Legislative priorities outlined
Fitz Steele State Representative
Around the commonwealth as folks dealt with more cold temps and bad weather, vintage cars sliding into sinkholes and an early morning pipeline explosion, in Frankfort our focus remained on our legislative priorities and doing what we can to educate and protect our children.
We passed House Bill 2 which would assist students from east and west Kentucky coal counties trying to complete their degrees closer to home. To be eligible for a scholarship, students would need to have earned at least 60 credit hours toward a four-year degree and be enrolled at a designated college or university.
The program would use $4 million from multi-county coal severance funds to fund the scholarships and would also create student grants for Kentucky’s community and technical colleges.
Five percent of the funds would be set aside for scholarships for students attending colleges outside of the coal region. House Bill 2 passed with a vote of 92-0 and heads to the Senate for consideration.
A bill aimed at teaching financial basics to seniors, students and parents cleared the House this week. House Bill 223 establishes the Kentucky Financial Literacy Commission which would include a board of directors charged with implementing educational opportunities to improve the financial literacy of the citizens of Kentucky.
Publications, a website and printed materials would be designed and disseminated among elementary age students and adults to teach the importance of a savings account, how to open a checking account, plan for retirement or apply for a mortgage. House Bill 223 passed with a vote of 94-0 and will go to the Senate.
House Bill 199, a measure to keep more of our young children safe while traveling in a motor vehicle, passed out of the House this week.
Currently, children under 7 years of age and between 40 and 50 inches tall must be secured in a booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle. House Bill 199 would raise the booster seat age requirement to 9 years old and the height requirement to 57 inches. 32 states – including seven surrounding Kentucky – require these expanded requirements - and when Kentuckians cross these borders they are immediately breaking the law. More important, restraining children until they are taller and older will prevent injuries and death when they are involved in a vehicular accident. House Bill 199 passed by a vote of 65-32.
Still in discussion are issues and legislation about a statewide smoking ban in public places, expanded gaming, tax reform and helping 911 and with 395 bills filed we’ll have plenty to talk about.
I urge you to stay informed of legislative action by logging onto the Legislative Research Commission website at www.lrc.ky.gov or by calling the LRC toll-free Bill Status Line at 866-840-2835.
To find out when a committee meeting is scheduled, you can call the LRC toll-free Meeting Information Line at 800-633-9650.
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