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

By Beth Musgrave
bmusgrave@herald-leader.com

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.

■ Juvenile courts: House Bill 239 would have created a pilot project to open some of the state’s juvenile courts, which are currently closed to the public. The bill passed the House but never received a hearing in the Senate.

■ Scholarships: House Bill 260 would have used coal severance tax money to fund college scholarships for kids from coal-producing counties. It passed the House and appeared to be cleared for passage in the Senate, but the Senate never took up the measure late Thursday.

■ Gambling: Senate Bill 151 would have allowed voters to decide whether casino gambling should be allowed at the state’s racetracks. The measure passed a Senate committee but was defeated in the full Senate.

■ Phone regulation: Senate Bill 12 would have diminished state regulation of major phone carriers and allowed them to end basic land-line phone service in unprofitable areas The measure passed a Senate committee but was never called for a vote on the Senate floor.

■ Abortion: An assortment of abortion-related bills that would have put more restrictions on abortions in Kentucky were approved by the Senate but later defeated in a House committee.

■ Dropout age: Senate Bill 109 was intended to raise the high school dropout age in Kentucky from 16 to 18. Both chambers approved different versions of the bill, but the Senate never reconsidered the bill after it was amended by the House. The original bill would have allowed districts that had alternative programs to raise the dropout age. The House version of the bill would have made the higher dropout age mandatory statewide after 40 percent of school districts raised their dropout age.

■ Welfare drug testing: House Bill 26 would have required random drug testing of people who receive welfare and other public benefits. It received a hearing in a House committee but no vote.

Filed Under: KY General Assembly

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Comments

  1. Ann says:

    Would like to have seen the following pass:
    Child Abuse HB 200 and Welfare Testing HB 26
    The rest made no difference to be one way or
    another

  2. Katherine says:

    Sounds like our elected officials were too busy chasing basketball dreams to actually work…..

  3. WellWellWell says:

    The failure of these bills isn’t bad news.

    Cooper’s Law was a farce and it is a good thing that it did not pass. Honor the restrictions that you agree to when you buy your house. If you later decide that you don’t like it, go live somewhere else. We shouldn’t give people a right to depress property values in a residential subdivision just because they get buyer’s remorse about deed restrictions they signed off on when they bought the house. (It is unfortunate that the media was so one-sided in reporting on that matter, as if everyone else in the neighborhood was a villain for expecting people to play by the rules.)

    Human trafficking: maybe the most overblown and exaggerated ‘issue’ in this past session. Legislators should waste less time on feel good legislation that doesn’t really do much for anyone.

    Coal severance scholarships: coal severance tax money should go into the General Fund like other tax money; it should not be earmarked for certain counties. If those counties want that revenue model then they should let Fayette, Jefferson and other big counties keep the income and sales tax that they generate.

    Abortion: give it a rest.

    The ones that should have passed:

    Opening some juvenile courts would be a good thing if done correctly.

    Casino gambling should have passed. Those who don’t like it don’t have to go to casinos. I won’t.

    Dropout age: shouldn’t have been killed just because David Williams refuses to allow anything constructive to happen while Steve Beshear is governor. We don’t benefit by having 17 and 18 year old high school dropouts leaving school to join the welfare rolls.

    Welfare drug testing: it should be done. If people don’t want to pee in a cup they can choose not to take our tax money.