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KING: House continues work on legislation

The first full week of February saw several key pieces of legislation deliberated in committee and on the House floor.

At the same time, members of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and budget review subcommittees continue to work on the House version of the state budget.

The budget must reflect our commitment to spend taxpayer money wisely, lay the groundwork for a solid financial future and provide necessary services.

We are working now to keep that commitment.

While the budget is an ongoing commitment, we continue to send legislation from our committees to the full House, and from the full House to the Senate for consideration. On Thursday, the House voted 91-1 to pass HB 135, legislation aimed at increasing access to health care by allowing physician assistants (PAs) to prescribe certain controlled substances. This measure is supported by doctors and Kentucky’s Medical Association.

Approximately 1,800 physician assistants practice in Kentucky, and a majority of them act as primary care providers. In fact, a quarter of practicing PAs serve in rural areas where access to medical care is otherwise limited. Kentucky is the only state in the nation that does not allow PAs to prescribe some level of controlled substances.

This week we also passed legislation that strengthens our ability to keep children safe as they ride and exit school buses. HB 34 would allow local school districts to install cameras on school bus stop arms — those mechanical signs that come out when school buses stop to let children on and off.

As you know, it is illegal — and dangerous — to pass a school bus that stopped to allow children to disembark. However, there seems to be a growing disregard for this law and the safety of our school children.

The bill also provides for cost and revenue sharing agreements with third parties to pay for camera installation and manage the enforcement at no cost to schools. HB 34 also increases the fine for illegally passing a school bus.

On top of all my other legislative commitments, I was happy to attend events back home and speak to members of the Mercer Chamber, Mercer Extension & Mercer Farm Bureau to provide an legislative update on what has been occurring in Frankfort.

As you can see, we are off to a busy start. If you have any questions or comments about this session, I can be reached during the week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (EST) through the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Kim.King@lrc.ky.gov.

You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.legislature.ky.gov and you can also follow me on Facebook @RepKimKing or on Twitter @KimberlyKingGOP.

State Rep. Kim King represents Kentucky’s 55th District, which includes part of Jessamine County and Mercer and Washington counties.