Alvarado: Coming off a busy week in Frankfort
Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Last week may have been one of my busiest during my tenure in Frankfort: 27 constituent/policy meetings, three committee hearings, personal presentation of three bills, multiple phone calls, attending Gov. Matt Bevin’s State of the Commonwealth address, honoring Rep. Adrian Arnold, hosting four legislative pages, and voting on four different bills capped a very busy five days.
The parents of two teens who were slain at a western Kentucky high school, siblings separated in the state foster-care system and organ donor advocates fighting to keep the Commonwealth’s donor registry relevant were just some of the constituencies who provided emotional testimony during the second week of the 153rd Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Several bills were passed in the Senate last week:
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— Senate Bill 32 improves the current water well drilling system by allowing water well driller assistants to be certified by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.
— Senate Bill 77 allows citizens to add their names to Kentucky‘s organ donor registry when they log into a state website offering governmental services online.
— Senate Bill 31, which I sponsored, will ensure children in out-of-home care have visitation rights with their siblings. The bill will require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, in the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, to provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings.
Gov. Bevin provided the annual State of the Commonwealth Address Thursday evening.
He highlighted the significant progress and successes of the past three years and stated the state of the Commonwealth is strong.
He touted tax reform; Kentucky now ranks 23rd in overall competitiveness nationally. He showcased the passage of several pro-life bills that protect the lives of the unborn. Foster care reform was also hailed as a potential national model for improvement. He discussed the continued need for pension reform while finding increased funding for education and infrastructure.
Gov. Bevin also praised legislators for their commitment to school safety and pledged his support for Senate Bill 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act, which was passed by the Senate on Friday with overwhelming support.
I was proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan bill that develops standardized conditions and training that will better secure safety in our schools through personnel, structures/protocols, and a culture of connection with students that concentrates on their overall well-being.
Accountability for school safety compliance will also be emphasized. The safety and security of Kentucky’s children is paramount. I await its passage in the House.
To share your thoughts on these or other bills, check out the General Assembly’s redesigned website at www.legislature.ky.gov.
As always, it is my honor to serve you in Frankfort. Feel free to call me about this issue or any other public policy issue toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at Ralph.Alvarado@lrc.ky.gov.
Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th state senate district, which includes Clark, Montgomery and part of Fayette counties.