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Senator Max Wise's Legislative Update - Fri 2 Feb 2018

Senator Wise reports on past week of Regular Session of General Assembly . Bills passed include May 1 being designated "School Bus Driver Day," alignment of state labor laws for seasonal workers with Federal ones, a measure to protect victim spouses in divorce cases, "Andy's law," Legislators wear Blue and Orange in honor of Marshall County High.
Personal political commentary/opinions of the writer

By State Senator Max Wise, (R-Campbellsville)
16th District: Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Russell, Taylor, and Wayne Counties

This week was the busiest yet in Frankfort with a number of bills moving through committees and on to the Senate and House floors for votes. We were also visited by a number of statewide advocacy groups that championed their great causes and rallied in the Capitol Rotunda. Between visiting constituents, committee meetings, and voting on the Senate floor, we continued to discuss the upcoming budget.


We passed a number of bills this week including Senate Bill (SB) 12. This bill designates May 1 of every year as "School Bus Driver Day" in Kentucky. Although they do not often receive the accolades they deserve, our school bus drivers are one of the most important parts of our children's school days. They are the first and last adults our children interact with in the school system every day, and we are so grateful for the work they do.

Senate Bill 35 was another bill we passed which would align Kentucky labor laws for seasonal facilities with federal standards. We also passed SB 37, directing the Transportation Cabinet to establish procedures allowing federal inmates on work release to obtain their drivers licenses in order to better integrate into society. Measures such as SB 37 are important in both workforce development and criminal justice reform as we try to help inmates best prepare for reentry into the workforce. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

Another important bill that passed the Senate this week was SB 68. This bill would clarify that a victim of domestic violence is not required to pay the legal fees of the abusive spouse in a divorce action when the spouse is jailed for crimes against the victim. During this bill's committee hearing we heard compelling testimony from survivors of domestic abuse who were forced to pay their abusive spouses' legal fees. This bill also passed the Senate unanimously, and I was proud to support it. Senate Bill 85, which also passed without opposition, would make it easier for notaries public to change their name without having to undergo the certification process again.

Senate Bill 57, which I sponsored, is commonly referred to as Andy's Law and would allow a person injured by an act of terrorism to file a claim for damages against the terrorist. SB 57 would also establish the crime of terrorism as one punishable by imprisonment for life without probation or parole. It passed by a 38-0 vote.

The bill is named after Pfc. Andy Long. He was fatally shot in 2009 outside of a Little Rock, Ark., military recruiting office by self-proclaimed terrorist Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad. Similar measures are now law in numerous states including Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and neighboring Tennessee. Before killing Long, Muhammad drove to Northern Kentucky to attack a recruiting center in Florence only to find it closed for the weekend. That's when he switched targets.

The Senate also passed SB 72, a government transparency measure which prohibits the naming of state buildings, properties, programs, initiatives, highways, or bridges in honor of any living elected state official or state employee. This bill will help ensure that state elected officials and employees do not use their public positions for personal gain. The bill is not retroactive and will not remove already-named structures.

We wrapped up the week on Friday wearing blue and orange to support Marshall County High School and to show that we are #MarshallStrong. We continue to pray for all those affected, especially the citizens of Marshall County, and they are in our hearts as we continue our work in Frankfort.

If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call the toll-free line at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Max.Wise@LRC.ky.gov. You can also review the Legislature's work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.


This story was posted on 2018-02-02 09:01:25
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