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Legislative Update Weeks 2 & 3

The Kentucky Legislature was in recess from the 1/9/2017 until 2/7/2017. Now weeks 2 & 3 are in the books we will look back and see the progress to date. With the bill filing deadlines closing in week 3 we can now see how many pieces of legislation we must sort through.

Legislation Stats

2017 Bills

  • House Bills: 540
  • Senate Bills: 253
  • Total # of Bills: 793

For a point of comparison here are the 2015 Stats (the last short session)

2015 Bills

  • House: 548
  • Senate: 209
  • Total # of Bills: 757

36 more total pieces of legislation in 2017 than in 2015.

Senate Stats

  • 27 Bills with 2 Readings*
  • 23 Bills Passed

House Stats

  • 46 Bills with 2 Readings
  • 21 Bills Passed

Enrolled

HB 174 Passed both chambers and has been sent to the Governor for his signature. Legislation is in relation to overweight vehicles and tolerance levels related to agricultural transportation.

Law

7 Bills have been signed by the Governor so far, this Session, all taking place in Week 1.

  • SB 3 – Legislator Pension Transparency
  • SB 5 – Ban on Abortions at 20 weeks or older
  • SB 6 – Prevents Unions from automatic collection dues from their member’s paychecks without written consent.
  • SB 12 – Restructure of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.
  • HB 1 – Right-to-Work, joining a union is not a condition of employment.
  • HB 2 – Ultrasound Informed Consent – Requires an ultrasound prior to an abortion, giving the mother/patient all available information before a decision is made as in any medical procedure.
  • HB 3 – Repeals Prevailing Wage – Prevailing wage was basically a way for state contractors to overcharge the state to pay their employees well over industry standard wages.

*A bill needs 3 readings, passage out of committee (or discharged from committee) and a floor vote to pass a chamber. A bill with 2 readings is a good measure of the likelihood of a bill making it out of a chamber.

Bills of Interest

2 Readings: Senate

SB 7 – Constitutional Carry TBK Supports

SB 8 – Prohibit Abortion Funding TBK Supports

SB 16 – Expansion of Expungements :TBK Supported the Felony Expungement Bill last session, this is a positive adjustment to the law that was passed. Crimes that are violent, sexual, or involves a minor do not qualify for expungement. This bill only allows discretionary expungement of Class D Felonies (low level felonies, in some states they may even be misdemeanors) TBK Supports

SB 92 – Headlamp Restrictions: There are several bills filed this session regarding headlamps, part of the reason for this is that there have been criminals impersonating officers with different colored lights on their cars. Also, there are some headlamps that cause a lot of confusion as to if it is law enforcement or not.  This legislation seems to take a rather over restrictive approach that anything other than white headlamps shall be used or meet USDOT standards. The question is how does the public and law enforcement know the difference?

SB 107 – Governor Appointments of Boards & Councils: This legislation ties into where the Governor tried to take corrective action against the U of L board when it was in violation of the law.

SB 138 – Bible Elective: Allow the creation of an elective (not required to graduate) social studies course relating to Biblical Texts.

SB 159 – Civics Test to Graduate: Students must take a civics test and pass 60% of it in order graduate. There is no limit on how many tests the student can take.

SB 161 – Fingerprint Background Check for Teachers: They already do a National Background Check to a limited degree on teachers where they are forced to submit their fingerprints to the Federal Government where their biometrics will be stored. Right now, a superintendent may require it for a teacher on an initial hire who has been a resident in the state for less than 12 months. This bill would change that to just the discretion of the superintendent, giving that individual broader authority as well as affecting more people.  TBK Opposes – Based on opposition to past fingerprint/biometric bills, and current opposition to HB 262.

Passed: Senate

SB 1 – Repackage of Common Core: This bill was supposed to be aimed at repealing Common Core, but it does not do that, supposedly we can’t drop Common Core all at once but must be done in “stages” over time. This will not happen as the board is still pro-Common Core.  It does require the standards to be revisited every 6 years, and basically enacts the federal standards Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and repeals No Child Left Behind (NCLB) changing one federal mandate for another on how schools are operated.

Here are some statements from the Kentuckians Against Common Core’s Facebook Page

Feb 16, 2017

“When SB1, the Education Reform Bill was introduced, the sponsors told us that it would completely restructure education in Kentucky and get rid of Common Core…..then the truth came out.

SB1 DOES NOT REPEAL COMMON CORE! It simply renames it. Welcome to Common Core 2.0.

The Kentucky Education Association (KEA), the major teacher’s union in the state, has endorsed SB1. That alone should tell you all you need to know. The bill does propose to bring control of Kentucky’s educational system back to the state, but it fails to repeal Common Core, and instead, perpetuates it under a new name.”

Feb 17, 2017 10:01 AM

At yesterday’s Senate Education Committee hearing a sub was added to the language on the so-called repeal Common Core bill SB1. Sen Mike Wilson, committee chairman, said in effect Common Core would be repealed in stages, as new standards are decided and approved…had CC been eliminated all at once there would have been turmoil in its implementation. Here is some of the language in the sub that scares a lot of people “require the Department of Education to be responsible for implementing the process for reviewing academic standards and assessments; clarify the role of the standards and assessment recommendation committee and rename it the standards and assessments process review committee”. The Dept of Ed implements process for reviewing academic standards. Doesn’t sound like local control to us.”

