New laws in Kentucky take effect

Wednesday is an important date in Kentucky this year. That’s when most legislation approved during the 2020 General Assembly takes effect.

Tom Troth, who serves as legislative agent for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, noted that this year’s session, like activities for most of life right now due to the COVID-19 outbreak, were anything but normal for lawmakers.

“For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, the House of Representatives engaged in remote voting from their legislative offices,” he said. “Lobbyists and other interested parties were barred from the Capitol and Capitol Annex. Likewise, the legislative session was reduced from the authorized 60 legislative days to 53 which resulted in significantly fewer bills, being passed by the legislature.”

While legislation containing an emergency clause became effective upon the Governor’s signature and others had a specific date, most take effect on Wednesday.

Senate bills taking effect Wednesday include and their sponsor (in parentheses) include:

SENATE BILL 40 (Alvarado): This legislation, among other things, requires front line staff in child placing agencies to submit to national and state fingerprint supported background checks.

SB 45 (D. Carroll): Establishes operational standards for childcare centers, including such things as nutritional requirements, and screen time standards.

SB 115 (Wilson): Provides for a tuition waiver for Foster Care/Adopted children enrolled in graduate as well as undergraduate studies.

SB 191 (Raque Adams): Among other things, it encourages the employment of workers who are successfully engaging in substance abuse treatment programs. The bill also establishes requirements for alcohol and substance abuse drug counselors.

House bills taking effect Wednesday and their sponsor (in parentheses) include:

HOUSE BILL 2 (Miles): Adds offenses that qualify as sex crimes, requires airports, truck stops, and train stations to post a human trafficking hotline number in public restrooms. It also creates a new definition of human trafficking, requires a $10,000 minimum fine for conviction of human trafficking to be paid to the victim’s fund. In addition, it outlines functions that may be funded by the victim’s fund, and provides that certain legal defenses are not available to those charged with human trafficking.

HB 256 (Fischer): Prohibits a felony offender whose crime results in the conception and delivery of a child from obtaining custody or visitation of that child. It also requires an involuntary termination of parental rights of a person convicted of a felony offense which leads to the conception and delivery of child.

HB 312 (Meade): Provides for more efficient transfer and enrollment of foster children between schools. It also mandates sharing of information between schools, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the child’s caseworker. The release of records will be made only to authorized individuals and requires written policies and procedures for cooperation and release of information. It requires that a caseworker accompany a foster child to the new school to be enrolled or contact the child by phone and requires that the sharing of records be confidential.

Full List Of New Laws

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