FRANKFORT —In the first week of the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2015 legislative session, lawmakers elected leadership, assigned committees and begun moving legislation through the Capitol at a fast pace.
The Republican-controlled Senate was especially active. Here are the four bills that have already cleared the chamber:
- Senate Bill 1: Sponsored by Sen. President Robert Stivers, a Manchester Republican, this bill is known around the country as the “Right to Work.” It aims to allow employers to hire people who are not required to abide by previous union-and-employer agreements. New employees wouldn’t have to pay union dues, or make the charitable contributions that are required of those who aren’t in the union.
- Senate Bill 5: This anti-heroin measure was the first bill to pass the Senate. Although Democrats in the chamber raised concerns that some provisions are too tough on low-level drug offenses, all Democrats voted in its favor.
- Senate Bill 2: This bill’s complex language would shift the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, allowing lawmakers more power to override the governor’s executive regulations and executive orders. Known as the “Administrative Regulations” bill, its primary sponsor is Sen. Joe Bowen, an Owensboro Republican.
- Senate Bill 4: Primary sponsor Sen. Julie Raque-Adams, R-Louisville, says that this bill would require women seeking an abortion to meet in-person with a doctor (or doctor-designated appointee) prior to meeting with a doctor to acquire an abortion. The bill passed out of a committee late Thursday afternoon, then was approved by the Senate the following morning.
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All of the bills are now headed to the House where they will be assigned to committees for consideration. The Kentucky General Assembly re-convenes on Feb. 3, for Part II of the 2015 legislative session.