Feb 17, 2017 2:16 PM

BAD NEWS FOR KENTUCKY’S YOUTH

“The Kentucky Senate has passed the SB1 education bill with the support of the KEA. Common Core is alive and well. So much for the politician’s stump speeches to repeal it. The KEA, the Chamber and other special interests got what they wanted and our children have been thrown under the bus. Now it is on to the House where passage is expected. We MUST come up with a plan to stop what we are calling Common Core II. More to come next week.”

TBK Opposed – Based on prior opposition to Common Core. We will not stand for a renaming.

SB 4 – Medical Review Panels: TBK Opposed CLICK HERE for full details on the limiting of your medical and legal rights.

SB 17 – Expression of Political and Religious Views: No favoritism Allowed. No Censorship Allowed. Everyone should be allowed to speak their mind at an Institution of higher learning.  TBK Supports

SB 78 – Stupid, Overreaching Anti-Smoking Bill:  This bill prohibits volunteers at schools to have tobacco products in their cars while on school property, it also prohibits them from smoking in their private hotel room while on a school trip as a chaperone. If you violate this law you shall be punished by the school board. TBK Opposed

2 Readings: House

HB 74 – Headlamp Restrictions: This is the more measured reasonable version of SB 92 from above.

HB 147 – Forced Vaccinations: TBK Opposed CLICK HERE full details on the government trying to override your medical decisions. This bill has been recommitted to the House A & R committee, which could be a sign it is dead.

HB 189 – A.D.D. Transparency : This would require transparency reporting of the use of state and federal funds used by Area Development Districts.  We have not fleshed the details of this bill out, but overall it looks like a good bill, there definitely needs to be more accountability when dealing with A.D.D.’s

HB 225 – Expansion of Federal Police: Would grant Federal Mint Police Peace Officer Status in Kentucky. While limited in scope we can see this later going further, as this bill was originally introduced several years ago, with now restrictions. If a Federal Police Agent has Peace Officer Status in the state, then they do not have to seek permission from your county Sheriff to arrest you. The Sheriff is an elected official tasked with protecting you, not only from criminals but if need be from other forms of law enforcement that may abuse their power. If they want something like this, then they need to also repeal a Federal Policing Agency that already has full Peace Officer Status in Kentucky. TBK Opposed – ALERT: They have added this to the Consent Calendar in the House which means it will sail through with a package of other bills, and no opposition, no vote for or against it specifically. If it is not pulled (requires 5 legislators to voice opposition) then it will pass the House, thus the effort needs to be stopping it with the Senators, and possibly already need to start contacting the Governor.

1-800-372-7181 Legislators

502-564-2611 Governor Bevin

HB 253 – Unannounced CPS Visits/Expansion of CPS Authority: This bill will give CPS the authority to make ongoing unannounced visits to the location a child was allegedly abused. While this may sound good on the surface there are a few problems with this. For example, a neighbor thinks he overhears you disciplining a child and without seeing and knowing the details, construes it falsely, and calls it in. CPS shows up later but finds out it was not your child but your niece (did your sister go too far or was it an out of control tantrum). This bill would REQUIRE more visits (to your residence) to try tracking down your niece. Two major problems, one is who decides if the child is safe or unsafe, and the other is why do we want to require visits when they may be unnecessary or unconstitutionally intrusive? Furthermore, it is common knowledge that CPS has more cases that it can handle, yet now we are going to mandate these visits instead of each of these cases being handled based on their merits. Finally CPS is known for its corruption as reported by the media in 2006 and 2007. An entity that is conducted in such a manner as CPS should be reformed not handed more authority. TBK Opposed – ALERT: They have added this to the Consent Calendar in the House which means it will sail through with a package of other bills, and no opposition, no vote for or against it specifically. If it is not pulled (requires 5 legislators to voice opposition) then it will pass the House, thus the effort needs to be stopping it with the Senators, and possibly already need to start contacting the Governor.

1-800-372-7181 Legislators

502-564-2611 Governor Bevin

HB 262 – Fingerprint Background Check for KY DOR and CHFS: This bill is a result of a mandate from the Obama Administration that requires KY DOR and KY CHFS employees to get a federal background check by submitting their fingerprints. This is what’s called creep, where the government starts carving out segments of society that must turn over their information and biometrics to obtain or retain employment for example, often starting with government employees and then slowly migrating it to the rest of the public. Before you know it, there are more people than not already submitting their information and biometrics over to the federal government.  There is not a cost associated with this and it appears the federal government is not providing any funding. With the number of employees at each of those 2 agencies, and at cost of $115, as that seems to be the normal charge, this could cost the state a little north of $900,000.00. TBK OpposedALERT: They have added this to the Consent Calendar in the House which means it will sail through with a package of other bills, and no opposition, no vote for or against it specifically. If it is not pulled (requires 5 legislators to voice opposition) then it will pass the House, thus the effort needs to be stopping it with the Senators, and possibly already need to start contacting the Governor.

