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We are roughly at the halfway mark of the 2017 Session, a couple of the upcoming weeks will be short ones, thus expanding the session out more than normal for a short year.  Below is the Legislative Update for Week 4.

Legislative Stats

2017 Bills

Senate Bills: 253

House Bills: 540

Total Bills: 793

Week 4 Stats

Bills with 2 Readings in the Senate: 40

  • 2 are House Bills: HB 180 & HB 192

Bills with 2 Readings in the House: 75

  • 4 are Senate Bills: SB 4, SB 38, SB 79, 151

Bills that have Passed the Senate: 47

Bills that have Passed the House:  78

Passed Both Houses: SB 140

Signed into Law: HB 174

 

Bills of Interest

Passed One Chamber

SB 1 – Education Reform: This does not repeal Common Core as we have been promised. Please see the legislative update from Weeks 2 & 3 for more details. TBK Opposes

SB 120 – Criminal Justice Reform: TBK Neither Supports or Opposes this bill, there is plenty of bad in this bill but there are some good things in it as well. It is a compromise bill that will probably not lead anyone to be completely satisfied. UKTP is following a lot of the bad, and we are not going to refute any of their concerns as they are valid.

2 Readings

SB 20 – Juvenile Justice Reform: Seems to be an Omnibus Bill that has some bad items in it. The worst part is the insertion of SB 220 into this bill which defines “criminal responsibility” meaning you can’t even put a child in detention no matter what they do if they are under the age of 12. TBK has not taken an official position on this legislation yet.

SB 108 – End of Life Patient Education: Create a new board that will educate families on how to deal with their options on end of life care for older family members. This is not a “death panel” but it seems to be a mechanism in which propaganda can be spread on how one might terminate an older family member prematurely.  TBK has not taken an official position on this bill, but most likely would be against.

HB 129: Child Abuse Registry – There has been an amendment to the bill that makes it better, but there are still concerns. The positive change is it must be based on conviction now and operate like the sex offender registry. However, the sex offender registry tosses in people who are serial rapists with people who dated as teenagers and one was an adult by one year, or someone who has a picture of a childhood family member in a bathtub (how many moms and dads have embarrassed their kids with picture.) What needs to happen with the sex offender registry as well as this registry is a tiered system, as well as a determination as to how much of a threat one is to society at large if they are bound to create one in the first place. TBK Opposed the Original Bill. No Official Stance on the new language, but most likely against until they reform how registries are created and populated in the first place.

SB 4: Medical Review Panels – This bill has been dormant for a while, and the fact that it had its second reading last week in the House means two things will happen. One it will get passed as is which is bad, or two it will get amended just before the third reading, which is an absurd concept in the legislature, because if an amendment occurs at the local level it reverts to having to have 3 readings so everyone can know what’s in it. However, in state government they slap something on last second, no one knows what’s in it really, and passes it.  TBK Opposes CLICK HERE to find out more

 

Status of Bills we are Following

If we have not mentioned it above already.

Bills TBK is supportive of:

HB 108 – KFFA: It was in a stacked committee, so hopefully this week it will be passed. We also heard it may become an Omnibus Gun Bill, we do not know the details of that, and that may be the hold up. We would of course want to evaluate those changes.

HB 120 – Nullify Federal Gun Laws in KY: No Movement.

SB 57 – Medical Cannabis: No Movement.

SB 17 – Freedom of Religious and Political Expression in Schools: Passed the Senate, now in the House Education Committee.

SB 8 – Prohibits public finding for Abortion: Passed the Senate, received in House. Not yet assigned a committee.

HB 50 – Sunset Provisions on Regulations: Was on the Consent Calendar (almost automatic passage) and removed and placed in the Regular Orders of the Day on Friday Feb 24th. Generally, when this happens this means there was enough people that had concerns about it and got it removed. It may also mean an amendment may be coming. We do not know if this will be a positive or negative amendment.

HB 39 – Recording Votes on Fiscal Matters: No Movement

HB 40 – No Foreign Law: Meaning no international (UN) or cultural (Sharia) law trumps the US Constitution and Kentucky Constitution. No Movement

HB 151 – No Forced Bussing: Meaning students and parents can decide to go to the school closest to their home. Passed the House, received in the Senate.

HB 157 – Remove Straight Party Voting on Ballots: Meaning you have to think and vote for an individual. No Movement.

HB 162 – Tuition Assistance Credit: Has been posted to committee for a week or so. No Movement since.

HB 195 – Alternatives to GED: Passed the House and assigned the Senate Education Committee.

Bills TBK is Opposed to:

Fingerprint Bills: The Fed Wants Your Biometrics

  • HB 262 – Fingerprints for DOR and CHFS employees: Passed House, Received in Senate and Posted to Health and Welfare Committee. Was not removed from Consent Calendar.
  • SB 161 – Expansion of Fingerprint Federal Background Checks for Teachers: Passed in Senate, Receive in House.
  • SB 236/HB402 – Fingerprint Federal Background Checks for Youth Camp Workers: No Movement yet in Original Committee
  • HB 374 – Fingerprint Federal Background Checks for just about anyone who applies for a job with children: On Consent Calendar for Monday, Feb 27th

HB 147 – Forced Vaccinations: Passed out of the House Committee. However, it has now been reassigned to Appropriations and Revenue. We took it as a sign that it might be dead and sent there to die, we confirmed this, as there were a lot of calls against it.

