handicapped accessFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/7/18) — Legislation designed to limit misuse of disabled parking permit placards in Kentucky moved a step closer toward final passage today.
 
House Bill 81, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, would limit eligible individuals or organizations to one free permanent or temporary disabled parking placard while requiring $10 for each additional placard. Unique decals would replace handwritten permit information on the placards upon renewal, making them harder to alter, said Miller.
 
Those most in need of the placards would be able to keep a permanent placard for six years  instead of the current two before having to renew the permit while others would find it easier to get a temporary placard, said Miller. Temporary placards could be attained via a statement attesting to the disability by a physician assistant, physical therapist or occupational therapist for the first time under the law, with other providers also being able to provide required proof.
 
“The intent of the bill is cut down on fraud that we obviously have, make it easier to get temporary (placard) stickers, and allow those who really need them to find parking places,” Miller told the House.
 
Miller said the legislation is needed mainly because of a 10-year-old court case that led to the removal of all fees for disabled parking placards in Kentucky. He said the number of placards issued in the Commonwealth grew from around 32,600 to over 298,000 in the aftermath of that case. 
 
Rep. McKenzie Cantrell, D-Louisville, who voted in favor of the bill, praised a provision that would set the expiration date of the placards in the permit holder’s birth month, instead of on the date that the permit was issued.
 
“That was one of the suggested changes that my constituent (made),” Cantrell said. “So I do think that it will streamline the process and hopefully make it easier for these people who are truly in need.”
 
HB 81 passed the House by a vote of 85-10. It now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

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