FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Several new laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2019 session will go into effect on Thursday, June 27.
Concealed carry: Senate Bill 150 allows concealed firearms to be carried without a concealed carry permit.
The measure allows Kentuckians age 21 and older who are legally eligible to possess a firearm to carry a concealed weapon without a license in the same location as people with valid state-issued licenses.
Permitless carry not be allowed where prohibited by federal law or otherwise prohibited.
Caller ID: House Bill 84 prohibits telephone solicitations that misrepresent the name or telephone number in caller identification services, increase fines for second offenses and allows for civil lawsuits against violators.
Felony Expungement: Senate Bill 57 expands the number of Kentuckians eligible to have low-level felonies expunged from their criminal records.
It will do this by expanding discretionary expungement to all Class D felonies with some exceptions for crimes such as stealing in office, abusing children and sexual abuse.
It includes a five-year waiting period to apply for expungement, a $250 application fee and provisions for prosecutors to object and judges to reject the applications.
Free speech: House Bill 254, dubbed the campus free speech bill, requires the state’s public universities to affirm they favor a free marketplace of ideas where speech is not suppressed because it’s deemed “offensive, unwise, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional or radical.” SB 254 will also expand areas commonly known as “free speech zones” on many campuses to any accessible, open, outdoor venue.
Government contracts: House Bill 135 prohibits public agencies from requiring that their contractors on public works projects have agreements with labor organizations.
Kinship care: House Bill 2 creates a caregiver assistance program for relatives and “fictive kin” – usually close family friends – of abused, neglected or dependent children.
The measure does this by offering different options to the caregivers based on the level of care they provide. HB 2 is designed to address growth in the out-of-home placement of Kentucky children amid the state’s current opioid crisis.
Lobbying: Senate Bill 6 requires disclosure of executive agency lobbyist compensation. The measure will also prohibit compensation contingent on awarding of a government contract.
It will provide oversight, by requiring executive branch lobbyists to register and list their clients. That’s already required of legislative lobbyists.
Midwives: Senate Bill 84 recognizes, certifies and regulates home-birth midwives in Kentucky. The measure would create a council to advise the state Board of Nursing on the creation of regulations regarding qualifications, standards for training, competency, any necessary statutory changes and all other matters relating to certified professional midwives.
Pregnancy: Senate Bill 18, the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act, clarifies employers’ responsibilities when it comes to making reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees.
It makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to accommodate a pregnant employee and requires employers to provide notice to employees regarding these rights.
Scooters: House Bill 258 sets operating standards for electric scooters and allows the machines to legally operate much like bicycles on public streets. It also limits e-scooter speeds to no more than 20 mph.
Sex crimes: Senate Bill 67creates the offense of sexual crimes against an animal.
Strangulation: Senate Bill 70 makes non-fatal strangulation its own felony crime under Kentucky’s criminal code.
Student loan debt: House Bill 118, prohibits someone from having an occupational license suspended or revoked because of delinquency on a student loan or work-conditional scholarship.
The measure is meant to help keep people with student loan debt out of poverty and in the workforce.
Tobacco: House Bill 11 bans the use of tobacco, e-cigarettes and vaping devices on public school campuses, in school vehicles and at school activities beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
School districts will have up to three years to opt out of the ban should they choose. The individual districts not opting out will also be able to set the penalties for violating the ban.