officers in a supervisory role shall receive specialized training on supporting police officers with mental health needs. ” This seems to be a pretty broad stroke. Who will supply the curriculum and who will administer? S
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB357 Prohibits financial institutions from targeting or discriminating against firearm retailers or customers. D. Lewis
Support High (Pass this session) Very good bill. Should something be added also to protect manufacturers? S
Govt Regs HB45 Omnibus privacy bill, 5 categories of restrictions. Prohibits installation of a tracking device on person or property of another without their consent; exempts parental tracking of minors from the prohibition… J. Hodgson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Great bill. Installation of these trackers without a warrant violates the 4th Amendment spirit, if not law. Unlawful use of a tracking device is a Class A misdemeanor.
L: Prohibits retention of AI camera info, except in felony investigations, for more than 30 days (I’d argue this period should be far shorter, if not banned all together; tracking my whereabouts with AI for 1 second is too long). (*Note: Got worse in Comm Sub by expanding license plate reader information retention and sharing (LEO lobbying, no doubt).)
Prohibits use of drones by the state for spying except for reasonable exceptions.
Prohibits use of deep fakes (this is the section I have the most worries about on 1st Amendment grounds, as it is a cutting-edge area of the law and tech). Needs discussion as a lot of issues are addressed.
B / L
Govt Regs HB106 Remove req to have more than 5 acres to hunt on one’s own land and need for a fishing license to fish in private pond. S. Maddox
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Fixes law change from SB241 last session. Needs to have emergency declaration for immediate effect. Similar to SB5 and HB217, but with better fishing provision. S
Govt Regs HB214 Def terms with regard to the rights of an individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Gives the AG the ability to protect against the violation of those rights. M. Hart
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
People with developmental disabilities deserve to participate in society to the greatest extent possible and have their individual rights respected. Allows the Attorney General to institute civil action on their behalf.
It’s time for this to finally move and get serious discussion, it has been filed multiple times in recent years. HB42 from last session.
S
Govt Regs HB309 Bans appropriation of public funds (state, or local) for lobbying purposes or employing a lobbyist. F. Rabourn
Support High (Pass this session) Excellent idea, that needs to make it into the law one way or another this session. I should not be subsidizing someone against my will, via my tax dollars, to come lobby against my interests. The principle here seems similar to the Janus (2018) decision.
Same as SB120.
L
Govt Regs HB326 Reqs state and local contracts contain a provision that any iron, steel aluminum or manufactured goods be made in the USA. J. Blanton
Support High (Pass this session) Good requirement. Allows exemption upon approval where applicable. S
Govt Regs HB358 Reqs that a designation of only male or female be entered onto a birth certificate. B. Wesley
Support High (Pass this session) Such common sense. I can’t believe we have to codify this. S
Govt Regs HB384 Prohibits closing of the drive around the Capitol except in emergency situations. J. Decker
Support High (Pass this session) Shame we have to have a statute to address this.
Can we FINALLY get this through? The reservations that the police have against this, and really any car access around the capitol complex, do not outway the benefits in terms of openness to the public. Note, this drive was open for DECADES before Andy took over.
SAME AS SB75.
S / L
Govt Regs HB390 Estab legal def of what a male is and what a female is. D. Hale
Support High (Pass this session) SAME AS SB336.
Establish that a male, man or boy is one that can normally produce sperm. It also establishes that a girl, female or woman is one who would normally produce ova. It states that there are two sexes, male and female. It also provides that under certain circumstances that it shall not be construed to prohibit separation of the sexes in the interest of maintaining safety, privacy, and fairness as specified in this section of the bill. In maintaining safety, privacy, and fairness, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions and instrumentalities may provide single-sex environments for males and females where the sexes are not similarly situated, particularly with respect to biology. As illustrative, non-exhaustive examples, public entities in the Commonwealth may distinguish between the sexes with respect to prisons and other detention centers, athletics, living facilities, locker rooms, bathrooms, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers without violating antidiscrimination mandates. I copied in some text from the actual bill as I couldn’t have said it any better.
M
Govt Regs HB492 Req each employee of a local gov’t who has access to federal tax information submit to a criminal background check. M. Lockett
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Good idea.
