|State Sen. Wil Schroder, R-Wilder, discusses legislation with state Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, during the opening days of the 2016 General Assembly in Frankfort. Credit: LRC.|
The Kentucky Senate saw an action-packed, productive second week of our legislative session. Floor votes, committee hearings, and spirited debate highlighted the great work our Senate is doing to move our state forward. We also welcomed guests from all corners of the Commonwealth to Frankfort to speak on behalf of various bills.
The Senate began passing bills on Thursday, headlined by my bill, Senate Bill (SB) 9. This measure would repeal the prevailing wage requirement on public school projects with a cost of over $250,000. Passage of this priority legislation will reduce construction costs on large-scale school projects, thus providing additional funding for education, and I am proud to sponsor legislation that will aid our education system.
Senate Bill 11 also passed, helping bourbon distilleries, wineries and breweries across Kentucky. SB 11 would allow bourbon distilleries to offer by-the-drink sales to visitors, sell more bourbon on-site, and offer slightly larger quantities of free samples to better accommodate the hundreds of thousands of tourists attracted to Kentucky distilleries each year. Additionally, SB 11 would allow expanded production for local small farm wineries and microbreweries.
On Thursday we were visited by hundreds of young and energetic faces celebrating Children’s Advocacy Day, sponsored by Kentucky Youth Advocates. The group hosted a rally in the Capitol Rotunda where several Senate majority members were recognized for their efforts in standing up for Kentucky’s children.
From Senate committee meetings this week, two of our priority bills—SB 4 and SB 10—were reported favorably. SB 4 would require women seeking an abortion to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor at least 24 hours in advance of the procedure as a measure to help further promote the value of life. SB 10 would move statewide elections to even-numbered years, thus promoting greater voter turnout and saving the Commonwealth money.
Senate Bill 72, which clarifies when the Executive Branch must come before the Legislature to make appropriations and protects the separation of powers in state government, also passed out of the Licensing and Occupation Committee this week.
Senate Bill 56, which would extend the look-back window for DUI’s from five years to 10, and SB 60, which would add further protections for vulnerable victims of sex crimes, were both reported out of the Judiciary Committee this week.
The Health and Welfare Committee passed SB 20, which would create an appeals process for Medicaid claims denied by a managed care organization, and SB 33, which would require students to receive CPR training one time while enrolled in grades 9-12.
In the Education Committee, SB 52 passed, which would allow veterans to receive a provisional teaching certificate after meeting certain criteria. The same committee also passed SB 81, which would require the Department of Education to create a system identifying students with military parents or families.
As we look forward to another busy week of session, I am proud of the bipartisan demeanor displayed thus far in the Senate and I will continue to commit myself to legislation that will move our Commonwealth forward.
If you have any questions or comments about the issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Wil.Schroder@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.