Where key bills stand with seven workdays left in the 2017 General Assembly

The Kentucky House of Representatives voted on bills on Friday, March 3, 2017, at the state Capitol in Frankfort.

By John Cheves



The 2017 General Assembly enters its final phase Monday as Republican leaders prepare for Gov. Matt Bevin a stack of legislation on university funding, religious expression, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and many other subjects.

The Kentucky House and Senate are scheduled to continue passing bills through Wednesday, then recess until March 14, when they will return for two days of voting on “concurrence” — deciding whether or not to agree with any changes that have been made to their bills by the other chamber.

Next, Bevin, a Republican, will get two weeks to veto legislation if he chooses. Lawmakers return to the Capitol on March 29 and 30 to act on Bevin’s vetoes, if there are any, and conclude their 30-day session.

Here is where some noteworthy bills that have passed at least one chamber stood on Friday:

House Bill 14, which would extend the state’s hate crimes law to include criminal acts committed against police officers and other emergency workers, awaits a final vote on the Senate floor.

House Bill 72, which would let judges set an expensive bond for parties who appeal a zone change case from circuit court, awaits a Senate floor vote. A Senate committee changed the bill, removing an exception for churches that appeal a case and adding an exception for anyone challenging a landfill, so the House would have to agree to that.

House Bill 128, which would allow school districts to offer elective Bible study classes, awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

House Bill 151 would permit children to attend the school nearest their home, causing concern in Louisville, where a racial desegregation plan involves moving some children outside of their neighborhoods to create greater classroom diversity. It awaits a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.

House Bill 222, which would prohibit shock probation for drunken drivers convicted of manslaughter or vehicular homicide, awaits a final vote on the Senate floor.

House Bill 281, which would set limits on how much the state’s attorney general could pay the outside lawyers he hires to handle complex litigation, awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 296 would reduce the expenses paid by Kentucky’s workers’ compensation program at the request of insurers and businesses, angering worker advocates, who say labor was left out of the bill. It awaits a hearing in the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee.

Senate Bill 1, which would establish a new process for intervening in low-performing schools and reviewing classroom academic standards, awaits a hearing in the House Education Committee.

Senate Bill 4, which would create medical review panels comprised of medical professionals to decide the merits of malpractice and neglect claims before they could proceed as lawsuits, was given final passage by the Senate on Friday and sent to the governor for his signature.

Senate Bill 8, which would bump Planned Parenthood to the back of the line for about $300,000 a year in federal family planning funds, awaits a vote on the House floor. A House committee made changes to the bill, so the Senate would have to agree with those.

Senate Bill 17, which details the right of public students to express religious viewpoints in school, awaits a final vote on the House floor.

Senate Bill 75, which would double the amount that donors can contribute to state political campaigns and then allow additional increases tied to inflation, awaits a hearing in the House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Senate Bill 107 would grant sweeping powers to the governor to abolish every public educational governing board in Kentucky, including those at state universities, the Kentucky Board of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education. It awaits a hearing in the House State Government Committee.

Senate Bill 120, an expansive plan to make it easier for felons to get work experience while incarcerated and smoothly re-enter society after their release, awaits a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 153, which would create a new method of funding higher education, funneling $1 billion to state universities based on their graduation rates and other performance measures, awaits a hearing in the House budget committee.

John Cheves: 859-231-3266, @BGPolitics


9 Replies to “Where key bills stand with seven workdays left in the 2017 General Assembly”

  1. My GOD another year will pass and nothing on medical marijuana for our state!! Bevin just met with Trump even recently and publicly. Didn’t he say he was 100% behind medical marijuana???
    Does he think it’s funny we in Kentucky get to watch scientific evidence of THC/CBD oil attacking/killing cancer cells?? VETS committing suicide in the VA parking lots?? Could have been tremendously helped by Pot instead of pain PILLS?
    After half the damn country is seeing incredible returns, schools funded, pain made manageable, young people who don’t want to DRINK, JOBS being created, cancer being beaten, tumors shrinking into nothing and falling off, depression reversed, the real HOPE and QUALITY of LIFE returned to the people, safer alternatives to enjoying yourselves and others, ………..we LOSE AGAIN here in KENTUCKY.
    Anymore, life here in KY feels like the PINK FLOYD track “IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?”
    MAJOR props to this site, KY4MM, Sen. Perry Clark of Louisville, and Sheree Rider. These are good folks fighting for the right thing here in Kentucky. -Peace Danny