If they are not currently required, I would recommend the same for state employees (and those with access to state tax info), such as financial aid officers in postsecondary schools or the revenue department.
S
Govt Regs HB513 Creates a process for submission of plans for installation or removal of statues and artwork in the State Capitol Rotunda and reqs approval of the General Assembly. D. Hale
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Good requirement.
An earlier bill, similar to this, was withdrawn (HB171), I think this version applies exclusively to the permanent displays in the Capitol building rotunda.
Only given high priority due to the statue removal fad going around.
S
Govt Regs HB522 Locates 5G cell tower 1,640+ feet away from the general public J. Calloway
Support High (Pass this session) I think this is the same as SB161. This Bill (or K Bratcher’s) must at least get a review this year.
EXCEPT AMEND w/ the following: remove the term 5G and replace with cell towers. Why? We have no concrete evidence as to what countries these cell towers are coming from and Section 2(3) line 6 thru 19 states – The local planning commission shall deny any public request for the inspection of this information, whether submitted under KY’s Open Records Act or otherwise, except when ordered to release the information by a court of competent jurisdiction. One has to wonder what is being hidden from the public about celltowers? What harm can they cause?
Reference: Popular Mechanics April 2018 issue Psycho-Electronic Torture Fact Sheet which came from a WA state Fusion Center and INCLUDES the harm to our health by cell towers. United Nations (2019) 4 pg written statement to the Human Resource Council titled 5G is Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading on page 3 paragraph 3 is a LONG LIST of harm caused.
D G
Govt Regs HB819 Reqs legislators be allowed to pre-file bills and that they be posted on the LRC website for the upcoming session. C. Stevenson
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) The new system (of working drafts that aren’t even posted on the website), purportedly intended to decrease the amount of bills filed, has been a failure in that mission. I count 1127 bills filed 2 days before the Senate filing deadline. The only result has been a reduction in public transparency. Bills are filed later in the session with less opportunity for the public to engage them and offer feedback as well as other legislators.
Putting it in KRS statutes, rather than the house rules allows for fairness with the majority caucus suspending the rules whenever they want for any reason.
Amendment: Add that all committee subs and amendments must be posted on the relevant bills webpage (perhaps ALSO in the committee meeting notes).
Amendment: Req all committee subs and amendments be posted online at least 24 hours before and vote is held on them (perhaps with the exception of the final 3 weeks of the session).
L
Govt Regs HB831 Bans public schools from using funds to advocate for or against any ballot initiative, directly or indirectly. S. Baker
Support High (Pass this session) There’s a fine line between suppressing protected political speech and unconstitutionally compelling speech by using money to finance political speech that the “donors” don’t agree with. SCOTUS has drawn that line since Janus, and I think this is on the right side of it.
I have no interest in infringing 1st Amendment rights, but entities that receive public money (the largest of which are the schools) should not be, in effect, using taxpayer money to advocate against taxpayer interests. Nothing here prevents a public school employee engaging in political speech on their own time and dime.
This strikes me as the most likely of the public lobbying bans (all of which are good) to pass this cycle. I do worry that the school district portion will get struck down because it isn’t more broadly applied.
L
Govt Regs SB5 Removes req to have more than 5 acres to hunt or fish on your own land w/o license. G. Williams
Support High (Pass this session)
*Signed by Gov
Fixes law change from SB241 last session. This should also declare an emergency.
HB106 is a slightly better implementation of this idea, separating hunting and fishing and allowing land owner to allow any fishing on his private property without license.
L
Govt Regs SB65 Remove 3 deficient regs related to medicaid coverage of dental, vision, and hearing being used to circumvent the legislature. S. West
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Fine, this was just a backdoor attempt to go around the legislature and add coverage of these 3 things to medicaid.
Amendment: I don’t understand why the legislature doesn’t pass something like HB40 last session that automatically makes any regulation substantially similar to any regulation ruled deficient automatically null and void.
