Week 4 of the 2022 Legislative Session

We have officially crossed the one-quarter mark of the 60-day 2022 Regular Session, wrapping up another productive week in session. There are several updates I would like to share with you.

First, on Monday, January 24, lawmakers welcomed The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office from Atlanta. The delegation joined the Senate on the floor and was honored for its generous $100,000 donation to aid victims of the horrific storms in western Kentucky. We thanked our friends for the donation during the visit while stressing the importance of our economic and cultural ties with Taiwan. The good people of the independent nation of Taiwan are faced by an increasingly hostile communist Chinese government. Freedom-loving Americans must support allies who desire the same liberties we are blessed to know here in the greatest nation on Earth.

On Tuesday, January 25, we received a visit from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who provided an update from Washington and encouraged our legislative efforts this session. The remainder of the week was focused on passing crucial legislation for the commonwealth.

Two significant measures passed in the state Senate in week four related to the executive overreach by the governor’s administration.

SB 88 establishes the framework of what a special session would look like if the General Assembly initiates one. Currently, only the governor can call a special session, per the Constitution of Kentucky. In last year’s session, House Bill 4 was passed. That bill places a constitutional amendment on the next general election ballot for Kentucky voters to determine if they would like the General Assembly to be able to call a special session. Kentucky is currently one of only 14 states that do not allow the legislative branch to call a special session. In the interest of being responsive to constituents’ needs, I encourage your support of the constitutional amendment.

This is necessary because citizens of this commonwealth demanded lawmakers, who they sent to Frankfort to represent them, to take action to bring much-needed balance to the co-equal branches of state government. Businesses were shut down, school doors were closed to students and police were ordered to collect license plate numbers of Kentuckians who dared to attend church. These measures are the legislature saying ‘enough’ on behalf of the constituents we represent. Kentucky voters will have the opportunity to do the same on November election ballots. I strongly encourage your support of the constitutional amendment.

Residents of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, long-term care facilities and others were closed off from their loved ones without any consideration of their social, emotional and spiritual needs.


SB 100 allows these residents to be visited by at least one ‘personal caregiver’ under certain health and safety protocols. A personal caregiver could be a family member, legal guardian, outside caregiver, friend or volunteer, who will be allowed at a resident’s bedside. The bill extends lawmakers’ original provision put in place during the recent Special Session. Before action by the Kentucky General Assembly, reports detailed heart-wrenching stories of elderly residents passing away alone, separated from those who made their lives meaningful. SB 100 considers the holistic well-being of these residents.

Other measures recently clearing the Senate included:

SB 46 prohibits state contracts from being awarded to a business if a bidder or contractor were awarded the same or similar contract within the past five years that was procured by using an executive agency lobbyist convicted of a crime related to the contract. It would further prevent any employee associated with an agency from participating in procuring a contract for one year after termination if the contract relates to their previous employment. SB 46 is a direct response to the Longmeyer scandal during the Steve Beshear administration.

SB 56
 was passed on Friday, January 21, the final day of week three of session. It broadens the use of federally approved ‘opioid antagonist’ drugs. An opioid antagonist is a drug that rapidly reverses a drug overdose.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky saw a nearly 50 percent increase in overdose-related deaths. Seven out of ten of those deaths were opioid-related. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our state ranked fourth in the nation in those deaths. Nearly three percent of all Kentucky deaths can be attributed to drug overdoses, a staggering statistic.

You can find details on these bills at legislature.ky.gov and watch legislative debate on them at ket.org/legislature/archives.

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