Restaurant flexibility, other measures approved by House

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)Legislation aimed at supporting the food service industry in Kentucky passed the House of Representatives unanimously Monday.

It was one of several measures that cleared one body or the other Monday, including one planning to celebrate a major milestone for the city of Harrodsburg.

“This bill provides restaurants the option to offer basic grocery staples to their customers. It will assist businesses in staying afloat by supplementing lack of revenue and having to pivot food supply,” said Republican state Rep. John Blanton, of Salyersville. “Establishing a concept where guests could purchase affordable produce, meat, and other essential pantry items while supporting a local business removes barriers at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.”

HB 190 would exempt legally permitted food service establishments from any state or local laws and administrative regulations that prohibit the sale of grocery items such as bread, milk, and other grocery staples to any customer.

The bill is a continuation of the provisions included in SB 150, which was passed during the 2020 legislative session.

HB 190 will move to the Senate for consideration. Details of the measure can be viewed on the Legislative Research Commission’s website at www.legislature.ky.gov.

Also, legislation filed by Rep. Shawn McPherson aimed at helping Living Organ Donors passed the House. This piece of legislation would prohibit certain insurance coverage determinations based upon the status of an individual as a living organ donor. HB 75 would also encourage the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to develop and circulate educational materials relating to living organ donation.

More than 6,000 Kentucky residents are currently on dialysis waiting for a kidney transplant. There were 208 kidney donations from Kentucky in 2020 and 39 of those donations were from living organ donors.

“We need to protect those that are willing to undergo major surgery to save a human life. Organ donors are truly heroes,” said McPherson.

Today, House Bill 75 goes to the Senate . For more information on this measure, visit legislature.ky.gov .

The House also passed a measure aimed at expanding access to healthcare through telehealth medicine. HB 140, sponsored by Rep. Deanna Frazier, would codify current COVID-related telehealth provisions in statute, ensuring Kentuckians have continued access to medical care.

“The utilization of telehealth has been one of the shining moments of hope throughout this pandemic,” Frazier said. “Expansion of telehealth services has been extremely valuable by allowing for timely, flexible, and efficient patient care.”

The legislation is a continuation of the provisions included in SB 150, which was passed during the 2020 Legislative session to temporarily relax telehealth regulations, which opened the door for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to expand telehealth services.

In 2018, Kentucky passed what has been called one of the most progressive telehealth laws in the country, and HB 140, if signed into law, would build upon that progress.

HB 140 will now move to the Senate for consideration. To view the measure in its entirety, visit legislature.ky.gov or follow the link here. 

The House also approved a bill to establish a commission to celebrate the Sestercentennial of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. House Bill 256, sponsored by Representative Kim King of Harrodsburg, will set up a commission responsible for overseeing the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Kentucky town.

“Harrodsburg is my home so it is always close to my heart,” King said. “As Tourism Chair, it was my honor to present this legislation for approval. By establishing this commission now in preparation of the Sestercentennial in 2024, Mercer County can officially start the process of planning for this historic anniversary.”

Harrodsburg was founded in 1774 by pioneers led by James Harrod of Pennsylvania.

It was the only “colonial” city and the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. Referred to as the “Birthplace of the West,” Harrodsburg has a proud and remarkable heritage which will be celebrated during the Sestercentennial in 2024.

HB 256 passed the House and will head to the Senate.

To review the specific details of HB 256, please visit the Legislative Research Commission website or follow the link here.

The House approved a bill that would simplify the licensing process for active service members in Kentucky.  House Bill 227 would exempt the Kentucky operator’s license requirement for a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, their spouse and dependent child who hold a valid driver’s license from another state when they are assigned to Kentucky but maintain a permanent residence elsewhere.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

To read specifics about House Bill 227, click here.

 

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