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January 30, 2024 1:46pm

Legislative Updates: Week Five

We are officially over a quarter of the way through this long session! Bill filings have continued to roll in and many of the legislature’s priority bills have begun to move. Here are some of the highlights from last week:

KEES Money Expands Coverage

Last week the Senate passed SB 7, expanding Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) access to children in Kentucky who are homeschooled. KEES is a dedicated scholarship fund for Kentucky high school graduates entering into college that gives money based on academic metrics in high school, like GPA and ACT scores. The measure would allow homeschooled students to have access to scholarship funds based on predetermined metrics and expanded KEES funding to apply to scores of the Classic Learning Test (CLT). Without this legislation, home schooled students are only eligible for up to $500 dollars in KEES money based on their ACT score. This bill passed 33-4 and will be heard in the House in the coming weeks.

Limiting Liability for Businesses

Rep. Elliott filed HB 320 last week which would limit employer liability under the statute of limitations relating to wage and hour violations. Currently, the statute of limitations for wage and hour violations is much longer than the national average, leaving Kentucky businesses open to liability longer. This bill would move the statute of limitation to three years for willful violations and two years for all other causes of action.

Louisville Specific Legislation

Rep. Jason Nemes filed HB 388 based on the recommendations of the Louisville Metro Comprehensive Review Commission, which was formed in 2022 after the passage of HB 314 to examine Louisville’s annexation and incorporation laws. HB 388 includes a number Louisville- focused policies, including nonpartisan city elections and the distribution of city road aid money, among others.

School Choice

HB 2, filed by Rep. Miles, is a constitutional amendment to authorize the General Assembly to provide financial support for the education of students outside of the public school system. The bill’s language looks similar to previous school choice bills that have passed in recent years but is structured to change the Kentucky Constitution to overcome previous constitutionality disputes in the court system.

Bill Status Updates:

In Other News:

Tax Foundation Report

GLI along with Kentucky Chamber, Commerce Lexington Inc., and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce sponsored a report by the Tax Foundation called “Kentucky Tax Modernization: Keeping the Sales Tax on Sales, Not Production.” The report focuses on recent improvements to the Kentucky tax code and offers guidance for increasing the state’s competitiveness.  Read more about this new report here.