Legislative Update – March 11, 2016

Not only did Friday mark the end to another busy week in the Kentucky Senate, but also it was day 46 of our 60-day legislative session. We are now in the proverbial “fourth quarter” when the House and the Senate must come together to get a victory for the state of Kentucky by passing a responsible budget.

After 10 weeks we are still awaiting a key “assist” from our colleagues in the House in the form of a budget bill that has yet to pass the lower chamber.We are hoping to get our hands on the budget early next week, and we know there is still much work to be done. Here is a look at some significant bills that passed the Senate this week:

  • Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 75 would direct the Legislative Research Commission to establish the Kentucky Workforce Oversight Task Force to study and develop recommendations concerning the benefits, investments, and funding of workforce education in our state.
  • SCR 135 recognizes Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and encourages all cable and satellite providers to offer KET programming to their customers.
  • Senate Bill (SB) 50 would encourage schools to push back their start date until after Labor Day in order to encourage Kentucky tourism, give students more time in their summer jobs, and cut back on utility costs for schools.
  • SB 170 would modify rules for overdimensional vehicles transporting steel products.
  • SB 186 would establish rules for marinas and boat liens.
  • SB 209 would allow agencies that discontinue participation in Kentucky Retirement Systems may “pick-up” the employee contributions in the alternative retirement plan so that the contributions will be made on a tax-deferred basis.
  • SB 212, a pro-life bill, would remove new abortion facilities from the exemptions for certificate of need and would require abortion facilities to have an admittance agreement with a local hospital.
  • SB 216 would update Kentucky child support regulations in order to comply with federal standards.
  • SB 225 would expand eligibility, subject to sufficient funding, for the homelessness prevention project to individuals based on certain criteria.
  • SB 246 would update salary schedules and provisions for Kentucky State Police troopers.
  • SB 8 would amend the Kentucky Constitution in order to create a judicial redistricting plan. This bill would reallocate cases based on population and need to better serve Kentucky’s citizens and overbearing caseloads.

Once the budget comes to the Senate chambers, our main focus will be moving it forward before the end of the 2016 Session. The citizens of Kentucky have been promised a working, balanced budget, and we in the Senate hope to deliver on that promise soon.

ATTACHED PHOTO: Katlynn Metcalf, daughter of House Republican Chief of Staff Brad Metcalf, joined Senator Damon Thayer and fellow Senate Majority Caucus Leaders for a Committee on Committee meeting at the Senate Clerk’s Desk (LRC-Public Information photo).

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