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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kentucky Senate Majority Files Priority Legislation for 2016 Regular Session

A total of 13 “priority” bills were filed Wednesday in Senate by the chamber’s Republican Majority Caucus, as the Kentucky General Assembly completed the second day of the 2016 Legislative Session.

“The Senate Majority’s agenda for the 2016 Session reflects our motto of creating Kentucky jobs and strengthening Kentucky families,” Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said. “The only priority not listed is the state’s biennial budget, our state’s ultimate policy document. We look forward to working with Governor Bevin and our colleagues in the House to address these key issues and challenges with a common goal of making Kentucky a better place to live and work for all.”

Bill numbers are listed below with primary sponsors in parenthesis:

Senate Bill (SB) 1 (Sen. Mike Wilson) – “Education Reform” would return to the original intent of SB 1 from 2009, which set out to produce college and career ready Kentucky graduates and to promote less burden and more benefit for educators while limiting federal overreach.

SB 2 (Sen. Joe Bowen) – “Pension Reorganization” would make the pension systems (KRS, KTRS, and JFRS) more transparent in their transactions, more accountable in how they contract with third parties for services, and to ensure that the board of trustees of KRS and KTRS have the investment experience necessary to professionally guide these organizations.

SB 3 (Sen. Robert Stivers) – “Right to Work” would give workers a choice regarding joining a union and prevent the requirement that employees pay union dues as a condition of employment.

SB 4 (Sen. Julie Raque Adams) – “Informed Consent” would promote protection of the rights of the unborn, this bill would require those seeking an abortion to have a face-to-face, in-person counseling session with a physician 24 hours prior to the procedure.

SB 5 (Sen. Steve West) – “Marriage License Fix for County Clerks” codifies Governor Bevin’s Executive Order to have county clerks’ signatures removed from marriage licenses.

SB 6 (Sen. Ralph Alvarado) – “Medical Review Panels” would require medical malpractice cases to be reviewed on their merit by an independent panel before they can be filed in court, thus preventing frivolous lawsuits.

SB 7 (Sen. Max Wise) – “Defunding Planned Parenthood” would prohibit any non-Medicaid state tax dollars from funding the organization Planned Parenthood, a national group which routinely conducts abortions and recently was accused of selling fetal organs for profit.

SB 8 (Sen. John Schickel) – “Judicial Redistricting” will require the court system to balance population and caseloads throughout the state on the same schedule as the legislative redistricting. While legislative redistricting is required every 10 years, it has been several decades since redistricting occurred in the Judicial Branch of state government.

SB 9 (Sen. Wil Schroder) – “Repeal Prevailing Wage” on school construction to eliminate an estimated additional 10-20 percent in costs from publicly-funded school construction.

SB 10 (Sen. Chris McDaniel) – “Move Statewide Elections to Even-numbered Years” to generate greater voter turnout for statewide elections. Research has proven that hundreds of thousands of additional Kentucky voters show up to the polls during years when a federal election is held. This measure would not extend the term of the current Governor, and would also save the state an estimated $20 Million over each election cycle.

SB 15 (Sen. Albert Robinson) – “Religious Freedom in Schools.” Consistent with U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions, the purpose of this bill is to reinforce religious and political freedoms of expression for students, staff, and schools, and effectively strengthens the communication of these rights to all local school boards, school councils, and certified employees.

SB 20 (Sen. Ralph Alvarado) – “Appeals Process for Managed Care Organizations (MCO’s)” to allow providers such as hospitals, doctors, and clinics to appeal a determination by an MCO that a service is either not covered or is covered at a lower payment level. Currently providers can only appeal to the MCO and not to the Department of Medicaid Services.

SB 25 (Sen. Max Wise) – “Prohibiting Sale of Fetal Tissue” to ensure profits will not be obtained by individuals or organizations by selling fetal tissue from an abortion.

These bills will be made available online as filed:

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