2009 Legislative Accomplishments

Legislative Accomplishments 2009

During odd numbered years our General Assembly session is held for a total of thirty days and on even numbered years we meet for sixty days.  Short sessions were approved by the voters so that our state could deal with budget issues on an annual basis instead of bi-annually.  The year of 2009 we faced a tremendous budget short fall.

Most people do not understand the work or time that is committed to see that a bill is passed.  I have always said that if a bill passes within three years it is doing well.  A bill that passes in the first attempt is either a miracle or an emergency.  The following are bills that I acted as the sponsor and saw to fruition, meaning it was signed by the Governor in 2009.

HB 129

The Kentucky Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) was one of the groups that had worked with me for three years to pass the Alcohol Vaporizer legislation in 2008. Their mission is to protect public welfare and interest by regulating the alcoholic beverage industry and combating youth access to alcoholic beverages in a manner that fosters and protects the health, safety, welfare and economic well being of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

The Public Protection Cabinet saw that ABC had enforcement issues regarding youth access to large entertainment centers selling tickets for concerts to minors and then selling alcohol to them. They recommended that ABC have me sponsor legislation.

This bill allowed more enforcement tools for the Enforcement Division of the ABC to prohibit the growing numbers of underage drinkers.  HB 129 clarified where minors may remain on the “concert” premises that sell alcoholic beverages by the drink.  It also better defined hosting a concert event where pre-booked concerts with advance ticket sales are held.  This proposal now prevents minors from remaining on premises that were licensed as bars and nightclubs. It also more clearly defines who is responsible when an establishment sells alcohol to a minor.

This bill did pass and was signed by the Governor on March 24, 2009

HB 139

This was a bill that was passed in 2008 but was not signed by the governor by midnight.  Since the legality remained in question, we decided we needed to run the bill again which we did.

HB  139  was drafted to allow drivers for non profits like  the Independent Transportation Network to use their vehicles to transport seniors and the visually impaired.  This allows communities to provide a dignified transportation system without taxpayer money.  To find out more about the ITN program in Lexington go to www.itnamerica.org.   This is a model I would love to see in every urban area of our country as our senior population expands.

Other bills I sponsored that did not pass were HB259 related to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates; HB428 which specified the financial obligation when and animal is seized for animal cruelty and finally HB 520 filed in the event changes needed to be made to accept federal unemployment insurance funds.