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Kentucky’s House of Representatives cleared several big items off their agenda today. The full House passed a bill that changes how law enforcement implements synthetic drug laws. Another measure would create a child fatality review panel. The House also passed a compromise to House Bill 260, which originally would have made the University of Pikeville the ninth state university. 

After being delayed twice, a House committee is prepared to finally vote on a bill that would establish a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky. The House Health and Welfare committee has been plagued by absences. Without a quorum, it could not vote on the smoking ban bill.

The legislative session is winding down, but budget negotiations are just beginning for Kentucky’s Senate. The House passed their version of budgets for all three branches of state government last week. But Senate Budget Chairman Bob Leeper says that doesn’t mean the Senate will be able to act quickly on the plan.

A change in the way lawmakers draw redistricting lines is likely to end up in front of voters this fall. Senate Bill 18 would give legislators more direction in how to split counties during  redistricting, as well as require them to follow federal law. It would throw decades of past state precedent out the window.

A move to amend the provisions of Kentucky’s constitution that deal with redistricting has been introduced in the state Senate. State Senator Robert Stivers’s bill would change the laws around redistricting, and give more direction for how medium-sized counties could be split.

LRC

Two year budgets for all three branches of state government have now passed one chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly. The House spent more than an hour debating the details of the executive, legislative and judicial budgets before easily passing all three. They also passed a bill creating a tax amnesty program that Governor Steve Beshear requested.

U-S Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has filed legislation that would require the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to be appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate.

Budget plans for all three branches of Kentucky’s government are on their way to the House floor after easily passing out of the House budget committee Tuesday.  The committee passed bills that would cut the judicial and legislative budgets by 8.4% to match the cuts already made to the executive budget.

A proposal that limits the amount of pseudoephedrine consumers can buy in a month could make it out the state House of Representatives intact. The Senate passed a bill last week that would limit consumers to seven point two grams of pseudoephedrine every month, or roughly two boxes of cold medicine.

A bill dealing with pseudoephedrine usage could be in trouble for the second straight legislative session. Supporters of restricting PSE use thought they had a compromise. Previous bills have attempted to make the drug available by prescription only. The latest measure would allow the drug to remain over the counter but limits consumers to three point six grams per month and fifteen grams per year.

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