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Various Bills Advancing In Legislature

INFORMED CONSENT
The Kentucky Senate voted by a wide margin Tuesday to require
women to have in-person meetings with medical professionals at
least 24 hours before having abortions.
Sen. Katie Stine, a Fort Thomas Republican and co-sponsor of the
bill, said some women are getting recorded messages rather than
face-to-face, private meetings.
The bill revises the state's "informed consent" law, which
requires that counseling be provided at least 24 hours before a
woman has an abortion.
The bill also would require documentation that the in-person
meetings took place. The records would have to be retained for at
least 20 years as part of the medical records and could be reviewed
by state officials.
The bill, which passed 34-3, now goes to the House.
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The legislation is Senate Bill 179.

SUING THE STATE
A bill allowing Kentuckians to have their grievances against the
state heard in their local courts cleared the Senate on a 34-2 vote
Tuesday.
The measure would allow a person to take the matters to their
local circuit courts instead of Franklin County Circuit Court in
Frankfort, where such matters currently are referred. The bill
would apply when someone sues the state or appeals an agency
finding of a regulatory violation.
"We don't need one super powerful circuit - where the people of
one county elect the folks that decide all these issues," said
Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.
Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the bill would save time
and money for people who live long distances from Frankfort and who
have cases against the state.
"It's not to be considered retaliatory toward any judge, it is
mainly to be more access friendly to those individuals out in the
state," Stivers said.
The bill now heads to the House.
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The legislation is Senate Bill 75.

LINCOLN HIGHWAY
A proposal that would designate most of Interstate 65 in
Kentucky as the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Expressway won approval in
the state Senate on Tuesday.
The portion of interstate named in honor of the Kentucky native,
the nation's 16th president, would stretch from the
Jefferson-Bullitt county line to the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
The proposal also would designate the entire length of U.S. 31E
in Kentucky as the Lincoln Heritage Highway.
The measure passed 37-0 and advances to the House.
The Senate previously approved a resolution that would rename
another stretch of I-65 in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
That measure would designate about 14 miles of the interstate,
from the Indiana-Kentucky border south to Bullitt County, in honor
of the slain civil rights leader.
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The Abraham Lincoln legislation is Senate Joint Resolution 93.

CASINO GAMBLING
One of the final bills filed by House lawmakers could authorize
up to nine casinos at racetracks and other locations in Kentucky.
That would happen only if voters give their approval to a
constitutional amendment in the November 2008 election. But first,
the General Assembly has to give its approval.
State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Okolona, filed the legislation on
Tuesday, the last day for filing bills in the House.
Clark said expanded gambling would provide jobs for Kentucky
residents and generate more revenue for the state.
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The legislation is House Bill 547.

FAKE DIPLOMAS
People who make or use fake academic degrees could be charged
with forgery under legislation that was approved by House lawmakers
on Tuesday.
The measure, which passed on a vote of 98-0, now goes to the
Senate for consideration.
State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, said the bill would
protect Kentuckians who have legitimate diplomas and degrees from
having to compete with people with fraudulent credentials for jobs.
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The legislation is House Bill 175.

FIRE-SAFE CIGARETTES
Cigarette manufacturers in Kentucky would be required to sell
only self-extinguishing cigarettes under a bill the state Senate
passed Tuesday.
The proposal is intended to "save lives by preventing fires,"
said Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Shelbyville. Tapp, who sponsored the
proposal, said the "fire safe" cigarettes are designed to
extinguish if the smoker leaves them unattended or falls asleep
while smoking.
Supporters have said the proposal would not cause an increase in
cost or affect the taste of cigarettes. A similar proposal is
pending in the House.
The Senate approved the measure on a 35-0 vote. It heads to the
House for consideration.
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The legislation is Senate Bill 134.

SPEED LIMITS
Kentucky drivers would be able to put their foot down a little
farther under a bill the Kentucky Senate approved Tuesday.
A bill that cleared the state Senate on Tuesday would allow the
state to increase the speed limits up to 70 miles per hour on
Kentucky's Interstates and four-lane or wider parkways.
The Senate passed the bill 34-2. It heads to the House for
consideration.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher supported a similar proposal last year but
it did not become law.
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The legislation is Senate Bill 83.

WORKER'S COMPENSATION
Employees who show up for work intoxicated would not be eligible
for worker's compensation benefits if they were hurt on the job,
under a bill the Kentucky Senate approved Tuesday.
The bill is intended to limit worker's compensation liability in
cases when an intoxicated employee is injured or killed on the job,
said Sen. Vernie McGaha, R-Russell Springs, the bill's sponsor.
The Senate passed the bill 35-0, and it heads to the House for
consideration.
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The legislation is Senate Bill 99.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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