Week in Review: Education, Health, and Crime Bills Pass the House
Over forty pieces of legislation have passed the House and moved to the Senate for their concurrence. This week, I would like to highlight a few legislative measures that I believe are significant for the people of my district. These are just a handful of the bills, but all can be found in the Legislative Record section of our website at legislature.ky.gov:
Making breast cancer examinations more accessible/HB 115: This measure seeks to expand access to life saving breast examination services in the commonwealth. HB 115 would prohibit cost-sharing requirements for any covered breast examination. It also would require state employee health insurance plans and the plans provided to employees of state postsecondary institutions to provide coverage that complies with state requirements. This measure would help many Kentuckians have access to preventative and diagnostic healthcare they may not have had the opportunity to access before.
Addressing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy/HB 166: Most are familiar with sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. For those with epilepsy, there is a possibility that they may suffer sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. This measure, also known as Jami’s Law, would update autopsy requirements for those who have passed due to SUDEP. HB 166 permits autopsies to be conducted to determine if a cause of death is consistent with SUDEP. If this is determined to be the case, a copy of the death certificate would be sent to the SUDEP Registry at the Langone Medical Center at New York University.
Protecting children from sexual abuse/HB 207: Currently, there is no legal restriction in the commonwealth for the possession or trafficking of child sex dolls. These dolls are anatomically correct models of adolescent children that can be used for sexual gratification. HB 207 would prohibit the possession, trafficking, importing, or otherwise advancement of a child sex doll. Another important aspect of this bill is that it also would make the digitization of a minor that portrays a sexual act a class D felony on the first offense. This measure would help keep our children safe, and hold bad actors accountable for their actions.
Lowering health care costs/HB 220: This measure attempts to make your trip to the pharmacy less expensive. HB 220 would require insurers to try biosimilar products, almost identical products to the branded drug, before moving on to the typically more expensive branded drug.
Increasing access to health care/HB 274: This legislation would continue to allow pharmacists to administer vaccinations to children between the ages of five and seventeen, with parental consent. This would allow vaccinations to become more accessible to many Kentuckians, as pharmacies are more abundant and accessible compared to pediatric medical centers.
Addressing teacher misconduct/HB 275: This proposal seeks to prevent those with a history of abuse or misconduct from continuing to be employed by Kentucky schools. HB 275 would require school districts to thoroughly investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior towards a minor. If passed, the measure would prohibit school districts from signing nondisclosure agreements with staff that have been under investigation for these actions. Additionally, it would require school districts to conduct reference checks for new personnel and requires the former school districts to disclose if any cases against a teacher were substantiated.
Expanding Membership on the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure/HB 361: This measure would add a position for the chair of the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee on the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. The chair of the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee would hold a nonvoting position. Additionally, HB 361 would limit members of the Physicians Assistant Advisory Committee to two consecutive terms. Lastly, this measure would allow graduating physicians assistants to apply course curriculum to the pediatric head trauma continuing education requirements necessary to obtain a license from the board.
As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Amy.Neighbors@lrc.ky.gov and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at legislature.ky.gov.