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Winners of the 2011 General Assembly

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - These bills passed during the Kentucky
General Assembly session that ended Wednesday. The texts of all
bills may be read at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/ .
ACCOUNTABILITY
Requires all government agencies to post financial information
on the Internet. The bill essentially codifies existing practices
of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state
government. Senate Bill 7.
BATH SALTS
Criminalizes a wave of synthetic drugs marketed as bath salts -
powdery substances that can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid
heart rates, violent behavior and suicidal thoughts. The
legislation would ban the sale, manufacture or possession of those
substances in Kentucky. Violators would face misdemeanor charges
that could result in jail time and fines. House Bill 121.
BUSINESS FILINGS
Creates a one-stop website for businesses to file government
paperwork, apply for licenses and pay taxes electronically. The
proposal's goals are to make Kentucky more business-friendly by
cutting down on paperwork. The bill creates an advisory committee
representing several state agencies to develop the one-stop
business portal to help businesses navigate the maze of state
filing and licensing requirements. SB8.
CARBON STORAGE
Extends eminent domain rights to pipeline companies that would
dispose of carbon dioxide. The bill would allow private companies
to obtain easements across private property to develop pipelines to
transport carbon dioxide - a byproduct of converting coal to
cleaner-burning fuels. SB50.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Aims to steer more nonviolent drug offenders into treatment as a
less costly alternative to being locked up. The bill is promoted as
a way to lower the prison population, reduce the frequency of
repeat drug offenses and improve public safety. It updates
Kentucky's drug laws by reducing prison time for low-risk,
nonviolent drug criminals caught with small amounts of drugs. More
of them would get treatment and alternative sentencing instead of
prison time. HB463.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Authorizes tax breaks for projects aimed at boosting a
University of Kentucky research park and a proposed shopping center
at Oak Grove near the Fort Campbell Army post along the
Kentucky-Tennessee border. The proposal authorizes the use of
tax-increment financing to help pay for infrastructure improvements
as roads and utility lines for two proposed development projects.
HB310.
ELDER ABUSE
Aims to block someone convicted of abusing or exploiting an
elderly person from inheriting from the victim. If there are no
other heirs, the inheritance would go into a trust fund used to
support efforts to prevent elder abuse. HB52.
HORSE RACING
Requires the state licensing of companies that allow people to
make phone or online wagers on horse races in the state. The intent
is to get a better handle on advance deposit wagering operations.
It also would require ADW providers to submit quarterly reports on
all wagers made on Kentucky races. HB387.
OPTOMETRISTS
Allows optometrists to perform some uncomplicated medical
procedures now reserved for ophthalmologists. Supporters said the
measure will give Kentuckians greater access to necessary eye care.
SB110.
RIGHT TO HUNT
Seeks to give hunting and fishing rights protection under the
state constitution. The legislation calls for an amendment to the
state Constitution. It goes on the ballot in November 2012.
SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES
Increases the amount of contributions that local school board
candidates could receive from individual donors. The bill would
raise the contribution limit from individual donors to $1,000 from
the current $100 in school board races.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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