We now have one other quick, 30-day Normal Meeting session within the books. Your Senate and Home of Representatives labored diligently to move robust laws benefitting the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“Brief” periods are supposed to wash up or tweak legal guidelines handed in earlier years, and this yr’s session not solely completed that but additionally noticed a number of items of landmark laws handed by each chambers.
Medical marijuana was possible probably the most talked about legislative win of the session. After 5 years of tireless efforts by legislators and supporters of the trigger, Senate Invoice 47 was pushed over the end line and signed into legislation. It is going to present non-opioid palliative assist for these affected by particular diseases. Many view this as an incredible advance for residents wishing for extra holistic therapy choices and improved high quality of life.
Sports activities wagering was one other hot-button problem lengthy within the works which lastly acquired passage by each chambers. With our state’s prolific horse racing business and the well-established wagering system already in place, it appeared solely pure to increase gaming to different sports activities as our neighbor states have. In the event you select to take part, you’ll be able to really feel good that income from wagering will fund the Everlasting State Worker Pension Fund and the Drawback Playing Fund.
In the identical vein of sports activities wagering, the Normal Meeting additionally handed a legislation to ban “grey machines,” in any other case referred to as video games of ability. Grey machines are sometimes present in fuel stations, comfort shops, eating places, and bars and have been unregulated and untaxed. Banning these video games will convey a reimbursement into the state to fund wanted packages for pensions, scholarships, and restoration for these hooked on playing.
Amongst a slate of high-profile however essential payments handed this session, the Normal Meeting addressed the rising issues over minors being uncovered to grownup content material in colleges. We voted on and handed a invoice increasing parental rights over the standard of literature present in colleges and offering a framework to oust sexually express supplies. Defending the rights of academics and college students, we included a provision to stop mandated non-conforming pronoun utilization together with giving mother and father an opportunity to evaluation sexual schooling curricula and decide their kids out if that mum or dad finds it offensive.
The 2023 Normal Meeting additionally listened to the issues of most commonwealth residents and voted to ban everlasting surgical and hormonal gender transitioning in minors. It is a rising development nationwide, inflicting irreparable bodily and psychological hurt to kids. The invoice additionally addressed gender-neutral restrooms in colleges by requiring college students to make use of the restroom matching the gender of their delivery.
Workforce growth took a entrance seat throughout the session this yr, as we handed 52 payments by each chambers that, in some measures, take away administrative boundaries to getting a job, make it simpler to get a job or improve the general job market. The first focus was easing workforce shortages and challenges in healthcare and schooling.
Lastly, a significant win for working Kentuckians was the legislature approving a further half share revenue tax lower. A further tax lower is coming at first of 2024. That is all a part of the Normal Meeting’s dedication to strengthen Kentucky’s economic system, which largely relies on a aggressive and trendy tax construction that makes Kentucky a sexy place for companies to flourish and households to reside.
Lawmakers will quickly enter the 2023 Interim interval, the place work to develop an agenda for the 2024 Legislative Session begins. The first focus in subsequent yr’s 60-day session would be the biennial state finances and highway plan.
Senator Stephen West, R-Paris, represents the 27th District, together with Bourbon, Fleming, Harrison, Mason, Nicholas, Robertson and Rowan Counties and a part of northern Fayette County.