HB 14 – Blue Lives Matter: All lives should matter, one’s occupation does not make one’s life more valuable than another. All hate crimes should be repealed. Passed the House, received in the Senate and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB 160 – Removing County Constables: No Movement

SB 105/HB 148 – Midwife Bill: The House version has not moved. The Senate version has seen a floor amendment that proves the concerns of those that came out against this bill as something that would hurt the practice of midwifery. It also has fingerprint background checks in it too. This amendment should kill it as we don’t see how those that supported it can now with all the negative changes.

SB 122 – Forced Bike Helmets: Passed the Senate, received in the House and Posted to the Transportation Committee.

SB 78 – Overreaching Anti-Smoking Bill: Passed the Senate, received in the House, and posted to the Education Committee.

HB 177 – The Dumbest Bill of the Session: Can’t Warm your car in winter for longer than 15 minutes, and you must lock it.  Passed the House, received in the Senate and posted to the Transportation Committee.

HB 253 – Unannounced CPS Visits: Expansion of the Abusive CPS’s Authority: Passed the House, received in the Senate, and posted to the Health and Welfare Committee.

HB 333 – Fentanyl Bill: In 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. – Reported favorably out of committee, posted for passage, floor amendment filed that does not address our concerns.

SB 61 – Handicap Tags: This bill recently came to our attention. This bill will require the elderly and disabled to pay a fee for their tag (a tax on being old) as well as require all current tag holders to go to the doctor (pay more money and time) and prove they are disabled in order to keep their tag.

TBK Initiatives

SB 7 – Constitutional Carry:  Amended: Create a new section of Chapter 237 to allow concealed deadly weapons to be carried without a license in same locations as concealed carry license holders are authorized to carry them; amend KRS 237.115 and 527.020 to conform. Basically, this will ensure that same restrictions on CCDW is on Constitutional Carry as far as location and age goes, which would raise the age to 21.

REAL ID: We are still in the process of reviewing HB 410 the new REAL ID Bill. Hopefully we can get that out to you soon. However, there may not be much time as it has been posted in Committee. So, when the Schedule is released for Tuesday this upcoming week we may see that the House Transportation Committee wants to have a hearing on it.

Charter Schools

TBK Voted to be in favor of Charter Schools and Rep. Phil Moffett’s version HB 103. However, Rep Carney’s Bill 520 seems to be the one everyone is lining up behind. Below is a letter sent by UKTP with their concerns regarding HB 520. If you feel the same, we encourage you to contact your legislators and Governor Bevin.

“Dear (name of Senator or Representative)

Before the end of the legislative session, you will most likely be asked to vote on HB520, Rep. Carney’s charter schools’ bill. You have already received an impassioned plea from Secretary Heiner to pass this bill for Kaylee’s sake, but Kaylee needs and deserves so much more than HB520 would provide.

It might be easier to understand what this bill does not provide. It does not guarantee the full funding necessary for charter schools to succeed. Not allowing local, state and federal funds to follow the child within their district is a recipe for charter school failure. What’s happened in other states clearly shows us that a lack of adequate funding sets charter schools up to fail. 

Rep. Carney’s bill also does not provide for multiple authorizers. Without the multiple-authorizers provision, the local school districts will never approve a charter school in their district and, based on our research, the state school board has never overruled a local school district when an appeal has been filed by parent groups — other than to grandfather in some students who are part of an interdistrict transfer agreement.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reports there were 6,723 charter schools in the United States during 2015, of which 93%, or 6,241, were in states with multiple authorizers. Only 482, or 7%, exist in states that limit authorizers to a single authorizer, like HB520 does.

Earlier in this session, you stood up and took bold action to pass right-to-work, repeal the prevailing wage, pass the ultrasound bill and the 20 week late term abortion bill. You’ve showed great courage and foresight. Now is not the time to be timid on charter schools. HB520 will result in few, if any, charter schools being started. We need you to be bold for Kaylee’s sake and give the parents and children of Kentucky a serious chance for a brighter future. 

Finally, some have expressed concern about a possible legal challenge to the bill. There likely could be a challenge to any charter-school bill from our current Attorney General. But this is no reason to deny Kaylee the opportunity to attend a great school. 

Be bold, recognize that those ideologically opposed to school choice will never support a strong charter-school bill and remember: 43 states now have charter schools; not a single legal challenge has succeeded in preventing any state from having charter schools, including states dominated by both parties. 

What if a strong law gets challenged and we win?

Please amend HB520 to include multiple authorizers as well as full funding that follows the child. Your bold actions will give Kaylee, and thousands of Kentucky children, a brighter educational future.

Respectfully.

Scott Hofstra

Spokesperson

United Kentucky Tea Party”

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