Soon-to-be laws you may have missed at the State Capitol this year

Published: Apr. 20, 2018 at 5:22 PM CDT
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Among big ticket bills like pension reform and a contested budget, it's easy to overlook some of the other bills that passed at the Kentucky State Capitol during the 2018 Legislative session.

Teachers took the spotlight this year, showing up in huge numbers to express disdain for a bill they felt would harm public education, but the bills that brought the teachers to Frankfort weren't the only bills up for discussion.

Some of bills passed could affect a number of Kentuckians. In fact, there are a few bills that passed that directly affect education.

For example,

Senate Bill 71

will require Kentucky high schools to teach "abstinence education" as well informing students of sexually transmitted diseases.

House Bill 132

requires high school students to pass a financial literacy test before graduation, and

House Bill 3

would require each school to provide an essential skills curriculum to students, that would help better prepare them for the business world.

Another bill,

House Bill 128

, would require schools to teach the Holocaust and other genocides.

State Representative Wilson Stone out of the 22nd House District said many bills are often much more bipartisan than the well-known bills like the budget.

When it comes to the curriculum, legislators need to be careful not to inundate students with too much material in a curriculum.

"We've always been, as a legislative body, hesitant to keep adding responsibilities to our schools in terms of curriculum," said Stone, "but we did that."

House Bill 187

will make it a requirement for the Kentucky Department of Education to make a "dyslexia toolkit" available to school districts to identify and teach students that exhibit traits of dyslexia.

One cause that has been high on Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's list since taking office in 2015 is reforming the state's foster care system.

This session, legislators passed

House Bill 1

, which would aim to ensure that children spend less time in foster care and make it easier to transition back to living with family members. The bill would also change the definition of what it means to be a "blood relative".

Abortion was one topic tackled by lawmakers this year, although

House Bill 454

is now being halted by a federal judge. That bill would make a "D&E" abortion illegal after 11 weeks of pregnancy. It does not ban other types of abortion procedures.

Senate Bill 48

changes the age at which you can get married. The bill prohibits anyone under the age of 17 from getting married and would require a judges approval before a 17-year-old is allowed to wed.

Current state laws allow 16- and 17-year-olds to get married with parental consent.

Revenge porn penalty modifications passed through the general assembly this year as well.

House Bill 71

increases punishment for publishing nude photos online without the consent of the person depicted. The punishments are even more severe if the photos are posted for profit.

House Bill 169

aims toward curbing gang violence in Kentucky, making gang recruitment a felony instead of misdemeanor for adults.

"We need to put an emphasis on preventing gangs," said Glasgow Police Chief Guy Howie, "and this is just another tool that we have in our toolbox to be able to do that. To identify those individuals that are recruiting criminal gang members."

Howie testified for this bill, and it has been met with backlash. Some groups argue that the bill targets minority groups, but Howie believes it only targets groups that conduct criminal activity, whether it be street gangs or white supremacy groups.

Rep. Wilson Stone also pushed for

House Bill 114

this year. It would return a portion of Tennessee Valley Authority's in-lieu-of-tax dollars to be used in the economic development of the counties that receive power from TVA.

HB 114

is a bill that Rep. Stone said has been proposed before, but it now has the support it needs to continue.

You can find a full interactive list of this years bills that will become laws at


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