Thursday, March 16, 2017

Time For Recess - KY Legislative Update

The Kentucky General Assembly completed their 28th legislative day on Wednesday night, finalizing the bulk of its work for the 2017 Session. A few highlights on actions that took place the last two days:

- Charter Schools - House Bill 520 that would authorize charter schools was amended and approved in the Senate before the House approved those amendments and gave it final passage. The bill is now on the Governor's Desk. House Bill 471 that was amended to address funding for charter schools was approved in the Senate, concurred in by the House, and is now on the Governor's Desk.
- Education Reform - Senate Bill 1 that deals with standards review, aligned assessments and ESSA accountability passed out of the House with two floor amendments dealing with arts and advanced learners and those await final action in the Senate.
- Education Bills - Two other priority education bills received final passage and were delivered to the Governor: SB 107 (university board appointments) & SB 153 (postsecondary performance funding).
- Criminal Justice Reform - SB 120, a priority bill for this session that combines criminal justice reform and workforce development in the form of inmate re-entry, had minor amendments added before it passed the House. It will need Senate concurrence of those amendments.
- Nuclear Energy - SB 11, legislation that has been filed for many years finally passed both Chambers and has been sent to the Governor.  SB 11 lifts the moratorium on construction of nuclear power plants.
- Overweight Trucks - HB 184, sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Miles, is legislation to allow for the trucking transport of "metal commodities" which includes aluminum, to exceed current weight limits. The Senate Transportation committee approved a compromise on the legislation that was passed by the Senate and the House.

There were a few items of unfinished business that may be considered on the session's final two days March 29 & 30.

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