Legislative update: The fourth week of the session

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, February 1, 2024

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By State. Sen Donald Douglas

Guest Writer

The 2024 Legislative Session in Frankfort is nearing the one-third mark of the 60-day budget session, as last Friday marked the 18th day. The committee process is picking up steam and with that, more bill proposals are proceeding through the legislative process.

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Please check out the KYSenateRepublicans.com website to find press releases from the Senate Majority Caucus. Information on our members—your elected officials—can be found there along with other useful resources.

The Senate, led by our budget chair Senator Chris McDaniel, has begun poring through the two budget proposals submitted by the House, HB 1 and HB 6. While they are likely to change as they go through the legislative process, the current versions of the two-year state budget can be found at legislature.ky.gov. As your state senator, my commitment is to the disciplined use of your hard-earned tax dollars. A strong objective of the Kentucky General Assembly will be to limit new recurring expenses that put taxpayers on the hook each new budget session. We will be especially mindful of this in reviewing our revenue projections.

Senate Bill (SB) 7 provides a means for students enrolled in non-certified Kentucky schools (homeschool) to have more access to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES).  The scholarships will include the base amount for grade point average (GPA) by using an equivalent GPA based on the student’s American College Test (ACT) score. Currently, eligible non-certified school graduates can only access the “supplemental” KEES award as earned on a student’s ACT score. This bill changes their annual total KEES award, up to $2,500, to align with other public, private, and parochial school students. Their award will be based on their equivalent GPA and the supplemental awards. For example, a 2.7 GPA would equal an 18 ACT score, and a 4.0 would be equivalent to a 28+ ACT score. We believe these students work just as hard academically and should be awarded accordingly.  Plus, we’d like these students to pursue higher education here in Kentucky and enter our workforce, making our state even stronger.

SB 25 respects the rights of Kentucky property owners by prohibiting local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance mandating a landlord participate in a housing program under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. The bill also prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance relating to landlord and tenant laws that conflict with any state law. The measure would prevent these business owners from being forced to accept a voluntary program, making them take less than market value for their properties.

SB 28 introduces new qualifications for acquiring a podiatry license to ensure practitioners meet specific standards. Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

Thank you for your continued engagement in the 2024 Regular Session. It is a privilege to represent you in Frankfort.

It’s genuinely humbling to represent you in our commonwealth’s Capitol, and want you to know that I will never stop fighting for the best interest of the 22nd Senate District. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I or my staff can assist you by emailing me at Donald.Douglas@lrc.ky.gov or calling toll-free at 1-800-372-7181.

Senator Donald Douglas, M.D., R-Nicholasville, represents the 22nd Senate District, including Garrard and Jessamine Counties and a southwestern portion of Fayette County. Douglas serves as chair of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources. Additionally, Douglas serves as vice chair of Senate Health Services. Douglas is a member of the Senate standing committees on Appropriations and Revenue; Banking and Insurance; and Licensing and Occupations. Additionally, he is a member of the Government Contract Review Statutory Committee and the Legislative Oversight and Investigations Statutory Committee.