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Capitol Notes: Legislative pension bill passes Senate; sponsor says it could save $6.1M

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, speaks on an anti-bullying bill on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, speaks on an anti-bullying bill on the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives. (Photo from LRC Public Information)


Legislative pension bill heads to House: The Kentucky Senate approved a bill today that would limit some legislative pensions.

Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, would permit lawmakers to opt out of a 2005 law that allows legislative pension calculations to include other, possibly higher-paying, government jobs.

“This is a fundamental matter of trust with voters who send us here to be public servants, who expect us to utilize their tax dollars wisely,” McDaniel said.

The measure could save the state up to $6.1 million, he said.

SB 4 was passed unanimously and now goes to the House for consideration.

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Bill to establish state anti-bullying month advances: A bill that would designate October as Anti-Bullying Month in Kentucky has passed the state House unanimously.

October is currently National Anti-Bullying Month. HB 40, sponsored by Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, was the idea of students at Madison Middle who wanted to play a role in creating a state designation.

“The school colors at Madison Middle are purple and yellow,” Smart said. “With this, they also included that they would be the official colors of Anti-Bullying Month.

“Purple would represent the victims of domestic violence and yellow would represent victims of suicide,” said Smart.

The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

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Senate panel approves electronic warrant bill: A bill that would allow search warrants to be completed electronically cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

Senate Bill 45, sponsored by Committee Chair Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, would expand the state’s electronic arrest warrant program to also include search warrants.

Westerfield told committee members the electronic system would be more convenient and secure for police officers, prosecutors and judges. A person being served a search warrant would still receive a paper copy, he said.

SB 45 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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Programming language bill clears Senate committee: The Senate Education Committee approved a measure today that aims to increase participation in computer programming language courses in high schools across the state.

Senate Bill 16, sponsored by Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, would make programming language courses eligible to meet the foreign language requirement in high school courses of study and for admission to postsecondary schools in Kentucky.

Allowing students to use computer programming courses to meet an already-established requirement for graduation will increase participation in the courses and help more students prepare for lucrative and in-demand software programming jobs, Givens said.

The measure passed 10-1 and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

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Visit lrc.ky.gov for the latest on the status of bills, meeting schedules and other information to help you be a participating citizen of the Commonwealth. If you need help navigating that site, call LRC Public Information at 502-564-8100.

By going to LRC’s eNews page, eNews page, you can subscribe to frequent e-mail updates on what’s happening at the Capitol.

You may access meetings and chamber proceedings streaming live or archived online at KET.org.

You can also stay in touch with General Assembly action these ways:

· A taped message containing information on legislative committee meetings is updated daily at 800-633-9650.

· To check the status of a bill, you may call the toll-free Bill Status Line at 866-840-2835.

· To leave a message for any legislator, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at 1-800-372-7181. People with hearing difficulties may leave messages for lawmakers by calling the TTY Message Line at 1-800-896-0305.

· You may write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to: Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Ky., 40601.

From Legislative Research Commission

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