L
Govt Regs SB75 Vehicular flow between the State Capitol Building and the Capitol Annex on Capitol Avenue cannot be restricted by the Finance and Administration Cabinet. J. Schickel
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
This would apply except in the case where emergency responders, law enforcement, fire department personnel, emergency medical staff, or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet needed to temporarily block traffic to conduct their activities.
L: WHY can’t this get heard in the house?! SB11 passed the senate easily last session.
D
Govt Regs SB120 Bans the appropriation of public funds (state, or local) for lobbying purposes or employing a lobbyist. G. Williams
Support High (Pass this session) Excellent idea, that needs to make it into the law one way or another this session. I should not be subsidizing someone against my will, via my tax dollars, to come lobby against my interests. The principle here seems similar to the Janus (2018) decision.
Same as HB309.
L
Govt Regs SB130 Prohibits state agency from discriminating based on one’s access to electronic means to obtain benefits or gain access to public buildings. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Requires cash payment to be accepted.
L: Agreed, I’m a big fan of this subtly important legislation. The best bulwark against CBDCs, data mining, de-banking, and surveillance capitalism is for physical money to retain its importance and use. This bill also requires that non-digital IDs be accepted.
S / L
Govt Regs SB233 Limits solar farms to less than one percent of a county’s acreage. Land can’t be acquired through eminent domain. S. West
Support High (Pass this session) Excellent start. We need to make sure our utilities are not focused on this sporadically reliable energy source that in the future will have to be dealt with as a hazardous waste. S
Govt Regs SB245 Prohibits a public agency from employing or contacting with a lobbyist. Prohibits a public servant from using influence in a matter under the purview of the GA. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) Much needed. Our tax money should not be spent lobbying against the interests of the taxpayers. S
Govt Regs SB317 Estab property rights for individual’s name, voice and likeness. W. Westerfield
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Much needed with the advent of new AI intelligence. S
Govt Regs SB336 Estab legal def of what a male is and what a female is. L. Tichenor
Support High (Pass this session) SAME AS HB390.
Establish that a male, man or boy is one that can normally produce sperm. It also establishes that a girl, female or woman is one who would normally produce ova. It states that there are two sexes, male and female. It also provides that under certain circumstances that it shall not be construed to prohibit separation of the sexes in the interest of maintaining safety, privacy, and fairness as specified in this section of the bill. In maintaining safety, privacy, and fairness, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions and instrumentalities may provide single-sex environments for males and females where the sexes are not similarly situated, particularly with respect to biology. As illustrative, non-exhaustive examples, public entities in the Commonwealth may distinguish between the sexes with respect to prisons and other detention centers, athletics, living facilities, locker rooms, bathrooms, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers without violating antidiscrimination mandates. I copied in some text from the actual bill as I couldn’t have said it any better.
M
Health HB10 Estab KY Lifeline for Moms program; expands and specs post-natal services that must be covered by insurance (incl KCHIP and medicaid); allows pregnant women to enter health care exchanges at any time. K. Moser
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
“Momnibus” bill. Generally positive about the legislation. I’m most skeptical of the insurance expansions (open enrollment; expansion of KCHIP dental and vision) which need committee review, but even those don’t seem entirely unreasonable off hand.
Seems odd that the “lifeline for Moms” is for practitioners, rather than also being accessible to moms directly. Renames, specifies, and expands the Kentucky maternal and infant health collaborative in KDHFS. Requires that KCHIP cover preventative services, dental & vision. Expands and specifies the post-natal services that must be covered by insurance carriers (eg breastfeeding). Reqs medicaid cover breastfeeding equipment and consultation. Requires health insurance exchanges provide a special enrollment period for any pregnant woman (big change here).
Amendment: (1) If expanding coverage (I’m not necessarily a fan), perhaps exclude braces and cosmetic dentistry in KCHIP.
(2) Implications of opening the insurance exchange for any pregnant woman needs more study.
(3) If anything, I’m slightly disappointed that this legislation wasn’t expansive/ambitious enough given that it has gotten blessed by leadership. It seems HB380 is the expanded version of this.
