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Kentucky laws may become models for other states

By Legislative Research Commission Public Information Office

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 29, 2014) — The Council of State Governments will consider adopting 12 bills from Kentucky as model legislation at its August annual meeting.

The bills, all of which became law, range from the well-publicized Juvenile Justice Reform Act to a lesser-known bill that provided civil liability protections to engineers and architects who volunteer their services after a natural disaster or emergency.

gavelThe council annually publishes suggested legislation about topics of current importance to states. The goal is to compile draft legislation so states can learn from the experience of others and not to influence the enactment of state legislation, according to the council.

A special committee of the council meets at least twice a year and typically reviews approximately 80 pieces of legislation per meeting, voting to include an average of 30 to 40 bills in its yearly volume of suggested legislation. It prefers to consider legislation that has been enacted into law by at least one state.

State officials and their staff, council and council staff can submit legislation to be considered. The committee also considers legislation from other sources, but only when that legislation is submitted through a state official.

The other Kentucky bills being considered including measures to:

  • set emission standards for power plants ahead of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
  • require businesses to report data breaches of individuals’ personal information.
  • allow victims forced into prostitution by human traffickers to take steps to clear their criminal records.
  • make “upskirting,” the practice of taking photos up women’s skirts without their knowledge, illegal.
  • make the possession of cash registers altered to avoid recording all sales illegal. Known as “tax zappers,” the devices are used by merchants to avoid reporting sales taxes.
  • automatically terminate parental and custody rights of anyone convicted of felony rape when the mother chooses to keep the child.
  • create an adult abuse registry to allow employers to find out whether potential adult-care workers have been the subject of a substantiated finding of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • allow Kentucky to share prescription drug monitoring information with other states. It is designed to stop “doctor shopping” among prescription pain pill addicts.
  • create exemptions that permit some mini-trucks to operate on public highways. Mini-trucks are sold as off-road vehicles, such as the John Deere brand of Gator utility vehicles.
  • allow victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to remove their addresses from public voter registration rolls.

The Lexington-based council describes itself as a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.