FRANKFORT – The people’s work continues in the General Assembly as a busy third week of the Regular Session comes to a close. I was proud to have my first piece of legislation passed this week. The House also took steps to protect the brave men and women who serve our communities in uniform, educate students on opioid abuse prevention, and make government open and transparent to the hardworking taxpayers of Kentucky.
House Bill 192 was my first piece of legislation to pass the House. This bill allows foster kids ages 16-18 years old to obtain a driver’s license. Currently, these children are ineligible as the law requires a parent or legal guardian to accept liability. House Bill 192 would allow these kids to take on the liability, as long as they have the required insurance. This was a measure promoted by First Lady Glenna Bevin that I was honored to carry in the House. The bill passed on a vote of 96-0. It now heads to the Senate for consideration, and I look forward to their swift passage so that we may be able to provide this opportunity to our state’s foster children.
House Bill 14 passed the House this week which provides additional legal protections for police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. This legislation would add offenses against an individual because of their status as a first responder to existing hate crimes statues. The men and women who serve our communities in uniform are worthy of every protection we can provide, and House Bill 14 clearly defines that offenses against them will face the full brunt of the law. I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation and show my support for every first responder across our Commonwealth that so honorably serves our state.
Another piece of legislation we passed through the House this week aims to educate Kentucky students on the dangers of opioid abuse. House Bill 145 would require elementary, middle, and high school students to be educated on the hazards of prescription opioid abuse and on the connection between prescription opioids and addiction to heroin and other drugs. Kentucky continues to face a serious epidemic in regard to drug abuse and overdose deaths. This bill would ensure that our youth are educated on the impacts of drugs, hopefully leading to its prevention. I was proud to strongly support this legislation.
The House also took steps to make government more open and transparent to hardworking taxpayers. For the first time in the Kentucky Legislature’s history, the public will now be able to access and review committee votes online. This is an imperative step toward ensuring our citizens are aware of the actions taken in Frankfort. Until now, committee votes have only been available in hard copy, therefore, being mostly inaccessible to the public. A representative’s committee votes are just like any other vote on the House floor and should be made easily available to the electorate. You can now access this information on the Legislative Research Commission’s website at www.lrc.ky.gov.
This week in the General Assembly was successful in taking steps to make Kentucky the best version of itself. I am proud to serve our community in Frankfort and look forward to continuing the work that makes our Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues impacting our Commonwealth during the 2017 Regular Session. I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at [email protected] You can keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at www.lrc.ky.gov.
Larry Brown is the State Representative in the 95th District.