Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Senate Week in Review – March 21, 2014

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 2014 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.

Faces & Stories: The People of Land Between the Lakes

In Other News...

Tail Light Out Traffic Stop Turns to Drug Arrest

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/24/14) — Madisonville Police observed a vehicle turning southbound onto South Church Street from… Read More

Curves Ladies Help Raise Bullying Awareness

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (10/25/14) ― The ladies of Curves in Madisonville accepted the Girl Scouts’ challenge to wear… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 20, 2014 7390

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 19, 2014 5016

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 21, 2014 3562

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 22, 2014 3323

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 21, 2014 3193

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 3060

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2990

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
October 20, 2014 2961

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 22, 2014 2653

Convicted Felon Charged for Handgun Possession…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
October 20, 2014 2498

Paul Simon Headlines COPD Tribute for Phil Everly

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

October 24, 2014 2283

Central City Man Charged with Sexual Assault on…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Chris Cooper
October 23, 2014 1998

Don Everly to be Part of Rock and Roll Hall of…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
October 24, 2014 1938

Miners Turn Out in Madisonville for…

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 24, 2014 1823

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Reporting Check…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 24, 2014 1693

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 24, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 24, 2014 1568

Family Looking for 'Runner'

in Hopkins News by Lisa Crook
October 24, 2014 1460

County Renews Career Advancement Lease

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 24, 2014 1417

Baldwin, Crist and Saint Selected to 2014 Second…

in Hopkins Sports by Troy Crist
October 24, 2014 1299

Tail Light Out Traffic Stop Turns to Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 996

Security Officer Offers Identity Theft Protection…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss