Caregiver bill becomes law, child abuse measure, farm aid advance

Measure provides more effective means of investigating and gathering evidence in cases involving child fatalities or near fatalities

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – After missing Friday because of snow and ice, the state Senate convened Monday receiving news of enactment of Senate Bill (SB) 100 into law and passing legislation benefiting Kentucky farmers, strengthen investigations of child deaths or near deaths, and provide better health outcomes for newborns.

SB 100 extends provisions of SB 2 from last summer’s special session, which allows residents of assisted-living facilities, long-term care facilities and mental hospitals access to loved ones as compassionate caregivers. The Kentucky General Assembly unanimously moved SB 100 to the governor’s desk on January 31, the date the provision was set to expire.

Senate bills passed Monday and now one step closer to the governor’s desk included:

SB 97, sponsored by retired law enforcement officer Sen. Danny Carroll (R-Benson), provides more effective means of investigating and gathering evidence in cases involving child fatalities or near fatalities. Among other provisions, it allows law enforcement to request a blood, breath or urine testing of the person supervising a child in cases of fatality or near fatality if they believe the supervising adult is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the adult refuses and probable cause exists, testing would require a warrant. Additionally, the bill does some restructuring to strengthen legislative oversight and input. It requires coroners to make more timely reports to law enforcement, the health department and the Department of Community-Based Services regarding deaths involving children ages 18 and younger.

Carroll serves as co-chair of the Legislative Oversight and Investigations Committee. That committee heard testimony last October from the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel– an independent panel charged with conducting comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities reported to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services suspected to be a result of abuse or neglect.

SB 105, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville), increases awareness of and improves treatment for newborns with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus related to chickenpox and mononucleosis. CMV can cause long-term health problems; hearing loss is most common in babies born with congenital CMV. The bill provides for CMV testing when risk factors are present and requires the Department for Public Health to provide educational resources and information to pregnant women and women who may become pregnant.

SB 53, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), assists farmers who may not be able to afford to purchase certain types of farm equipment by authorizing a Soil and Water Conservation District to lease heavy or specialized equipment to residents in the district.

The bill authorizes the continuation of a successful program that has helped Kentucky farmers since 1948.

SB 112, sponsored by Sen. Wil Schroder (R-Wilder), specifies interlocal agreements amended solely to add or remove parties to the agreement are not required to be submitted to the Secretary of State to become effective. The bill simplifies local governments’ efforts to work together for mutual benefit.

Senate Resolution 41, sponsored by Sen. Phillip Wheeler (R-Pikeville), confirms the appointment of John Barry Coleman as an administrative law judge in the Department of Workers’ Claims. The department has exclusive jurisdiction over workers’ compensation claims.

These bills now qualify for consideration by the state House of Representatives.

Categories: News, State News

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