Redistricting took another turn this week when the judge returned his opinion disagreeing with our plan and directing members of the Kentucky General Assembly to run in our old districts.
We still feel that the House plan is constitutional and correct because it meets the same legal guidelines of the very plan that the state has been using for a decade. We plan to file an appeal to the Supreme Court and if the court does not agree, then we will ask for guidance on how to proceed. I have been proud to serve in my district and have filed to represent it again. The boundaries will be the same so I am optimistic that I will be re-elected and continue to have the honor of serving you as your state representative.
While the redistricting process has been difficult and partisan, every year the Kentucky General Assembly puts aside those differences to come together to honor those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to defend freedom. We stand united in support of our troops and that was never more evident than the solemn ceremony on the House floor where tribute was paid to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. As our troops continue to return home with fewer casualties than in previous years, it is fitting that we take time to honor our fallen heroes.
We have a great responsibility to protect our children and that is why the House passed House Bill 281 which would reduce the severity of sports related head injuries for student athletes through better education. The bill would require every interscholastic coach to complete training on how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and how to seek proper medical treatment for a person suspected of having a concussion. HB 281 passed 99-0 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
A measure to address the prescription drug abuse problem in Kentucky was recently announced. Under House Bill 4, the state would take a much more pro-active approach by helping law enforcement and medical licensure boards find exactly where this abuse is taking place and then stop it. It would begin doing that by moving the state’s KASPER program – which monitors prescription drug use – from the Cabinet for Families and Health Services to the Attorney General’s office and expanding access to our local prosecutors.
All prescribers would also be required to take part which would dramatically increase KASPER’s usefulness. Currently, less than half of our pharmacists and doctors are enrolled. This blanket coverage would make it significantly harder for abusers to “doctor shop,” and it would severely limit the ability of rogue doctors to prescribe such drugs as OxyContin with little to no patient oversight.
The House passed House Bill 308 which would strengthen the oversight and grievance process for students who attend proprietary or for-profit schools. The bill calls for replacing the current board charged with overseeing these schools with a new commission which would have expanded powers to investigate student complaints. The commission would also have the authority to request an investigation by the Attorney General. The new commission would be funded through licensing fees with no additional cost to taxpayers. HB 308 passed by a vote of 91-5 and will be considered by the Senate.
Kentuckians may be the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and don’t know it. Millions of dollars sit in bank accounts across the United States because insurance companies may not know if a policyholder is deceased. House Bill 135 would require life insurance companies to make a stronger effort to find out if their policyholders are deceased and seeks to find the proper beneficiaries. The measure is intended to provide more protection to consumers and their families. HB 135 passed the House 96-0.
You can stay informed of legislative action on bills of interest to you by logging onto the legislative Research Commission website at www.lrc.ky.gov or by calling the LRC toll free Bill Status Line at 866-840-2835. To find out when a committee meeting is scheduled, you can call the LRC toll- free Meeting Information Line at 800-633-9650.