Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Rhoads JerryFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/21/14) — Meetings, proceedings and work days stretched past daylight’s end this week as the session calendar hastened legislative priorities.

Important bills were debated and discussed, passed from committees, from chambers and from the legislature to the governor with the hallmark intensity of session’s final days.

Work continued on the budget as lawmakers met throughout the week to discuss various details of the state’s biennial spending plan. The legislature has already devoted many hours, days and weeks to the measure and much more work is still ahead before the $20.3 billion proposal will be finalized.

We also continued to work on a responsible plan to provide relief to school districts still reeling from the effects of the winter’s harsh weather on their instructional calendars. The Senate passed a plan in House Bill 211 Monday that would allow local school boards to extend remaining school days in an effort to complete 1,062 instructional hours. The measure would give the Department of Education the flexibility to grant waivers for districts unable to complete the mandated hours after calendar adjustments. The House-approved snow day plan would allow school districts to waive up to 10 instructional school days.

A conference committee has been appointed on HB 211 to negotiate a compromise between the two proposals and should soon arrive at a plan.

The Senate approved a measure Wednesday that proposes an amendment to the State Constitution that would cut the number of working days during regular legislative sessions by a third. Senate Bill 195 would also give legislative leaders the authority to call special sessions limited to 10 days total during the biennium.

Supporters of this measure say the change would more closely resemble the citizen legislature envisioned by the founders of our state and would allow more Kentuckians the ability to consider serving in a legislative office. If Senate Bill 195 is approved by the House of Representatives, the question will be posed to voters for final ratification in the 2014 general election in November.

Many other bills cleared the chamber as well.

Senate Bill 200 is a result of months of work by the Unified Juvenile Code Task Force. The measure would make changes to the state’s juvenile justice system by shifting more focus to early intervention and services provided to offenders of minor crimes. Supporters say this will help identify and address underlying issues for juvenile offenders and positively impact their outcomes.

Senate Bill 72 would require the judicial branch to undergo redistricting every 10 years following the U.S. Census. Our current judicial district maps were determined decades ago. Massive population shifts since that time have led to uneven case loads and unequal representation across the state. Timely redistricting would help alleviate those problems and ensure each Kentuckian is served equally by their judiciary.

Senate Bill 176, which I have co-sponsored, would give kinship caregivers the ability to complete an affidavit affirming their role to authorize medical treatment and educational services, including school enrollment, for the children in their care. Nearly 60,000 children in the state are primarily cared for by grandparents or other kinship caregivers. This measure would eliminate a barrier these families face when caring for their young relatives.

Senate Bill 225 would update the state’s voyeurism laws to reflect recent technological advances. The measure would outlaw a practice called “up-skirting” in which cell phones are used to take pictures underneath a woman’s skirt without her consent.

Senate Bill 234 would change Kentucky’s sex offense laws and provide victims with added protection. SB 234 provides that a defendant’s conviction or plea of guilty to a sex offense operates as an application for a restraining order that restricts the defendant’s contact with the victim of the crime.

Senate Bill 192 would make school special law enforcement officers eligible for Homeland Security grants for body armor and other equipment from the sale of confiscated firearms. These officers are committed, trained and sworn officers. They deserve to have the necessary equipment to address whatever situation arises so they can protect our children, teachers, staff and themselves.

These bills now go to the House of Representative for further consideration.

Thursday, I had the privilege to honor the (LINK) Hopkins County Central High School High Voltage Varsity Dance Team on the floor of the Kentucky State Senate for their performance at the Kentucky Dance Coaches Organization competition. I am very proud of this fine group of young women and their coaches. I applaud them for the distinction they have brought to their school, to Madisonville, to Hopkins County and to our great commonwealth.

Much work remains in the final days of this session. As always, I encourage you to stay informed and involved.

To leave a message for me, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at (800) 372-7181. You can also e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

SurfKY News
Information provided by Jerry Rhoads

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Public's Assistance Needed in Locating Fugitive

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. (1/30/15) — The McCracken County Sheriff's Department is actively looking for Jason R. Blair, 24,… Read More

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/29/15) — The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office released the following reports Thursday, Jan. 29.… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 17538

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 8001

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 7714

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 28, 2015 6807

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 5677

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 5657

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 5313

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 28, 2015 5236

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 22684

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 22322

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 29, 2015 5657

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 30, 2015 3785

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Police…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 29, 2015 3646

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 30, 2015 2664

Portion of Kentucky 862 Closed as Emergency…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 29, 2015 2554

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepare for Possible…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 29, 2015 2318

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
January 29, 2015 2085

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 29, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 29, 2015 2083

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 29, 2015 2074

Group Organizing Prayer Circle for Youth

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1982

Keystone Approval Will Boost the Economy, Support…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Steurer
January 30, 2015 1969

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1946

Protect Your Sensitive Information from Hackers

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News