Legislative Update by C.B. Embry, Jr.
Bills to Protect Kentucky Families Moving in Committee
FRANKFORT, Ky. – After a slow start, a number of bills introduced to protect Kentucky families from runaway government spending, substance abuse related crimes and restrain government spending began moving through the Kentucky Legislature this week.
House Bill 413 was introduced this week by House GOP Caucus Chair Dr. Bob DeWeese of Louisville, providing for an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution to suspend legislative compensation in the event the legislature does fulfill its constitutional responsibility to adopt a balanced budget. Introducing the bill Dr. DeWeese said he has become increasingly frustrated when the legislature consistently walks away from its constitutional responsibility to pass a balanced budget. He said as a parent and grand-parent he has always said there needs to be consequences for bad behavior and withholding compensation for members in a “Special Session” to balance the budget appears to be an effective way of getting the members to put their priorities in order.
House GOP Whip Danny Ford introduced House Bill 418 which would require that the county attorney to post a statement on the deed of any property utilized in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The statement could be removed from the deed once certification of a clean-up of the house or structure has been completed. Rep. Ford frequently reminds members the meth crisis touches every corner of this Commonwealth and it is appropriate for the legislature to take steps to protect unsuspecting purchasers from the potential negative effects of purchasing contaminated property.
Finally, House Bill 377, introduced by Rep. Addia Wuchner of Florence saw committee passage of legislation to prohibit the unauthorized substitution for an FDA approved opioid based drug such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and OxyCodine. Under the provisions of Rep. Wuchner’s bill tamper resident formulations make it much more difficult to crush, melt, or otherwise alter the medication into a form that is more easily used for illegal purposes.
According to published media reports Kentucky currently ranks number six in the nation for deaths related to overuse of pain killers.
As many citizens have expressed their views on the issue of expanded gaming, the Kentucky State Senate ended the debate on the issue for the 2012 session defeating Senate Bill 151 by a vote of 16 members voting in favor and 21 voting in opposition. It would have taken 23 votes in the affirmative to pass send the bill to the House for consideration.
As always, I welcome your comments and concerns for the upcoming session. I can be reached at home at (270) 526-6237, or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. A taped message containing information on legislative committee meeting schedules is available by calling 1-800-633-9650, and information on the status of each bill is available by calling 1-866-840-2835. If you have Internet access, I can be reached at email@example.com, or you may keep track of legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.