by Senator Steve Meredith:
Through icy road conditions and frigid temperatures, the Kentucky General Assembly completed another 3-days of legislative business in Frankfort. I hope you have remained safe during the winter weather that’s rolled into the bluegrass recently. Join me in taking a moment to thank the fantastic folks who have braved it to keep our lights on and our roads clear.
Amid ongoing budget discussions, key legislation to address challenges facing our state continues through the legislative process here in Frankfort. Several priority measures have already passed this session, including Senate Bills (SB) 1 and 2, and House Bills (HB) 1, 2, 3, and 5.
Another priority bill came one step closer to join that list this week after it cleared a Senate committee with approval.
The bill outlines services that may prove essential during a given state of emergency. We have all gained a greater appreciation for the various sectors in our society that are essential, even if only to an individual reliant on them. Business owners and employees have experienced the stresses of meeting safety guidelines while still earning enough to keep doors open and bills paid. Under SB 5, those individuals and businesses providing services would be protected from liability during a formal state of emergency and for a year after the emergency is declared.
Additional legislation receiving passage in the Senate included:
Kentucky has done an excellent job in recent years on the cancer screening and prevention front. We were once ranked 49th in this area and have reached a ranking as high as 17th. We currently rank about 22nd. More work is left to do in our ongoing fight against cancer, but I am pleased that we are re-strategizing our efforts through improved legislation such as this.
Opposition to the process notwithstanding, I opposed SB 120 because I believe the government's endorsement of this destructive addiction is wrong. It is harmful to communities and preys on the poor who pray they will win big, yet rarely do. Gambling ruins lives and is a regressive tax on those financially struggling. Finally, I see this bill as a step toward further expansion of forms of gambling. It provides no reassurances. SB 120 is likely to be challenged in court.
I look forward to keeping you updated through the remainder of the session. God Bless!
If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me Stephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov.