by District 19 State Representative Michael Lee Meredith
For those who value life at every stage across the Commonwealth, this week produced another major victory in Frankfort. Following House passage of the informed consent bill last week, the Senate overwhelmingly agreed to concur with the changes to SB 4.
The bill was immediately hand delivered to Governor Bevin, where he signed his name on the spot. This bipartisan measure was the first bill signed into law by the newly installed Governor, and I was proud to fight for and have success in seeing pro-life legislation become law for the first time in more than 12 years.
To build on the unprecedented pro-life momentum we’ve seen so far, Republicans in the House began a push for SB 7, which deals with organizations like Planned Parenthood which provide abortion services. The bill, sponsored by Senator Max Wise, would prohibit state and local funds from being distributed to an entity like Planned Parenthood. It would also establish a funding priority for the distribution of federal funds that assures state, county, and local community health clinics receive funding first.
SB 7 arose in response to the recent news that Planned Parenthood in Louisville has begun providing abortion services, despite not being properly licensed under Kentucky law. As a pro-life legislator, I will work hard and continue to push for this and other legislation I know is important to you.
As I outlined last week, Gov. Bevin laid out his budget proposal and the bill has now been filed. Work has begun in the House at the committee level to examine, consider, and alter the proposal if necessary. We are working tirelessly to ensure we present a fiscally sound budget, and also one that protects our most vulnerable citizens and those who put their lives on the line working to protect us. As Governor Bevin said, we must work to eliminate wasteful spending and tighten our belts as we try to create a more stable financial future for the Commonwealth in the wake of an ongoing pension crisis.
In other news, House Republicans were successful this week in defeating a bill that would have doubled the annual fee on all automobile dealers, regardless of size. When the bill sponsor was asked questions about the need for the increased fees or what the new revenue would be used for, he could not give a clear answer, leaving members of both parties to wonder why the bill was needed.
Also, House Bill 175, which I sponsored to help protect the powers of federal peace officers granted authority under state law passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on Wednesday and will now move one step closer on the way through the legislative process.
As always, I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues impacting our Commonwealth as the 2016 Regular Session continues. I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at Michael.Meredith@lrc.ky.gov. You can keep track of committee meetings and legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.