The pace in Frankfort has picked up during week two of the 2014 Regular Session. Committees met daily to hear testimony and gather information on proposed legislation and important issues facing Kentucky. We also began debating and voting on legislation on the Senate floor.
Besides committee and floor work, I’ve been meeting with constituents and stake holders daily regarding a myriad of policies. It was great talking with Madison County’s chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, representatives from Madison County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates, and local Kentucky Youth Advocates when they were in Frankfort. I particularly enjoyed getting to visit with students from Madison Middle when they visited the Capitol. This bright group of kids helped come up with a bill I introduced, Senate Bill 20. It makes October Anti-Bullying Month. Kentucky can help educate and prevent bullying through more awareness.
I am pleased to report that Senate Bill 5, a bill addressing the rising problem of heroin here Madison County and throughout the state, passed the Senate. I co-sponsored this legislation because I believe its three pronged approach will be an effective strategy in the fight against heroin addiction. In short, the bill makes sentences for traffickers harsher, makes money available for education about the life changing effects of the drug, and makes diversion into treatment programs possible for addicts that need a way out of the self-constructed prison of heroin addiction.
The State and Local Government Committee passed Senate Bill 4 and Senate Bill 27 in an effort to save the state money. The bills move gubernatorial races to even numbered years along with other major elections (SB 4) and eliminate the ability of legislators to pension spike (SB 27). I think these bills move Kentucky to a more efficient way of handling elections and a more transparent and responsible use of employee retirement systems.
Also, Senate Bill 3, the informed consent bill that I am a co-sponsor of, was passed out of committee on Thursday. The bill requires an in-person consultation with a physician to ensure she is aware of the health risks of the abortion.
Monday, January 20 the General Assembly will not be in session in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He devoted his life to the civil rights of all Americans. To honor his legacy I hope the leaders of our state can work together for better communities and standards of living. Like Dr. King, we must do our work with future generations in mind.
Please call me in Frankfort at 502-564-8100 if you have any ideas, concerns, or suggestions.
Note: Senator Jared Carpenter (R-Berea) is Chairman of the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee, and a member of the Education Committee. He represents the 34th District including Madison and Rockcastle Counties and the southern portion of Fayette County.