1-800-372-7181 Legislators

502-564-2611 Governor Bevin

HB 284 – Property Valuation Administrator Inspections: This seems to allow for a backdoor for drone inspection of an Individual’s property in Section 1: Subsection (1)(b)(3) any other examination method approved by the department (DOR). Considering the increased use of drones, we feel this is a way for the government to use a drone to violate your 4th Amendment Rights. The Federal Government is already trying this in trying to compliance farmer’s/rancher’s livestock. Also, the Floor Amendment calls for KY law to include International Standards as I relates to the technology used for inspections. We do not need to be adding international law, let alone guidelines from international associations. Right now, this bill is set for passage on the House Floor. TBK has not had a chance to take an official stance on this legislation, but a cursory look, seems to indicate it needs some fixing to protect people’s privacy. You may want to call if you have concerns.

HB 291 – “Citizen’s Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act”: This is a decent drone bill, it has bene introduced in the past and we have had concerns about some of the wording, and some of that seems to be fixed. However, we would want the definition and scope for the term exigent in Section 1: Subsection (5)(b). ACTION: Call Rep. St. Onge or your Representative and see if we can get clarifying language inserted into this bill.

1-800-372-7181 Legislators

HB 333 – Fentanyl BillIn this bill they have buried something that will undo a lot of the good work Jamie Comer did when he was Ag Commissioner. This bill deals with Fentanyl, not Industrial Hemp or CBD oil. Right now, Big Pharma, more specifically GW Pharmaceuticals is working on a synthetic CBD Oil for prescription to be allowed by the FDA. In Section 25 (d) of this bill it tinkers with what the Marijuana is and is not, and what Marijuana will not be in Kentucky if this passes is CBD Oil Prescription Approved by the FDA. By doing this any natural CBD oil from Industrial Hemp plants that is not prescribed will then be by default Marijuana, and thus a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance.  What needs to happen is Section 25(d) needs to be stricken as not germane, or amended to included CBD oil from Industrial Hemp. TBK Opposes, if these changes are not made. ACTION: Call Rep. Moser and your Representative and see if we can get section 25 (d) changed.

1-800-372-7181 Legislators

Passed: House

HB 14 – Blue Lives Matter: While TBK supports law enforcement, we view this as continuing to go down a slippery slope.  We do not support hate crime laws and legislation, as it creates special classes of people, thus making the legal system more convoluted than it already is. When one commits a violent act, hate was already in their heart, one type of hate is not more or less profound than another. One could ask the question, why have this be specific to one type of occupation, why not have it based on all occupations and present the message that Blue Lives not only matter but All Lives Matter? – TBK Opposed

HB 122 – Required Bicycle Helmets: This will require children under the age of 12 to wear a helmet when on a bicycle. It is wide open for the Transportation Cabinet to make the regulations, so it is likely parents could face punitive damages if a child does not have a helmet on, meaning another opportunity for the state to inset itself into your life as well as raise revenue. TBK Opposed

HB 177 – Can’t Warm Your Car in Winter Bill: This has got to be one of the most utterly dumb bills filed this year. Good thing this winter has been a warm one. Sets a time limit on how long you can idle your car, and it must also be locked. What’s worse, the House passed it 76-20, surely the Senate won’t take up this asinine bill.  TBK Opposed…Obviously

HB 195 – GED Alternatives: This bill would remove the GED Trademarked Test as the only High School Equivalency Exam.  Currently the GED has been bought by Pearson, and Pearson is a big proponent of Common Core. Recently the GED test has changed to accommodate Common Core and test scores are dropping and fast, this is not a coincidence. Those responsible for this need to be held accountable. TBK Supports

TBK Initiatives: Anti-REAL ID and Pro- Constitutional Carry

So far, this session we have had 2 main issues we have been following, REAL ID and Constitutional Carry.

REAL ID is HB 77; however, we now hear that bill is dead and HB 410 is the replacement. Supposedly the sponsor, Rep. Jim DuPlessis has claimed to received corrective language from the Governor to address the Liberty Community’s concerns. However, we are not convinced the Governor’s/Liberty desires were fully reflected in this new version. More research will need to be done, but so far this is not a satisfactory upgrade. We just hope this isn’t an attempt to hang a bad bill around Governor Bevin’s neck.

Constitutional Carry is SB7 and so far, has not moved, we have heard from those in the Senate that they do not believe this bill is dead, but that one tweak would make it passable, and that is raising the age limit from 18 to 21. There was some concern about where you can and cannot conceal carry, but that language is in the bill already.

Our Alerts grow every week as we discover bills and as the legislative process continues. To see a comprehensive list of those alerts you can CLICK HERE. If something isn’t posted yet and you think it should be, please bring it to our attention at takebackkentucky@gmail.com. If we fail to do so, or don’t see a certain bill please understand there is a lot to follow and it is hard to track. We try and provide this service to you in attempt to keep you informed as much as possible.

 

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One Response to “2017 Legislative Update: Weeks 2 & 3”

  1. […] This does not repeal Common Core as we have been promised. Please see the legislative update from Weeks 2 & 3 for more details. TBK […]

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