RSSArchive for April 13th, 2012

Pseudoephedrine bill among those that passed the 2012 General Assembly

The House and Senate approved a two-year, $19 billion General Fund budget and more than 200 bills in the 60-day legislative session. Some of the measures that passed this legislative session include:

Meth: Senate Bill 3 further limits the amount of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine that people can buy. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in methamphetamine.

Amish: Senate Bill 75 allows Amish or other religious sects to use white reflective tape instead of an orange triangle on slow-moving vehicles.

Dental care: House Bill 510 creates a pilot program to improve dental care in the state’s nursing homes.

School age: Senate Bill 24 requires a child to be five years of age by August 1 rather than October 1 to enter a public school. The provision does not take effect until 2017-2018.

‘Cooper’s Law’ among bills that died in the 2012 General Assembly

By Beth Musgrave

These high-profile proposals did not pass the 2012 General Assembly, which ended Thursday:

■ Cooper’s Law: House Bill 160 would have nullified deed restrictions on small outdoor structures deemed medically necessary for children 12 and younger. The bill was named after a Lexington boy whose parents were at odds with the Andover Forest Home Owners Association. Cooper Veloudis uses an outdoor playhouse as part of his treatment for cerebral palsey, his parents said. The association said the play house violated deed restrictions for all homes in the neighborhood. The bill passed a House committee but was never called for a vote on the House floor.

■ Human trafficking: House Bill 350 would have given law enforcement more training and more tools to crack down on human trafficking. It passed the full House and a Senate committee but was never called for a vote on the Senate floor.

■ Child abuse: House Bill 200 would have created an independent panel of experts to review deaths caused by child abuse and an ombudsmen’s office to investigate complaints about child protection. The bill passed the House but died in the Senate.

Beshear calls special session; blames Williams’ ‘greed’

By Beth Musgrave and Jack Brammer

PDF: Read Beshear’s call for a special session

FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered the Kentucky General Assembly to convene a special law-making session at noon Monday to consider a transportation budget and a bill aimed at battling prescription drug abuse.

Beshear’s call for a special legislative session came about 12 hours after lawmakers ended their regular 60-day session just before midnight Thursday without approving the Transportation Cabinet’s operating budget, which funds everything from road building to snow removal.

A special session costs taxpayers $60,456.50 a day. It will probably last at least five days — the minimum amount of time needed to move a bill through the legislative process — but could go on for weeks.

‘Comment’ will focus on special legislative session

Minutes after Kentucky’s 2012 General Assembly ended late Thursday night, Gov. Steve Beshear called a special legislative session to begin Monday to approve a funding bill for the state road plan and a bill to curb prescription drug abuse.

This weekend’s “Comment on Kentucky,” a public-affairs show of the Kentucky Educational Television network, will focus on the end of the regular session and the upcoming special session.

Joining host Ferrell Wellman will be three journalists — Deborah Yetter of The Courier-Journal, Greg Stotelmyer of Lexington’s WTVQ-TV and Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The 30-minute show airs live at 8 p.m. EDT Friday on KET.

–Jack Brammer

Beshear says he will recall lawmakers to Frankfort on Monday

By Beth Musgrave, Jack Brammer and John Cheves

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear said he will call a special legislative session for Monday after lawmakers ended the 2012 General Assembly at 11:59 p.m. Thursday without approving funding for a $4.5 billion road-building plan and a measure to curb prescription drug abuse.

Beshear, after meeting with House Democratic leaders in his Capitol office, said at about 12:45 a.m. Friday that Senate President David Williams was responsible for the Senate’s failure to approve a road plan budget bill on the final day of the 60-day regular session.

“Without the transportation budget bill, you can’t fund any of the projects in the transportation plan that has been passed,” said the Democratic governor who won re-election last November in a contentious campaign against Williams, R-Burkesville.

Beshear also charged that Williams was responsible for the Senate’s inaction Thursday on a bill that would more closely regulate pain management clinics and put the state’s electronic prescription reporting system in the attorney general’s office instead of in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

“We need that bill. We need the transportation budget bill. So I’ll be issuing a call for a special session of the General Assembly,” Beshear said. “They should have and could have been passed by the Senate today.”