by Tom Loftus, @TomLoftus_CJ –
Here is the status of several major bills before the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly as of Monday morning, with the session drawing to a close.
SIGNED INTO LAW:
Abortion: Informed Consent, Senate Bill 4: Would require certain information about the abortion procedure now given to a woman on the day before the abortion be done in person or by live video. Passed Senate 33-3, House 92-3, signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin.
State Budget, HB 303: State’s $22 billion spending plan for 2016-18. House significantly changed what Bevin proposed and passed its version 53-0. Senate then voted 27-2 to look more like Bevin’s proposal. Differences are being negotiated in conference committee.
Judiciary Budget, HB 306: House passed on a 51-48 vote. Its version includes 9 percent cut to funding for court system, which Chief Justice John Minton said would have a ‘catastrophic’ effect on courts. Senate passed it 27-9 Friday. The two chambers might revisit this during negotiations on the state budget bill before sending it to Bevin for signature.
Marriage Licenses, SB 216: Would remove county clerks’ signatures from marriage licenses and has been amended to now allow for only one marriage license form. Passed House 97-0. Back in Senate now to concur with change made by House.
Fighting Flakka, HB 4: Increase penalties for trafficking and possession of certain synthetic drugs like flakka. Passed House 95-0. Senate amended and passed 37-0. Back in House to concur in Senate changes.
Testing Rape Kits, SB 63: Expedites testing of backlog of sexual assault examination kits and requires prompt testing of new kits. Passed Senate 38-0. Passed House 97-0. Headed to governor for signature.
Expungement, HB 40: would allow people to expunge some felony convictions that do not include violent or sexual offenses. Passed House 80-11, amended by Senate Judiciary Committee. Eligible for Senate floor vote.
Needle Exchange, HB 160: Would require state guidelines for needle exchange programs of health departments. House passed 95-0, Senate amended it to require one-for-one needle exchanges and passed 28-10. Back in House to consider Senate’s change.
Legislator Pension Disclosure, SB 45: Would require disclosure of current and former legislators’ pension benefits. Passed Senate 38-0. Approved by House State Government Committee. Awaiting House floor vote.
Public-Private Partnerships, HB 309: Would establish framework for using public-private partnerships as alternative means for financing capital construction projects. Passed House 83-11. Senate amended and passed 29-9. House concurred in Senate changes, headed to governor.
Tougher DUI Law, SB 56: Would extend from five to 10 years the “look back period” when prior DUI offenses can be considered in sentencing repeat offenders. Passed Senate 35-1, passed House 98-0. Back in Senate to concur in technical change made by House.
Open Family Courts, SB 40: Pilot project to open confidential cases in family courts. Passed Senate 29-6, approved by House Judiciary Committee. Awaiting House floor vote.
Bullying, SB 228: Require school boards to establish procedures to investigate bullying and protect bullying victims. Passed Senate 30-6, approved by House Education Committee. Awaiting House floor vote.
Pension Systems Oversight SB 2: Would require posting online certain records of state pension systems and makes significant organizational and administrative changes to pension systems. Passed Senate 38-0, approved by House State Government Committee, awaiting vote on House floor.
GETTING VERY LATE FOR THESE:
Local Option Sales Tax, HB 2: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s priority, this constitutional amendment letting local governments propose time-limited sales tax increases for specific projects to voters has passed the House, 60-31.Awaiting action by a Senate committee.
KCTCS Scholarships, HB 626: House Democratic priority that would provide scholarships allowing students to attend KCTCS for free after accounting for other grants. Passed House 86-11. In Senate budget committee. Fate of this bill to be decided in budget bill conference committee.
Felon Voting, SB 299 : A constitutional amendment that would allow General Assembly to establish rules for restoring voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. Passed Senate 36-0. Awaiting House committee action.
Methane Plants, HB 449: Would establish how far waste-to-energy facilities such as methane plants, should be from residential areas. Passed House 74-24. In Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.
Life Insurance Consumer Protection, HB 408: Would clarify that law requiring life insurers to take steps to check death records and notify policy holders applies to policies sold before 2012. Passed House 84-0. In Senate Judiciary Committee.
Alcohol Tax Incentives, SB 11: Would expand tax incentives for distilleries, breweries, wineries. Passed Senate 29-8, approved by House Licensing and Occupations Committee.
ON LIFE SUPPORT:
Education Reform, SB 1: Senate’s approach toward education reform intended to relieve teachers of excessive testing requirements and limit federal regulation. Passed Senate 25-12 last month. In House Education Committee.
“Religious Freedom,” SB 180: Would allow owner of a business to refuse to serve a customer based on the owner’s religious convictions. Passed Senate 22-16. In House Judiciary Committee.
Minimum Wage, HB 278: Increase minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.20 per hour on Aug. 1. Approved by House budget committee, awaiting vote in House.
Mine Safety Rollback, SB 297: Would eliminate all state mine safety inspections on premise that federal inspectors do the same thing. Passed Senate 25-11. In House Labor and Industry Committee.
Charter Schools, SB 253: Creates pilot charter schools program for Jefferson and Fayette counties. Passed Senate 28-9. Now in House Education Committee.
Abortion: Ultrasounds, SB 152: Require doctor to perform ultrasound and explain images to woman seeking abortion. Passed Senate 32-4. Awaiting action in House Health and Welfare Committee.
Abortion: Planned Parenthood, SB 7: Prohibits non-Medicaid state tax dollars from funding organizations that perform abortions or are affiliated with organizations that perform abortions. Passed Senate 33-5, awaiting action in House budget committee.
Abortion limits: HB 257: Bans abortions after 20 weeks and the most widely used abortion procedures used during second trimester of pregnancy. In House Health and Welfare Committee.
Abortion, clinic standards, SB 212: Establishes tougher regulatory standards for abortion clinics. Passed Senate 32-5, awaiting action in House Health and Welfare Committee.
Rollback Prevailing Wage, SB 9: Would repeal requirement that local prevailing wage be paid to workers on schools and university construction. Passed Senate 26-11 weeks ago. Stalled in House Labor and Industry Committee.
Right-to-Work, SB 3: Would eliminate requirement that workers join union or pay union dues as a condition for employment. Still awaiting a committee vote in Senate.
Continue kynect, HB 5:Would direct the state to continue the state’s online health care marketplace as kynect. Passed House 52-46. In Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
Expansion of Medicaid, HB 6: Would continue former Gov. Steve Beshear’s policy on the expansion of Medicaid. Passed House Health & Welfare Committee and is eligible for a House floor vote. Passed House, 54-44. In Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
Horse Park Oversight, SB 200: Would revamp oversight of Kentucky Horse Park. Passed Senate 26-10. In House State Government Committee.
DNA of Accused Felons, SB 150: Would require DNA samples be taken from all persons charged with a felony. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee. Awaiting vote on Senate floor.