Fetal Heartbeat, Conceal/Carry Without Permit, More Bills Pass
by Senator Steve Meredith:
It was a productive third week of the 2019 Regular Session, as the General Assembly remained hard at work in Frankfort.
Working with our colleagues across the aisle, we forged ahead in committee meetings in which we heard testimony, discussed policy, and advanced bills for a floor vote. Friday, we reached the filing deadline for new bills in the Senate. Moreover, we are pleased with the consequential legislation that is before us this session.
The Senate Majority made notable progress on our legislative agenda successfully passing 9 bills over the course of the week. This legislation will now move to the other chamber to be deliberated by the House of Representatives. Prominent among those passed were bills concerning 2nd Amendment rights and pro-life measures.
Always a passionate topic, the Senate addressed abortion this week. After much consideration, we passed a “Fetal Heartbeat Bill.” Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Senator Matt Castlen, would ban the ability to perform an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat with the exception of a medical emergency. This pro-life legislation is just one of the several pro-life related bills the General Assembly will consider this year. I will remain steadfast by voting to protect life.
Senate Bill 150, sponsored by Senator Brandon Smith, would allow the carrying of a concealed firearm without a license. The measure states that people 21 or older who are able to lawfully possess a firearm may carry a concealed weapon without a license in the same locations as people with valid state-issued licenses. Another provision states no one would be allowed to carry or possess any deadly weapon where it is already prohibited by federal law.
Senate Bill 40, of which I am the primary sponsor, would limit the amount of attorney’s fees that could be collected as a result of legal action for building code violations. Senate Bill 99, sponsored by Senator Max Wise, creates the ability for a properly licensed winery to ship a limited number of cases of wine directly to consumers. Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Senator Mike Wilson, prohibits government entities from contracting with groups or individuals who are actively boycotting Kentucky trading partners based on discriminatory practices, including Israel. A bill sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams, Senate Bill 15, expands school security by requiring two levels of clearance for new hires, board members, and other school personnel. Senate Bill 70, sponsored by Senator Alice Forgy Kerr, redefines the crime of strangulation as a Class D felony.
Additionally, we passed Senate Bill 100, legislation to reform Kentucky’s current private solar net metering policy. This bill, sponsored by Senator Brandon Smith, would change how much owners of solar power systems are reimbursed for electricity they add to the power grid generated as they do with all other electric rates in Kentucky. Furthermore, this bill protects all current net metered customers by allowing them to be grandfathered and guarantees a minimum of 25 years under their current net metering agreement.
Every day, I am mindful of the primary obligation we have as legislators: To represent those who entrusted us with this responsibility. The Regular Session is a pivotal time to statutorily address the needs and concerns of our district in the capitol. I remain humbled to serve as your State Senator as we continue to work towards developing policy that is best for all Kentuckians.
For ambitious students who want to be a part of this year’s legislative process, the Senate offers page opportunities for all ages. Students interested should contact my office at (502) 564-8100 to make a formal request. Full-time page opportunities are also available. More information regarding both page programs can be found at www.legisature.ky.gov.
If you have any questions or comments about the issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.