The General Assembly hit the ground running this week as it began the continuation of the 2019 Regular Session. The Senate Majority is excited to move forward with its legislative priorities and pass laws that benefit the Commonwealth.

Through ice and snow, to unseasonably warm weather, the General Assembly continued to discuss legislative priorities throughout the three-week interim in committee meetings. The newly formed Public Pensions Working Group, co-chaired by Senator Wil Schroder, met twice each week. Throughout these meetings, this bipartisan group from both chambers heard extensive and detailed testimony on the condition of our public pension systems. While there is still much to be done, we are confident that this working group is heading in the right direction toward developing a viable solution to this persistent dilemma facing our state.

Committee meetings were in full swing this week, as we discussed and passed bills to the Senate floor for final votes. On Thursday, the Senate passed three pieces of legislation.

Senate Bill 77, sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams, proposes an expansion of Kentucky’s current organ donor registration list through an easily accessible sign-on system to designate consent. Senate Bill 31, sponsored by Senator Ralph Alvarado, requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to provide frequent visitation for siblings who are in out-of-home care and not jointly placed.  Senate Bill 32, which I was proud to sponsor, improves the current water well drilling system by allowing water well driller assistants to be certified by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.  All three Senate bills passed the Senate and will now head to the House for consideration.

Also on Thursday, the Senate Education Committee was honored to welcome the families of the victims of the Marshall County High School shooting as they testified on behalf of Senate Bill 1. The testimony from the Holt and Cope families was powerful and moving.

SB 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act, passed on Friday with the full support of the Senate. Sponsored by Senator Max Wise, SB 1 is a bipartisan piece of legislation that focuses on developing standardized conditions and training that will better secure safety in our schools through personnel, structures/protocols, and a culture of connection with students that concentrates on their overall well-being. Accountability for school safety compliance will also be emphasized. The safety and security of the children of Kentucky is paramount. As the bill moves to the House, the Senate Education Committee will continue to provide input so that the bill that eventually arrives on the Governor’s desk is in its best possible form.

As we continue to move through the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly, you can call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181, or e-mail me at Stan.Humphries@LRC.ky.gov  with any questions or comments you may have about these issues or any other public policy issues. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.

Senator Stan Humphries (R-Cadiz) represents the 1st District including Calloway, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon and Trigg counties. He is the vice chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee. He serves as the co-chairman of the Capital Planning Advisory Board and  serves as a member of the Agriculture Committee; the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee; and the State and Local Government Committee. He serves as an ex-officio member of several Senate Budget Review Subcommittees, including the Economic Development and Tourism, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection; Education; General Government, Finance, and Public Protection; Human Resources; Justice and Judiciary; and Transportation.

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