Weekly Legislative Update – January 19th, 2024


Friday, Jan. 19 marked the 13th day of the 60-day legislative session. A total of 442 bills have been filed; 317 in the House and 125 in the Senate.



HB5, the crime bill

Sponsored by Rep. Jared Bauman, R-Louisville, the 72-page bill is dubbed the Safer Kentucky Act, among its provisions is a three strikes law to require a life sentence after a person’s third violent felony, along with increasing penalties for crimes like carjacking and fentanyl trafficking that causes an overdose death. It would also crack down on vandalism, homeless encampments and allow businesses to use force to stop shoplifters. The bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee and awaits full action by the House. The bill now has 52 co-sponsors.  Support

More information about the bill from an LRC press release on the committee vote:

Rep. Bauman testified on HB 5 alongside cosponsors House Majority Whip Jason Nemes, R-Middletown, and Rep. John Hodgson, R-Fisherville. A few Kentucky families of crime victims and other stakeholders also testified in favor of the legislation. 

The families were there to advocate for provisions of the bill that would regulate charitable bail organizations and create harsher penalties for fleeing and eluding arrest and for killing a first responder. Under HB 5, murder of a first responder would be considered a capital offense. Guilty individuals would face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The 72-page, comprehensive legislation would also create harsher penalties and felony charges for a variety of offenses, including carjacking. Individuals who sell fentanyl and cause a fatal overdose would be charged with capital murder under HB 5. 

Misdemeanor penalties for unlawful camping would also be established in the bill. 



KLEPF Increase/budget

During the session, the legislature will also craft and enact a two-year budget. KACP has already met with Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, to discuss a potential increase in the annual KLEFPF training stipend. Further discussions are planned. Under Kentucky’s constitution, revenue bills must first be filed in the House. Note – the House budget does not include funding for the Madisonville Police Academy and a KLFPF increase of less than $300.

Pension System Health Insurance

KACP met on Tuesday, Jan. 16, with Sen. James Higdon, R-Lebanon, to discuss legislation that would increase the healthcare stipend for some law enforcement officers in the pension system. (Tier 1 who began participation after July 2003; all Tier II and III.) The discussions with Sen. Higdon and others are ongoing.


Late last week, legislators filed a rash of bills related to concealed carry. KACP is reviewing the bills and will have positions on the next report.

SB114, concealed carry/school buildings

Filed by Sen. Adrinne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg, the bill would modify the prohibiting of weapons on school grounds. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB259, concealed carry age requirements

Filed by Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, the bill would lower the age requirement for carrying a concealed weapon from 21 to 18. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB288, concealed carry/government facilities 

Filed by Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, the bill would limit or eliminate prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons in government buildings, college campuses, schools and portions of airports. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.



HB286, related to DNA

Filed by Rep. Patrick Flannery, the bill would allow law enforcement officers to collect DNA samples. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB293, related to kratom

Filed by Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, the bill would regulate the sale and licensing of kratom. Awaiting committee assignment. Support.



HB134, taxing of retirement distributions

Sponsored by Ashley Tackett Laferty, D-Martin, the bill increases the retirement distribution exclusion from $31,110 to $41,100 for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2025. Awaiting committee assignment. Support

HB143, retirement benefits 

Sponsored by Rep. Rachel Roberts, D-Newport, the bill would make changes to retirement benefits for members in the State Police Retirement System (SPRS) or in a hazardous position in either the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS) or County Employees Retirement System (CERS) who are hired after Jan. 1, 2014, but before Jan. 1, 2025. Awaiting committee assignment. Support

HB207, related to sex dolls

Sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Dietz, R-Edgewood, the bill prohibits the possession, trafficking, importing and advancing of a child sex doll. The bill could be heard Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee. Support

HB 248, relating to reinstatement of police and fire department employees

Sponsored by Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Fayette, Amend KRS 95.440 to remove the requirement that a person shall only be eligible for reinstatement to a police or fire department within one year following separation from employment.  Support


SB32, driving under the influence of marijuana

Sponsored by Sen. Johnnie Turner, R-Harlan the bill creates a per se limit for marijuana concentration measured by a blood test. KACP will meet with the sponsor for more details on the legislation. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee. Support




SB115, related to federal law enforcement officers

Filed by Sen. Adrienne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg, the bill would remove the authority of delineated federal law enforcement officers to act as peace officers in Kentucky. Awaiting committee assignment. Oppose.




HB20, cost-of-living increase retirement benefits

Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, the bill provides a one-time, 2 percent COLA adjustment for KERS nonhazardous and hazardous duty recipients and State Police Retirement System recipients. KACP is concerned the bill does not include CERS recipients and we plan to speak with the sponsor about making that change. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB45, privacy protection

Sponsored by Rep. John Hodgson, R-Louisville, the bill defines terms related to automated license plate readers, establishes limitations on the use and sale of data captured by the readers and defines terms and establishes limitations on the use of drones. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB142, nicotine products

Sponsored by Rep. Mark Hart, R-Falmouth, the bill requires the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to establish a vapor retail license and establishes penalties for under the age of 21 who purchase or attempt to purchase alternative nicotine, tobacco or vapor products. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.

HB157, interrogation of children

The bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Keturah Herron, D-Louisville, and Rep. Mike Nemes, R-Louisville, prohibits a child from being interrogated using deceptive methods. Awaiting committee assignment. KACP is seeking a meeting with the sponsor. Monitoring.

HB216, related to retirement

Sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, the bill would provide supplemental payment for recipients of a monthly retirement allowance from the systems administered by KERS. KACP is concerned the bill does not include CERS recipients and we plan to speak with the sponsor about making that change. Monitoring.

HB298, related to DUI

Filed by Rep. Chad Aull, D-Lexington, the will would increase penalties for a driver under 21 who operates a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more. Awaiting committee assignment. Monitoring.


SB45, missing adults 

Sponsored by Sen. David Yates, D-Louisville, the bill requires KSP to create and operate the Kentucky Ashanti Alert System to provide public notification through the use of media providers and highways signs when an adult is missing and may have been abducted or kidnapped or may be in physical danger. Assigned to Senate Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee. Monitoring.



Feb. 19: Presidents Day holiday; legislature not in session

Feb. 26: Last day for introduction of new House bills

Feb. 28: Last day for introduction of new Senate bills

March 29 – April 9: Veto recess

March 12, 15: Final legislative days



As always, questions, suggestions, comments or concerns can be directed to Executive Director Shawn Butler, who can be reached at 859-743-2920 or sbutler@kypolicechiefs.org or KACP lobbyist Patrick Crowley, who can be reached at 859-462-4245 or pcrowley@strategicadvisersllc.com.

You can also follow the legislative activity through the Kentucky General Assembly website.