by Senator Steve Meredith
We are halfway through the 2019 Regular Session, and the Senate is eager to continue making progress in these final weeks.
The General Assembly did not convene on Monday in observation of Presidents Day. Before resuming legislative business on Tuesday, both the House and the Senate reconvened at the historic Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort.
We passed a wide range of bills concerning issues, including public education, agribusiness, medical licensing, animal safety, and more. Both chambers still have an extensive array of legislation to consider in the weeks ahead.
Several bills are moving to the House following an extremely productive week in the Senate. Among those passed was Senate Bill 34, sponsored by Senator Damon Thayer. SB 34 amends state law regarding the voter registration database. This bill requires the Kentucky Board of Elections to institute measures to ensure there is no inappropriate use of the voter registration roster. Only county clerks, assistant county clerks, and Kentucky Board of Elections staff will have the authority to access the roster.
A bill designed to reduce drunk driving also passed in the Senate this week. Senate Bill 85, Sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield, strengthens Kentucky’s current ignition interlock device (IID) measure by making these breathalyzer-type devices available to all driving under the influence (DUI) offenders. SB 85 also includes a compliance-based component that incentivizes the use of IID by mandating stiffer penalties for those DUI offenders who choose not to use the device.
I still have several bills advancing through the legislative process and I am optimistic of their passage this session. Those bills focus upon reducing the cost of healthcare, strengthening the value of certificates of occupancy for residential home builders, and increasing government transparency and accountability.
For ambitious students who want to be a part of this year’s legislative process, the Senate offers page opportunities for all ages. Those interested should contact my office to make a formal request. Full-time page opportunities are also available.
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.