(a) Why NOT throw in elimination of sales tax on basic early childhood expenses: diapers, breastfeeding supplies, baby powder, baby wipes, child car seats, cribs (most anything but formula)? I have no issue with that. (b) Off the wall idea: I’d love for the state to contract with KY churches to provide a Finnish-style “baby box” to every newborn, maybe have them register during pregnancy to make sure they are taking prenatal vitamins and getting drug screening/rehab (with educational material and all of the bare minimum supplies).
L
Health HB48 Estab right to refuse medical treatment. S. Rawlings
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Very good bill.
Amendment: Should include a patient can decide if they want to be medical flighted to a hospital and it be on the back of their drivers license.
L: Not sure if “medi-flight” refusal belongs in this bill, though I suppose you should be able to refuse that. I would suggest language be added that a guardian can refuse treatment (though not examination) on the behalf of a minor under their care, so long as it doesn’t imminently threaten the life, or risk permanent disability, of the child.
Dol: AMEND to include OPT OUT option on back of license for medi-flight. Some ppl have shared their loved ones are being medi-flight for NON LIFE THREATENING injuries and if a person does not have medical flight stat insurance would put a financial burden on families. This could possibly and probably has caused many families to go bankrupt.
D G
Health HB49 Protects professional who don’t want to perform types of medical procedures they are opposed to performing. S. Rawlings
Support High (Pass this session) No medical professional should be forced to perform any medical procedure that may go against their beliefs. D G / L
Health HB177 Prohibits the state or state affiliates from requiring COVID-19 vaccine for minors. R. Raymer
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Love the spirit of this but would like for it to be that they cannot require anyone to get the vaccine.
L: Why can’t we get this over the finish line, or any COVID restrictions? Is this a conservative state or not? Probably should prohibit child masking here as well, if this becomes the 1 COVID bill the state passes (I believe 17 states have passed some form of COVID mandate ban).
S
Health HB316 Estab KY Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Board of the KY GA to oversee the KY Medicaid Program J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
The Kentucky Medicaid Program should be, as far as is possible, free of fraud. This board would formulate a thorough process of seeing that fraud is minimized.
I am surprised that this type of board hasn’t already been created given the cost and purpose of medical care. Nevertheless, it is a worthy effort.
D
Health SB137 If a CON is orphaned an application for a new entity shall be granted a nonsubstantive review. The orphaning entity is not permitted to have opposition. G. Williams
Support High (Pass this session) Reasonable requirements.
L: Seems very reasonable. This is far less ambitious and thus more likely to pass than SB136.
S
Health SB145 Health care facility may submit a current or prospective employee to a check of the child abuse or neglect or the adult abuse registries. J. Adams
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
I would recommend replacing “may” with “shall” at least for prospective employees. I would also recommend replacing “or” with “and” as far as requiring them to check both registries. S
Health SB188 Estab regs on Pharmacy Benefit managers. M. Wise
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) My main concern is the cost impact. Could needlessly increase costs for insurers, which in turn means consumers. Mail order pharmaceuticals could benefit those on maintenance prescriptions or who don’t live near a pharmacy. I will wait until the fiscal impact statement arrives for a final verdict, this could potentially be a HIGH PRIORITY bill. Note: some of these provisions are in HB190.
I also am concerned that this is really a bail-out / protectionist bill for an outmoded independent pharmacist model hiding under the cover of insurer regulations. I have nothing against local, independent pharmacists BTW, in rural areas in particular they do serve an important need. However, the market is the market, and if consumers prefer a different model, then fighting against that isn’t productive long-term. Nevertheless, this won’t be an outright OPPOSE because we DO need fundamental fairness in the PBM market (which in my understanding does not exist; hence, that biases the market in a different way) and this bill attempts to bring that.
Amendment: I don’t love the provisions against mail-order pharmacies, in particular. Those do tend to reduce cost to the consumer. I do think it is reasonable to demand that the prescriptions from a mail-order pharmacy arrive on the timeline demanded by the prescription if they are going to be demanded by the PBM, however.
