Week three of the 2022 Legislative Session

Today’s investments in our youth make for a healthier, stronger and more economically sound commonwealth. Recognizing this, early legislative efforts by the Kentucky General Assembly have prioritized building a brighter future for Kentucky children.


The following is an overview of bills recently passed by the Senate. The bills below are now on their way to the state House for consideration:


SB 9 systematically improves the quality and delivery of reading instruction to K-3 students across the state by implementing supports, interventions and a streamlined curriculum-based foundation in phonics, vocabulary and comprehension. SB 9 also requires reading-specific developmental training for all teachers K-3.


SB 11 modernizes and strengthens oversight and care for residents in assisted living communities by transitioning these services from a certification model to a licensure model within the Cabinet for Health and Family Service (CHFS). This bill brings assisted living communities like nursing homes under the Office of the Inspector General in CHFS, improving regulatory oversight on par with other states.


SB 55 gives first responders a clearer indication of where stroke victims should be transported for the best possible care relative to their needs. The bill adds a fourth level of certification called ‘thrombectomy capable,’ to hospitals caring for stroke patients. Kentucky currently has three levels of identified care; acute, primary and comprehensive; SB 55 would add thrombectomy-capable as another, signifying the capability of surgical removal of blood clots.


SB 56 aims to save lives by making federally approved ‘opioid antagonist’ drugs more widely available to the public. An opioid antagonist is a drug that can rapidly reverse a drug overdose and is currently only available to first responders; this bill would make it more widely available.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the executive branch put in place one-size-fits-all mitigation measures that included the closure of schools and lockdown of businesses, Kentucky saw a near 50 percent increase in overdose related deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our state ranked 4th in the nation in the number of those deaths.


Finally, the Governor’s vetoes of redistricting legislation were addressed in week three. The General Assembly acted promptly, overriding the Governor’s vetoes of the Congressional and State House of Representatives maps and sending those bills to the Secretary of State’s Office for filing and official enactment into law.


In closing, I want to make you aware that January 18-21 was National Child Advocacy week. Priority Senate legislation, SB 8, was filed to tackle the issue of child abuse and neglect here in Kentucky.


According to the 2020 annual report released by the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel, our state has led the nation three years in a row in child abuse and neglect rates. A recent story from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Journalism shined a light on a backlog of cases regarding suspicious child deaths. The statistics are horrific, and following early efforts this legislative session to strengthen education, keep students in school, improve health care, among other measures, we must do all we can to protect our children.


I’m excited about the policy successes thus far in the 2022 Session and look forward to continued efforts to better the lives of Kentuckians. It’s an honor to represent you.


If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Damon.Thayer@lrc.ky.gov. You can also review the legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.

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