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Senate Week in Review - March 7, 2014

Rhoads JerryFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/7/14) — Many lawmakers joined thousands of Kentuckians gathered along Capitol Avenue Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,’s March on Frankfort.

It was a cold and blustery March 5 when Dr. King led 10,000 others in a march up to the front door of our Capitol in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

Retracing his steps with some of those who walked with him then was a wonderful demonstration of how far we have come as a state and nation and a poignant reminder that we are writing history and paving a future for our state with the laws we make in these truly hallowed halls.

Every bill we pass both the mundane and the magnificent is a tribute to decades and centuries of struggle and sacrifice for freedom and equality and a more perfect representative democracy.

Many bills were discussed this week. More than a dozen gained full Senate approval.

Among them, Senate Bill 109, which passed 36-2, would prohibit the sale of “electronic cigarettes” to minors. E-cigarettes are sometimes marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes because they are smokeless. But they still emit a vaporized form of nicotine to users that supporters of the measure feel is addictive and unsafe for youth. SB 109 would put e-cigarettes under the same rules and regulations of tobacco products.

Several of the bills approved by the Senate this week focused on the concealed-carry law in the state.

Senate Bill 100 would modernize and streamline the concealed carry application process by allowing electronic submission for licenses in the state. This would expedite the electronic application process to two weeks (as opposed to two months for a paper application). SB 100 has the support of the Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association and the National Rifle Association.

We hope this measure will help with the back log of CCDW applications the state is dealing with. This would not change any training or licensing requirements, but would simply allow law abiding citizens to receive their CCDW license more quickly.

In an effort to make the CCDW application process more straightforward for veterans, Senate Bill 125 would further clarify the allowance for certain honorably discharged service members to forgo the training requirement for a CCDW license. The measure would allow them to sign an affidavit confirming completion of military handgun training. These men and women have served and defended our state and nation and have proven they can be trusted to safely and responsibly handle weapons outside the military.

These bills now go to the House of Representatives for further action.

On Thursday, I was pleased to meet with individuals from across the state representing our public libraries.

Public libraries play a vital role in our communities. Kentuckians use their libraries to meet their basic needs and to enhance their lives. They use the public libraries to save money, educate their children, find jobs, and access the internet.

Another important milestone was reached this week as we completed two thirds of the session – the deadline for filing new bills.

With 800 bills introduced this year, we will have plenty to consider in our final 20 working days. And while no new bills will be introduced, there is still plenty of time for you to exercise your rights and get involved with any of the bills already in the process.

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

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