Some bills that are still (barely) alive, and others that are dead

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

For anyone who doesn’t follow the legislature closely, the rules and schedule can seem arcane.

The legislature meets for a certain number of days each year – 60 days for the “long session” in even-numbered years, and 30 days for the “short session.” But, in order to give the governor time to veto bills and for the legislature to override the vetoes, the calendar reserves two days at the end of the session after the “veto days.”

Not only do those final two days give the legislature time to override vetoes, it also allows the legislature to pass more bills. Of course, if they pass a bill and the gov vetoes it, they can’t do anything about the veto, because the session has ended.

Another thing – Each bill is supposed to get three readings over three days. So, if a bill hasn’t already had at least one reading, it is (supposedly) dead for this session. (Of course, the rules haven’t meant very much these days, so I supposed it would be possible for the Repubs to suspend the rules and pass a bill in one day.)

Here, then, are where some bills stand as we head to the closing two days of the session. We’re only looking at bills that have crossed over (passed one chamber).

Bills that are still barely alive

Anti-SLAPP (HB 222) – A bill to dismiss SLAPP lawsuits (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).

Cannabis research (HB 604) – Create the Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research at UK.

Sports wagering (HB 606) – Passed the House, and was given two readings in the Senate to give the bill sponsor time to line up more votes in the Senate.

Gray gambling machines (HB 608) – The gambling machines spreading across the state. Has had two readings in the Senate.

Problem Gambling Assistance Fund (HB 609) – Part of the package of wagering and gambling bills introduced this session. Had its first and second readings on the last two days before veto days.

Diversion pilot (SB 90) – Create a program to divert from jail time certain persons needing help with substance abuse.

Bills that are dead or nearly dead

No vax disclosure (HB 28) – A bill to prevent government and educational employers from asking a person about their vaccination status. Died in committee after the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Maddox, learned she didn’t have the votes.

Can’t enforce firearms bans (HB 29) – Prevents LEOs from enforcing any firearms bans. Passed House, no hearings in Senate.

No vax mandates in schools (HB 51) – Can’t require masks in schools. Passed House, died in Senate.

Juneteenth as state holiday (HB 133) – Passed House 97-0 (!). Died in Senate.

Medical marijuana (HB 136) – Passed the House, appears dead in the Senate.

Read to Succeed Act (HB 226) – Passed House 86-7. Died in Senate.

Ban on charitable bail organizations (HB 313) – Passed the House, died in the Senate.

Juvenile justice “reform” (HB 318) – Supposedly deals with violent juvenile offenders, but instead undoes years of work on making the juvenile justice system more fair.

Attack on open records (SB 63) – Poorly-written bill that supposedly deals with protection of personal information in open records requests – but in fact duplicates protections that already exist, plus adds a bunch of administrative burden.

Prohibit production of intoxicating hemp-derived products (SB 170) – State police are trying to crack down on Delta-8, and the KY Hemp Association is pushing back due to raids on hemp growers. Bill passed the Senate, but never went anywhere in the House.

Refugee resettlement fund (SB 195) – Put $50 million into a fund to help refugees resettle in Kentucky. Aimed primarily at Ukrainian refugees. Never passed the Senate.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)


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