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Legislators pay tribute to fallen heroes

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From the House by State Rep. Jeff Greer

 One of the most moving and important services we conduct each year in the House of Representatives is the memorial ceremony to honor members of our armed forces who join more than 6,700 American men and women who have lost their lives in recent wars.

We paid tribute to Army Sergeant Michael Cable and Staff Sergeant Daniel “Danny” Fannin, true Kentucky heroes who died defending our freedom.

These young men left behind family and friends who will forever mourn their loss but will draw some solace by remembering their loved one’s courage, strength and selfless service to their country.

A measure passed out of the House this week would crack down on abuse in long-term care facilities and those working with long term care providers.

House Bill 277 would establish a National and State Background Check Program and require prospective employees to undergo a background check and finger printing as a condition for employment.

The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet would provide continuous employment assessment following that initial background check. 

The bill would also exempt hospitals that provide long-term care.

HB 277 passed with a vote of 87-11 and was sent to the Senate for consideration.

When the words “eminent domain” are mentioned you can bet there will be a lively discussion. Eminent domain refers to the power of the state to take private property for public use with payment of compensation to the owner.

The House Judiciary Committee heard the pros and cons of eminent domain as House Bill 31 - which would prohibit the taking of private land by eminent domain for the construction of a natural gas pipeline -- were argued.

At issue is the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline that could run through 13 Kentucky counties.

Proponents of the bill claimed that the Bluegrass Pipeline does not benefit the public, therefore eminent domain laws should not be allowed.

Members of the committee agreed and passed HB 31 with a vote of 11-0.

House Health and Welfare Committee members took a bold step this week when they passed a bill allowing the use of medical marijuana for Kentuckians with specific medical conditions.

House Bill 350 would allow the cultivation, use and distribution of medical marijuana to help patients with a terminal illness or neuropathy, anorexia, cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, autism, ulcerative colitis, HIV or hepatitis C.

Injuries that interfere with daily activities would be eligible for medical marijuana treatment as well.

A licensing and registration system would be established through regulations in HB 350.

The bill passed the committee with a vote of 9-5.

To keep up with these and pending legislation, please log onto the Legislative Research Commission website at www.lrc.ky.gov or call the LRC toll-free Bill Status Line at 866-840-2835. 

For committee meeting schedules, please call the LRC toll-free Meeting Information Line at 800-633-9650. 

To comment on a bill, please call the toll-free Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181.