Governor Andy Beshear signed into law 14 pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly.
“Today I am proud to sign other fine pieces of legislation recently passed by lawmakers in Frankfurt,” Governor Beshear said. “These bills help us build a better Kentucky by supporting student mental health, healthcare worker retention, virtual learning and addiction treatment, as well as preventing recognized peace officers guilty of various sex crimes to be certified in Kentucky.”
The bills, which will become law on their effective dates, are as follows:
House Bill 44 allows school district attendance policies to include provisions for excused absences for mental or behavioral health reasons. The bill ensures that a student can ensure they are mentally fit for class without facing the repercussions of wasted time.
House Bill 137 adds to the definition of police officer to include members of the Joint Task Force, county prosecutor’s investigators, process servers for juvenile courts and Commonwealth prosecutor’s investigators. Doing so makes them eligible for the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation’s annual program fund supplement.
House Bill 206 prevents anyone convicted of various sex crimes from being certified as a peace officer in Kentucky, and conviction of an existing peace office for any of these crimes will result in automatic decertification. This bill holds all Kentucky peace officers accountable to the citizens of the Commonwealth and provides a way to rid the profession of those who prove unworthy of the trust placed in it.
House Bill 222 this legislation is intended to deter individuals from bringing frivolous lawsuits or threatening to sue in an attempt to stifle public debate.
House Bill 566 eliminates red tape associated with vehicle registration for non-profit organizations that use motor vehicles. The legislation exempts nonprofits from motor carrier license requirements as long as their vehicles are used to transport people 18 years of age or older. This change will promote broader service coverage and reduced costs for key community partners.
House Bill 573 establishes a recruitment and retention tool needed to address the shortage of healthcare workers, especially in rural and underserved areas of Kentucky. The bill provides financial incentives to attract and retain health care providers. The program will supplement federal funding, which requires state matching for grants and loan forgiveness, and will expand the list of healthcare workers eligible to participate and require recipients to work in underserved areas of Kentucky. .
House Bill 680 continues work underway at the iLEAD Academy in Carrollton. The school received a Rural Tech Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Education last year to create an all-virtual K-12 computer science career path. HB 680 is intended to expand this work statewide to provide virtual access to this course to all districts through a newly created nonprofit organization.
Senate Bill 90 creates a pilot program in 10 counties to provide alternative forms of sentencing to people who suffer from behavioral health issues. A defendant would have the opportunity to participate in a behavioral health issues release program.
Senate Bill 102 changes the requirement to report school mental health care providers, in addition to school counselors, to the Kentucky Department of Education annually. KDE will report annually to the Interim Joint Committee on Education.
Senate Bill 113 supports hairdressers and beauticians by making it easier for them to obtain licenses and permits and to carry out their activities outside a licensed establishment under certain conditions.
Senate Bill 133 makes the Geographic Information Systems Division the geographic information center of the only geographic information database maintained by state agencies. These changes are being made as part of an effort to fund a digital aerial photography project that will benefit all Property Assessment Administration offices as well as many other state and local agencies.
Senate Bill 178 directs the Council of Alcohol and Drug Counselors to grant a new title created by legislation in 2021 to those who were supervisors of alcohol and drug counselors when the law came into force and to grant those supervisors with grandfathered for up to one year to meet the requirements of the law amendment. The bill also allows licensed narcotics treatment programs to use buprenorphine products to treat substance use disorders and expands Medicaid eligibility for some new mothers up to 12 months after birth. ‘childbirth. It also requires the Cabinet of Finance and Administration to contract with an independent entity to monitor all claims for drug benefits from the Public Employees Health Insurance Program.
Senate Bill 180 codifies Governor Beshear’s merger of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Labor Cabinet. In November 2021, the Governor announced that the two cabinets would be merged to create a single Education and Labor Cabinet. The goal of this merger is to better meet the educational, employment and workplace safety needs of Kentuckians. It combines the strengths of both firms to more effectively provide resources and services to job seekers, employers, and workers in Kentucky.
Senate Bill 271 requires the collection and analysis of data relating to domestic violence in the Commonwealth. Legislation requires the Center for Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis (CJSAC) to collect data on occurrences and deaths related to dating and domestic violence. It also requires the Cabinet of Health and Family Services to provide CJSAC with detailed information on the use of domestic violence shelters as well as reports received of child abuse.