Pro-Life Bill, Others Pass
by: Senator Steve Meredith
As we approach the latter days of the 2019 Regular Session, the Capitol remains as busy as ever. Countless visitors from across Kentucky advocated important issues in a week that had no shortage of legislative activity.
Significant bills are heading to Governor Bevin’s desk with the hope that they will soon be signed into law. As the result of months of discussion and collaboration, Senate Bill 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. SB 1, sponsored by Senator Max Wise, would boost school safety by improving the type of personnel, systems and structures, and student culture in Kentucky’s schools. While in the House, improvements were added to the language such as creating the position of the state school safety marshal, whose role would be similar to that of a state fire marshal. We are hopeful that this pivotal school safety bill will soon be signed into law.
Senate Bill 4 is also awaiting a signature from the Governor. SB 4, sponsored by Senator Damon Thayer, would require all candidates running for a public office in Kentucky to electronically file their campaign finance reports starting in 2020. This bill eliminates the option of filing a paper report with the exception of candidates whose campaigns raise less than $3,000. As more filing measures move to digital platforms, SB 4 establishes an organized and efficient way to report campaign finances.
The Senate passed two substantial bills this week, which were sponsored by Senate President Robert Stivers. Senate Bill 6 addresses executive branch ethics by requiring the disclosure of executive agency lobbyist compensation. Senate Bill 2 would allow a broader representation of elected judges to hear cases which affect the entire Commonwealth and its constituency rather than two circuit judges who are elected by only the residents of Franklin County.
Additionally, three bills which I sponsored passed out of the Senate. Senate Bill 149 would allow a provider to appeal multiple insurance claims for health and medical services in a single external review and allow a single administrative hearing to be held to appeal the final decision of an external review that involved multiple claims. Senate Bill 110 would amend these definition of credentialing verification organization to delete the requirement that verification by certain non-profits to only include employees of its members. Senate Bill 41 would increase transparency and accountability for contingency fee legal personal services contracts entered into on behalf of our commonwealth.
We also passed a pro-life bill commonly known as the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. Senate Bill 227, sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield, requires that medical professionals take all appropriate steps necessary to preserve the life and health of an infant who is born alive after a failed abortion. This commonsense bill is another legislative stride to protect life here in Kentucky.
Thank you for your continued feedback and support. It is an honor to represent you in Frankfort, and I look forward to continued discussion on a number of issues facing our district and the Commonwealth.
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 e-mail me atStephen.Meredith@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.legislature.ky.gov.