L
Health SB239 Prevent reprisal for a medical professional refusing to provide a service because of a violation of their conscience. D. Douglas
Support High (Pass this session) Very good bill. I believe Illinois has had something like this for 30 years. L
Health SB267 Allows a person in KY to refuse to take meds that have only been approved for emergency use. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) A person can refuse to have administered to them any drug, device or biologic that has only been approved by the secretary of the US Food and Drug Admin. for emergency use. It also requires that the person be advised of the medical consequences for refusing and also be advised if there are alternatives available and the risks and benefits of the alternatives. It is a one page bill. This reminds me of the covid shot situation in which businesses would require an employee to take the covid shot to remain employed. M
Health SB324 Prohibits a health service provider from requiring an employee to enter a covenant not to compete. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) An employee after leaving a provider should be able to go to any other provider for employment. This happens in healthcare, I’ve only heard of it in high tech and with executives? S
Other HB47 Allows for persons to seek damages if their religious liberty is infringed. Expands present RIFRA. S. Rawlings
Support High (Pass this session) Since Covid it is important that Government be held accountable for attempting to limit religious freedom. This bill addresses that. This applies to local government as well, city or county. D
Other HB241 Reqs strict age verification guidelines for pornographic sites. Civil penalties for failure to comply. S. Baker
Support High (Pass this session) Great bill. Very detailed.
It’s hard to believe this isn’t already the law. Do Republicans support hard core pornography being accessed by kids?!
S
Taxes & Spending HB1 BUDGET – One-time appropriations totaling $178M in FY2023-4, $1.59B in FY2024-5, and $75M in FY2025-6 from Budget Reserve Trust Fund Account (ie Rainy Day Fund). J. Petrie
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Priorities: Pretty aggressive paying down of pension liabilities at least for FY 2024-5 (very good, $750M, I’d even prefer more), $150M paying for drinking and wastewater infrastructure, $400M for matching fund for the GRANT program (great if it is this big, but this is far bigger than it was projected in HB9 last year; and hence needs extensive fraud monitoring), improving riverports, some rail & aviation pilot programs and infrastructure improvements, expanding KSP lab capabilities…
Amendments: Fine with all of these priorities; fiscally responsible. Elsewhere in the budget, why are we issuing bonds for capital projects in this high interest rate environment rather than paying out of the rainy day fund? Wouldn’t we be saving substantial future interest payments?
L
Taxes & Spending HB58 Creates the Tax Expenditure and Economic Development Incentive Review Board. K. Fleming
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Excellent idea, at minimum this needs committee discussion and refinement soon.
The gov’t has a responsibility to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money. There have been several cases of massive incentive giveaways to private companies to induce them to start new factories, etc. in the state over the past half decade (some disastrous). We have also had a number of substantial changes to the tax code approved over that time (so benefitting particular industries). While not necessarily opposed to this activity under the right circumstance (given that other states are doing the same and it is a competitive market), we need to have a full economic assessment (ideally before a vote is taken) of (projected) ROI from any of these expenditures, and review/audit after they are made.
Amendment: GIVE THIS TEETH. Make it such that this board must convene, discuss, and produce a preliminary report BEFORE the GA can vote to approve any expenditure / incentive of this sort to induce a company to relocate or expand here. Otherwise, this is largely for show.
L
Taxes & Spending HB112 Freezes assessed value of a property when the owner claims the homestead exemption. T. Huff
Support High (Pass this session) Good bill. Implements HB111 as a regular bill.
L: I’d suggest exempting the 1st 100K in primary residence property value as well (eg something like HB61). That way you advantage both people in highly appreciating areas (this bill) and also poor retirees (that bill).
A case could be made that this shouldn’t apply if someone over 65 has over 100K in income from any source.
S
Taxes & Spending HB147 Reqs question on ballot to ask the voter if they are FOR any tax increase rather than an ambiguous or confusing question. Estab the timing of the vote to be “next regular election”. K. Fleming
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
R: This is a bill we requested after our experience with the school tax recall petition. KY Supreme Ct. allowed the school board to violate the requirements under the law, saying the legislature had not considered the possibility that the tax rolls would be certified late in the year. This makes sure it is clear that they have considered and provided for that possibility. Also, we hope it will ensure that the ballot question will be clear in any future tax recall. M
Taxes & Spending HB262 BUDGET – Puts a definite cap on spending for $50M for natural disasters, and $1M for prison cost overruns, without a special session. J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Not a bad idea. It seems these were blank check items in existing law.
