Kentucky House Democrats’ priorities for this sessions included bills requiring children to ride in booster seats, raising the minimum wage, and restoring capital projects vetoed by the governor. Many of those bills are now in the Senate and the leadership there says while some may pass, they have their own agenda, such as revamping the state's pension plan.
“For example, on the pension issue, if we fail to act now, it will cost us an additional $200 million just to wait one year,” says Sen. Dan Kelly, R-Springfield.
Majority Floor Leader Dan Kelly says it's difficult to address hundreds of issues in only 30 days. Representative Tom Burch agrees, but he says he's disappointed that bills dealing with families, social worker protection, and one requiring booster seats are not ready for the governor’s signature. And, he says he doesn't understand the controversy over the cervical cancer vaccine.
“It's one of the first vaccinations that prevents cancer. And I don't understand why everybody isn't behind that,” says Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville.
Raising the speed limit to 70 miles an hour on some sections of interstates and parkways appears likely to pass both chambers. More protections for social workers, also called the Boni Bill, could also see some action. And the Senate bill that would require the tobacco industry to make a fire safe cigarette, passed unanimously in a House committee on Monday.
“It will save lives. Not only will it save lives, but it removes from harm's way some of our most important public servants such as EMS and rescue workers,” says bill sponsor Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Waddy.