Updated: Mar 16
Nearing the conclusion of the 2023 Kentucky General Assembly, a number of bills have passed into law, while a number of other bills did not make the cut. Let's take some time to assess some of these bills and gain a greater grasp on some of their repercussions. This will be a rolling update of bills as they pass and we are able to report.
Senate Bill 150: This bill is a resurrection of HB470 which would place limitations on gender affirming care for minors by medical professionals and school faculty. Despite polls overwhelmingly opposing the original HB470, Kentucky Legislators have decided to pass none-the-less.
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to establish definitions; require specific parental notifications from public schools; require school districts to adopt specific procedures related to parental rights; limit authority of the Kentucky Board of Education and Kentucky Department of Education in relation to parental rights and a student's use of pronouns; prohibit district or school policies with the intent of keeping student information confidential for parents; prohibit a school district from requiring school personnel or pupils to use pronouns for students that do not conform to that student's biological sex; provide school districts and district personnel authority to seek emergency medical services for a student; provide conditions for student confidentiality; amend KRS 158.1415 to establish requirements for any public school's course, curriculum, or program on the subject of human sexuality.
Senate Bill 47: This bill creates avenues to medical cannabis for Kentucky. While it doesn't legalize the plant, it does create the proper channels for regulation and exploration into structuring the industry within Kentucky. Unable to make it to the House today, it will circle back for it's third reading on March 29th and a vote on the 30th. Our sources say it's very likely to pass.
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 218A to define terms and establish a medicinal cannabis program; amend KRS 342.815 to establish that the Employer’s Mutual Insurance Authority shall not be required to provide coverage to an employer if doing so would subject the authority to a violation of state or federal law; amend KRS 216B.402 to require hospital emergency departments to report cases of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control; amend KRS 218A.010, 218A.1421, 218A.1422, 218A.1423, and 218A.500 to conform; amend KRS 12.020, 12.252, 15.300, 15.380, 15.398, 15.420, 15A.340, 61.592, 62.160, 131.1815, 211.285, 241.010, 241.015, 241.030, 243.025, 243.0307, 243.038, 243.090, 243.360, 438.310, 438.311, 438.313, 438.315, 438.317, 438.320, 438.325, 438.330, 438.337, and 438.340 to change the name of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control; some sections EFFECTIVE July 1, 2024.
House Bill 544: This bill applies common sense regulations on hemp-derived products produced and sold within Kentucky. This bill helps solidify the legality of hemp products for the future.
Amend KRS 199.900 relating to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to add gender-neutral language.
House Bill 164: This bill lowered the age restrictions for Corrections Officers in Kentucky from 21 to 18 years of age. It was originally proposed with the caveat that those employees under the age of 21 would have no direct contact with inmates or others being housed, but the following amendment was added prior to it's passing.
Amend Section 1 to require that the persons employed who are under 21 have a high school diploma or its equivalent, for persons in counties holding state prisoners and those not holding state prisoners, and remove the prohibition individuals under the age of 21 not having direct, physical contact with, or potential assumption of physical control over, inmates or persons yet to be booked into the jail for both jails that hold state prisoners and those not holding state prisoners in their jails.
House Bill 380: This bill allows law enforcement agencies to hire at the age of 20 as long as the person will be of 21 years of age upon completion of training.
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 15 and 67C to allow a person who is at least 20 years old to be hired by a law enforcement agency to attend basic training if the person will be 21 years old at the time they become a certified peace officer; require the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to allow person who is 20 years old to attend basic training if the person will be 21 years old by the conclusion of basic training.
Senate Bill 141: This bill stands to open up legal gambling aside from that associated with horse racing.
Propose to amend Section 226 of the Constitution of Kentucky to authorize the General Assembly to define, permit, oversee, and regulate all forms of otherwise permissible gaming; provide for the oversight and control of gaming by an administrative body funded by license fees and taxes levied on gaming; require 100% of gaming proceeds, in excess of the amount used to pay for an oversight administrative body of gaming, to go to early childhood education and childcare programs; provide ballot language for submission to voters for ratification or rejection.
Senate Bill 162: This bill allow better communication between Juvenile Correction facilities and designate additional funding for the DJJ.
Amend KRS 15A.061 to require the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to maintain a comprehensive data system for the Department of Juvenile Justice; amend KRS 15A.305 to provide additional requirements for facilities operated under the statewide juvenile detention plan; require the Department for Medicaid Services to apply for an amendment to the submitted waiver to allow Medicaid coverage for youth incarcerated in DJJ facilities; direct the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to promulgate regulations expediting the investigation of complaints; and require the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to submit and implement various plans within specified time frames with reporting to the Legislative Research Commission.
All bills that have passed must go to Gov. Andy Beshear to be signed in law. He is given a period in which he can veto bills, but in some circumstances the General Assembly can still overturn a veto.
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