This doesn’t mean that we can only spend this much, just that the GA needs to approve additional spending.
L – BUDGET
Taxes & Spending HB263 BUDGET – Standard Budget Boilerplate for Leg. Branch. Interesting that Senators each get almost twice the stationery allowance. J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session) It seems odd that the stationery allowance is twice as big as the house (presumably because their districts are about 2.5 times bigger). If the house is fine with it, so be it, we are talking literally about a few tens of thousand dollars total. Do Senators actually use more than twice as much? L – BUDGET
Taxes & Spending HB264 BUDGET – Allocates funds for Judicial Branch, incl construction projects and prisons. J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Allocates $508,116,200 (2024-5) and $522,878,500 (2025-6) for the Judicial Branch, over half a billion dollars for the first time with $1,351,900 and $1,396,900 toward retirement.
Note: all of these Budget Bill would be much easier to process if they put the current fiscal year totals right next with them and/or the percentage change from the current fiscal year were labelled.
Amendment: why are we issuing bonds to pay for construction projects in this high interest rate environment, rather than using the rainy day fund?
L – BUDGET
Taxes & Spending HB265 Transportation/Roads Appropriations Bill. J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
This is a bit outside of our scope in terms of offering thoughtful analysis this cycle. L
Taxes & Spending HB442 Exempts nonprofits from sales and use tax. J. Tipton
Support High (Pass this session) Good way to support these agencies.
L: I thought this was already the case, but when they started adding sales (“consumption”) tax to businesses, the Y started charging tax on programming. This is definitely a good exemption, and should be a high priority.
S
Taxes & Spending HB479 Allows fire protection district to assess a fee against a premises for cost of maintaining necessary protection measures. Estab the distilled spirits environmental fund to reimburse property owners for cleaning expenses related to whiskey fungus. Adds a $0.25 environmental fee to each barrel stored annually. C. Massaroni
Support High (Pass this session) Good requirement that owners of these premises pay for fire protection costs and cleaning of local properties affected by the product.
L: Helps mitigate much of the community damage caused by last session’s Barrel Tax revocation. I know this won’t pass given the political climate around the Barrel Tax last session, but a provision like this needs to make it into law pretty soon.
S / L
Taxes & Spending SB21 Only req disabled persons to file for the Homestead Exemption once, unless their disability status changes. M. Deneen
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) Currently have to reapply annually. Very reasonable.
L: I agree that yearly is too often. I do worry that disability status changes enough that a once per decade req makes more sense here. It likely would help eliminate fraud.
S / L
Transportation HB266 This seems to be the Master Highway Project Plan from the Transportation Cabinet. J. Petrie
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
268 pages. This is a bit outside of our scope in terms of offering thoughtful analysis this cycle. L
Transportation SB91 Estab permanent full-time drivers license center in each state senatorial district. J. Higdon
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed Senate
Long overdue. Same as HB60.
Some would perhaps like to see it returned to every county.
L: I think 1 per senate district is probably closer to the right number.
S / L
Transportation SB380 Estab who is allowed to use automated license plate readers, parameters for privacy protection. Allows State Police to establish an annual review process. A. Southworth
Support High (Pass this session) This is the most comprehensive bill I have seen for protection of privacy rights for citizens wrt AI license-plate readers. S
Provides $4M funding for administration of $45.7M farm bill grant for land owners and matching $45.7M in tax deductions for agricultural land conservation easements by Bluegrass Land Conservancy.
Support w/ amendment suggestions High (Pass this session) They have 5 years to use this money for conservation easements or it is clawed back by the Federal Gov’t. It seems somewhat reasonable, I don’t mind if landowners want this federal tax money to make this land a permanent conservation easement (though I’m not sure of the ROI for the Federal Gov’t doing it woth our grandkid’s money in debt).
Amendment: Best to split this into a smaller multiple year allocations (perhaps $1.5M 1st year, $1M next) that can be renewed.
