Lawmakers drawing up proposals for 2020 General Assembly

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The special legislative session on the state’s pension system is over, so lawmakers are now drafting proposals on a variety of topics for the 2020 General Assembly.

Rep. Derrick Lewis, R-London, has proposed legislation to establish a student loan forgiveness program for STEM teachers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in public school districts that are within a federally designated promise zone. That would include eight counties in southeast Kentucky, which were the first in the nation to receive the promise zone designation in 2014.

Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, is joined by four other House Democrats in support of a measure that would repeal the public charter school legislation enacted by recent General Assemblies, but never fully funded.

Scott has also proposed legislation that would exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax, between August 2020 and August 2024.

Speaking of state sales tax, Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, has had a bill drafted that would raise Kentucky’s sales and use tax from its current six percent rate to eight percent. It would take effect in January 2021.

Republican Representatives Steve Riley of Glasgow and Jason Nemes of Louisville are joined by Democrat Lisa Willner of Louisville in proposing legislation that would ban the use of corporal punishment in schools.

Rep. Josie Raymond, D-Louisville, has a measure that would expand the school bullying statute to include social media posts and other actions at non-school-sponsored events that create a hostile environment for the victim at school.

Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, has drafted a proposed constitutional amendment exempting certain veterans’ organizations from state property tax, if the organization has qualified for exemption from federal income taxation. If approved by lawmakers, it would appear on the November 2020 ballot.

Two GOP lawmakers, Sen. Danny Carroll of Paducah and Rep. Regina Huff, R-Whitesburg, are drafting separate pieces of legislation that would include as criminal littering, leaving “unsafe amounts” of mowed grass on a highway. The unsafe amount is defined by Carroll as “an amount that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to any person or damage to the person’s property.”

Rep. Charles Booker, D-Louisville, is preparing a measure to repeal the law passed this year and signed into law, that allowed carrying of concealed weapons without a permit in Kentucky.

Rep. Kim King, R-Harrodsburg, is sponsoring a bill to make misrepresentation of a service dog, in order to obtain rights or privileges given to disabled persons. Those convicted could face up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Speaking of animals, draft legislation by Reps. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles and Bratcher would name and designate as the official pets of Kentucky, domestic cats and dogs that reside in or have been adopted from Kentucky animal shelters or rescue organizations.

Lawmakers begin the 2020 session on Jan. 7, concluding by April 15.

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