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome! And thank you. Yes it’s time for us to shed our polite, southern courtesy in lew of fighting for our fellow Kentuckians to have access to medical marijuana. Why do we have to wait in silence in “hopes” they in Frankfort will “kindly gurgle out a day” for this to be not only discussed-but an ACTUAL piece of legislature on an elected man’s desk?? lol
        I mean, if we as people/Americans can’t be just as passionate about life as California, or Colorado, or Washington, or Nevada, (hell even Florida) in Kentucky, then we never had a fighting chance because of fear.
        As I have personally lost a father (under the influence of alcohol) to suicide, A step father currently battling cancer, friends with depression that only pot can cure, I’ve endured all the suffering a young man should have to endure economically, spiritually, mentally, etc.
        Btw, I am originally from Williamstown, and have been successful as an entrepreneur and musician. So my reflections represent a vertical climb out of the impossible really. That Ark they sold my hometown folks is like a snake oil type deal with a TIF tax burden that will fall on the locals for 30 years. The city will be bankrupt come like June 1st.
        My argument was for the mother fighting for her daughter in Williamstown that as horrible health issues only pot can manage. If there was a regulated, taxed medical marijuana program-the city’s coffer’s would be spilling over and her and so many others would see their lives improve : and have something going to off set the terrible fiscal dealings etc. But I said it may as well be written in ancient Hieroglyphs for it to dawn on them as an answer lmao! Geez
        Anyhow u guys are awesome and let’s start this voice to grow into a chorus that #kentuckylives matter too!!!! -peace/Danny

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Here it is, directly to the source-

        Dear Governor Bevin, I’m Audra Baker. My question is when you plan on legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons. I am the mother of 6 year old twins both with special needs. One with severe ADHD and the other non verbal autism. I have done extensive research and have seen that cannabis oil has been proven to improve the symptoms of both these disorders. My family is considering moving to Colorado to be able to give my kids a better quality of life.
        In addition to the health aspect of the legalization it will be an extreme boost to the economy.
        My husband and I are both from KY and don’t want to leave but as a parent knowing there is an all natural medical alternative to the harsh drugs given to children I am doing my kids an injustice by staying.
        I know we are not alone in the fight for legalization of medical marijuana. There are hundreds of ailments that can be drastically helped by its benefits. Millions of Kentuckians are suffering.

        It seems the general assembly has come to an end again without any advancing of any marijuana bill at all to arrive on your desk. We as Kentuckians can’t wait indefinitely on the legislative branch to help our quality of life. Merely discussing this in Frankfort is just not enough. We need action. You have an incredible power like no other governer of KY has before. You have the ability to change and save lives. And change history in our state.
        President Trump is a deal maker. So am I. SO is KENTUCKY. Let’s all work together and make this happen. So many other states are taking advantage of the increased tax dollars to improve schools, roads and commerce. JOBS will be created in so many of the poor counties of KY like those affected by factories closing and farming almost becoming obsolete. There are so many positive reasons.

        Let’s all work together to make this happen. I don’t want to move to Colorado but it will soon be a necessity.

        Thank you for reading this and I hope to hear from you soon.

        God bless you and God bless Kentucky
        Sincerely, Audra Baker

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks you so much. Yes take it as high and as far as you can! It’s one of the most epic plea’s from a citizen for reform. Honestly the more circulated news story’s lend a GIANT help towards this. We are also sending this kindly to the 5 Legislatures of our area as well. Also Mike Ward of Leagalize Now.
        So yes it’s time-no more waiting. I’m ready to build the big 50 foot joint with the message on it on the capital lawn (peacefully of course) ! Surrounded by a giant group of us demanding our right to Cannabis. -thanks again -Danny

        Liked by 1 person

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