L
Business Regs HB512 Excl agreements between KY Horse Park and entertainers contracted for events from the definition of “personal service contract.” M. Koch
Oppose Oppose (friendly)
*Passed House
Already an exclusion for contracts less than $5000. Anything more SHOULD be subject to additional oversight. S
Govt Regs HB513 Creates a process for submission of plans for installation or removal of statues and artwork in the State Capitol Rotunda and reqs approval of the General Assembly. D. Hale
Support High (Pass this session)
*Passed House
Good requirement.
An earlier bill, similar to this, was withdrawn (HB171), I think this version applies exclusively to the permanent displays in the Capitol building rotunda.
Only given high priority due to the statue removal fad going around.
S
Education HB514 Shell Bill. J. Tipton
Support Low (Can wait) Be on the lookout.
I ventured into this before I saw the shell bill possibility.
M
Education HB515 Shell Bill. J. Tipton
Be on the lookout. S
Education HB516 Shell Bill. J. Tipton
Be on the lookout. S
Govt Regs HB517 Estab official protocols and procedures for the Legislative Ethics Commission. D. Meade
Support Medium (Committee review+)
*Passed House
Good clarification of existing language.
Reqs Legislative Ethics Commission provide a draft of its proposed response to an advisory opinion request at least 10 days before it is scheduled to consider. Reqs Commission determine whether there is reason to believe someone committed or is about to commit an ethics violation. Five votes equals an inquiry. Less than five complaint dismissed.
S / L
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB518 AN ACT relating to firearm safety. K. Herron
Govt Regs HB519 AN ACT proposing an amendment to Section 32 of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to qualifications of members of the General Assembly. K. Herron
Firearms, Military & 1st Resp HB520 AN ACT relating to destruction of firearms. K. Herron
Transportation HB521 Exempts federally documented vessels from property taxation. Establishes the waterway usage tax. K. Upchurch
Oppose Oppose (bad bill) I like that it doesn’t tax boats that are domiciled in the Commonwealth. But it seems to be difficult for Fish and Wildlife officers to able to distinguish whose boats are or aren’t without owners having to carry extra documentation. Too easy also to switch tax onto everyone. S
Govt Regs HB522 Locates 5G cell tower 1,640+ feet away from the general public J. Calloway
Support High (Pass this session) I think this is the same as SB161. This Bill (or K Bratcher’s) must at least get a review this year.
EXCEPT AMEND w/ the following: remove the term 5G and replace with cell towers. Why? We have no concrete evidence as to what countries these cell towers are coming from and Section 2(3) line 6 thru 19 states – The local planning commission shall deny any public request for the inspection of this information, whether submitted under KY’s Open Records Act or otherwise, except when ordered to release the information by a court of competent jurisdiction. One has to wonder what is being hidden from the public about celltowers? What harm can they cause?
Reference: Popular Mechanics April 2018 issue Psycho-Electronic Torture Fact Sheet which came from a WA state Fusion Center and INCLUDES the harm to our health by cell towers. United Nations (2019) 4 pg written statement to the Human Resource Council titled 5G is Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading on page 3 paragraph 3 is a LONG LIST of harm caused.
D G
HB523 For unemployment claims, reduces the number of search activities from 5 to 2 and the number of applications or interviews from 3 to 1. J. Blanton
Oppose Oppose (bad bill) Makes it easier to draw unemployment. Not good policy. S
Taxes & Spending HB524 Estab the KY Rural Jobs Act of 2024. Allows no more than $50 million of capital matching grants for investment in growth businesses in Eastern or Western KY. Allows up to $100 million in investment authority. J. Blanton
Oppose Oppose (bad bill) Stipulations stated that if a bank wouldn’t approve a loan and that employment positions would have been eliminated if not for the capital investment. Doesn’t sound like companies on an upward trajectory. Government should not be trying to pick winners. This is Democratic socialism at its best. S
HB525 Estab reqs and standards for telehealth social work. R. Bridges
Support Medium (Committee review+) Hopefully this is used on a very limited basis. I can’t see being beneficial for the patient long term. S
Business Regs HB526 AN ACT relating to landlords and tenants. D. Grossberg
Business Regs HB527 AN ACT relating to roofing contractors and making an appropriation therefor. D. Grossberg