Today is day 23 of 30!
Question of the day: Should the state allocate an estimated $25 million to offer vouchers for children to have the option to attend private schools? Public school superintendents oppose the proposal, while long-time advocates continue to push for funding. Read more in HB205 or the article below, up for a vote this week.
Question answered last week: What happens when public pensions are mentioned in a new law? The teachers will come in droves. Hundreds of public school teachers descended on the Capitol campus to protest any change to the teachers pension board membership. HB 525 is the subject. The bill passed out of committee to the House floor.
Recently in the News
Article: Kentucky teachers stage “sick out” to protest legislature
Article: Passport Health slashes costs to reduce insolvency risk
Article: Legislation allowing Kentucky’s regional universities to exit pension plan moves forward
Article: Bourbon makers want equal treatment on wine bill in Kentucky
Week in Review February 25- March 1
SB1: School Safety | Referred to as “General Assembly Bill 1” this bill has been the top priority of the legislature. Awaiting Governor Bevin’s action.
SB54: Prior Authorization | Currently moving forward, the bill requires prior authorization for commercial nonurgent instances to occur within 5 days.
SB57: Expungement | Would expand discretionary expungement to all Class D felonies, except sex offenses, crimes against children, and violent crimes that may cause serious bodily injury or even death.
SB150: Concealed Weapons | Allows a person to carry concealed firearms without a license in the same locations concealed carry permit holders may carry. Opponents of the measure, including FOP and Louisville Metro Police, contend that it emboldens criminals, domestic abusers, and others who could not pass a background check to carry hidden loaded guns. Proponents of the bill including the NRA say that the permit systems poses unnecessary hoops to jump through for law abiding citizens. Passed the House 60-37. Will be enrolled and delivered to Governor Bevin for his review early this week.
HB11: Student Health | Would make all school campuses tobacco-free including the use of vaping products. The bill passed committee, however, may not be called for a floor vote. Given Kentucky’s rich history with tobacco, the bill is encountering some resistance, particularly in Western Kentucky. While the school-free component may be sidelined, there is talk that the tobacco and vaping manufacturers may be willing to compromise on increasing the state’s purchasing age from 18 to 21. Federal pressure has continued to mount on these companies as data show more and more teens are becoming hooked on nicotine products.
HB61: Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships| Students across Kentucky will be able to use their KEES money for qualified vocational workforce training programs.
HB175: Sports Betting | Bill proposing legalized gambling on sporting events at racetracks, Kentucky Speedway, and on mobile apps has hit a snag. While the bill made it through committee, a vote on the House floor has been delayed.
HB354: Taxation | The “tax” clean-up bill. As it stands right now, the bill removes the 6 percent tax on admissions to non-profit events, but there are differences between the House and Senate on how to handle charity auctions. The measure also adds tax breaks for several types of corporations and was amended Friday to tax only net gambling winnings rather than gross gambling winnings. It remains to be seen what the final version will include.
HB525: Teachers’ Retirement System board of trustees | The current board has seven KEA controlled seats, with four appointed by the governor. HB525 says five seats would be determined by the governor, six by other educational groups, and two by KEA, as well as adds a CPA.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up
March 5-7 Legislature Meets
March 8,11 Legislature Working but not in Session
March 12-13 Concurrence Days for the House and Senate
March 14-25 Veto Days
March 28-29 Final Days of 2019 General Assembly