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2019 Session Wrap-up11 Apr

With the governor’s signing and vetoing of several bills earlier this week, the 2019 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to an end. To all of those who took the time to call and email your representatives and senators, made visits to legislators, attended Catholics @ the Capitol events, and remembered the work of the bishops and CCK staff in your prayers, thank you!

Capitol Dome

Here is a look at the final state of bills we highlighted in our various email alerts and social media activity the past few months.

On Life issues, this was another very productive session. HB 148, which would become effective when Roe v Wade is overturned and would provide significant legal protection to the unborn, passed overwhelmingly. Also becoming law was HB 5, which prohibits abortions on the basis of sex, race, or physical disability. SB 9, the “fetal heartbeat” bill has been signed into law as well.

The Pregnant Workers Act, SB 18, which CCK staff put a great deal of effort into the past few years, was signed into law by the governor on Tuesday. This new law will provide much-needed protection to women in vulnerable economic situations.

The movement to abolish Kentucky’s death penalty continues to gain strength. HB 115 had 30 cosponsors, a new record! More and more legislators are willing to come forward and publicly announce their support for abolition. 

Unfortunately, SB 17, which would have prohibited the application of the death penalty in cases where the defendant has a severe mental illness, did not make it through. A number of technical concerns about the bill caused it to stall, but work will continue on those points with the goal of trying again next year.

SB 227, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, made it through almost the entire process, but the session ended with one more step to go. We will certainly see this bill brought forward again.

Late in session, we included in one of our alerts HB 3, which could have potentially erected significant barriers to public assistance. Thanks to many calls of concern, HB 3 was never even given a hearing in committee.

There has already been a separate communication on this issue, but HB 205, Scholarship Tax Credits, also failed to pass this session. However, we witnessed more support than ever from legislative leadership and we hope to build on that momentum over the course of this year.

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