Legislative session winding down; some bills await final signing

Lawmakers return to session next Tuesday and Wednesday.

FRANKFORT, Ky (WTVQ)- Time is winding down for this year’s regular legislative session. Lawmakers have only days left to get their bills passed by both chambers and sent to Governor Beshear’s desk for final approval.
But there are some bills that already waiting on his signature before becoming law.

One Senate bill would ban some defendants from getting the death penalty, if they’re diagnosed with a severe mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. That would apply to those with a documented history, including a diagnosis from a mental health professional. Active symptoms must be proven at the time of the offense.

Another bill on Beshear’s desk is SB 83, which would ban transgender girls and women from participating in school sports that match their gender identity from sixth grade through college. Opponents of the bill say it discriminates against some of the state’s most vulnerable youth and encourage the governor to veto the measure.

On Friday, Governor Beshear signed 8 bills into law, including HB252. That would allow 18-year-old’s to serve alcohol or work in an alcohol distribution warehouse, as long as they are supervised by someone at least 20 years old.

Beshear signed seven other bills, which will become law on their effective date:

Senate Bill 55 makes changes to the certification of stroke centers and changes the name of the certification from primary stroke center to certified stroke center. The measure also adds thrombectomy capable stroke center certification to the list of other stroke care certifications issued by the Joint Commission, American Heart Association or equivalent accrediting organization.

Senate Bill 111 relates to tax-increment financing (TIF) projects and corrects an error made during the 2021 regular session when language intended for a state statute governing the use of consultants was mistakenly applied to local entities. Other provisions include requiring consultants making TIF reports to work with city or county budget offices and developers to pay for the consulting fees.

Senate Bill 174 clarifies that slow-moving vehicles used by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can lawfully use necessary routes without risk of violating statutes related to impeding traffic.

House Bill 127 governs court-ordered mental health treatment. Among the measure’s provisions, it corrects some procedural language and greatly expands access to a court order for assisted outpatient treatment of individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness.

House Bill 237 adds required cultural and social training for psychologists concerning health and quality-of-life issues for patients. It also changes the prerequisites to be titled a licensed psychological associate to anyone with an education equivalent to a master’s degree who also has been accepted into an approved pre-doctoral internship program.

House Bill 263 makes criminal abuse in the first degree of a victim who is younger than 12 a Class B felony.

House Bill 453 amends the statute governing open meetings. It specifies that an agency can discuss the selection or evaluation of a bidder for a local contract in a closed session, rather than just a state contract. It requires the publication of information on how the public can attend video conference meetings. The bill also requires the physical location of meetings held via video to be identified if two or more members of an agency are meeting from that physical location and it limits city commissions from meeting in a closed session more than twice per year to discuss the job performance of city managers.

Lawmakers return to session next Tuesday and Wednesday.

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