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for news release archives. Kentucky General Assembly to begin session on Jan. LRC staff working remotely Jan. State revenue shortfalls projected. Legislative leaders direct LRC staff to assist with unemployment benefits backlog. KY General Assembly adjourns session. General Assembly overrides budget vetoes. The session is scheduled to last 60 days, the maximum allowed under the state constitution in even-ed years.
Lawmakers will have until Feb. The General Assembly will not meet on Jan. Day or on Feb. The calendar also provides a day veto recess from March 31 through April 12, a time when lawmakers typically return to their home districts to await possible vetoes from the governor. Legislators are scheduled to return on April 13 and 14 for the final two days of the session. Lawmakers hear testimony on student mental health crisis. Shane Baker, R-Somerset, asks what parents can do to help the student mental health crisis during today's Interim t Committee on Education meeting.
A hi-res photo can be found here. Student mental health professionals testified before the Interim t Committee on Education today on what the Kentucky legislature can do to help students suffering from mental illness and suicidal ideation.
The speakers proposed legislative solutions that include more mental health first aid training for teachers at all grade levels and more social-emotional learning programs to prevent mental health issues before they begin. A workforce shortage in the mental health field is also a concern along with a dearth of funds to hire professionals in schools. Linda Tyree, the crisis response director for the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative GRRECsaid the cooperative is typically called into schools after a death or serious injury of a student or staff member. More recently, GRREC has been called in to aid students suffering from depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.
The COVID pandemic has led to a nationwide mental health crisis, especially for students who spent most of the last school year learning remotely, Tyree said. These challenges, along with the normal problems of adolescence, have taken a major toll, she added. Amy Riley, a school counselor at Mercer County Schools, said her school is suffering severely from the student mental health crisis. Duncan said many students are dealing with grief. Some are mourning the loss of someone they knew to COVID and others are mourning the loss of fun activities and normalcy.
Children are also afraid of getting sick or losing someone else they love, she added, and adults in schools are suffering from mental health issues too. Following the testimony, committee co-chair Rep. Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, asked if the speakers had statistics on the youth suicide rate in Kentucky.
Shane Baker, R-Somerset, asked what parents, educators and community members can do in regards to prevention. Tyree agreed, adding that tier-one social-emotional learning means that every kindergartener and first-grade student participates in lessons on how to articulate their feelings, regulate their feelings, and develop other social-emotional skills. Although lawmakers cannot take legislative action on this issue untilRep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, who is also an elementary special education teacher, said she would strongly support additional funding for mental health counselors in schools.
James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, said he would reach out to university presidents about their mental health professional programs and recruitment. Sep t. Bipartisan bill extending unemployment eligibility to domestic violence victims in the works. Nima Kulkarni, D-Louisville, and Rep. Samara Heavrin, R-Leitchfield, present a bill they are drafting for the regular session to help domestic violence victims qualify for unemployment insurance during today's Interim t Committee on Economic Development and Workforce Investment meeting.
Two Kentucky lawmakers shared plans today with the Interim t Committee on Economic Development and Workforce Investment that they hope will eliminate one of those barriers. Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky Heavrin, R-Leitchfield, are drafting a measure to allow anyone who loses their job or must quit their job due to dating violence or abuse, sexual assault or stalking to qualify for unemployment insurance.
Kulkarni, Heavrin and others filed a similar bill during the regular legislative session, but the measure did not make it to the House or Senate floor for a vote. Kulkarni said they hope to pre-file the bill again for the regular session in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Survivors often experience 15 days of work loss per year, and many victims are financially dependent on their abusive partners, Showalter added. Abusers often use control of finances to further isolate and abuse their partners. Currently, that documentation could be police or court records, a sworn statement from the survivor or other documentation from a shelter worker, attorney, member of the clergy or medical professional.
Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, asked Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky there would be any sort of counseling requirement. Kulkarni said the current draft of the bill does not have one, but added that some states waive the job search requirement if an applicant is seeking counseling. Heavrin also responded that she is hesitant to add a counseling requirement since not everyone is ready to seek counseling right away.
Kulkarni said they hope to work with more legislators and stakeholders before finalizing the draft and pre-filing the bill. Legislative panel hears testimony on issues facing municipal utility companies. The representatives said action from the Kentucky General Assembly may be needed in the legislative session to help municipal utility companies combat workforce and infrastructure issues, among others. Gary Larimore, executive director of the Kentucky Rural Water Association, told the Interim t Committee on Local Government his top legislative priority would be state financial incentives for employers that expand water and wastewater apprenticeships.
Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, asked what the legislature can do to support rural areas in providing water and wastewater services. While the legislature recently allocated millions toward increasing access to clean water, Larimore said outdated infrastructure needs to be replaced in many areas, even in water districts with infrastructure that is only 50 years old.
Workforce and infrastructure issues are not the only problems facing municipal utility companies. Many are facing financial issues. Larimore used a water district covering three Kentucky counties as an example. A reduction of customer Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky has played a major role. So has lost revenue from a moratorium on late fees and service suspensions during the early months of the pandemic, when many people were out of work, Larimore added.
Municipal utilities have been working to recuperate some of the lost revenue related to late fees. However, it is unlikely every customer will be able to pay off their debt, despite financial assistance being offered to customers, officials reported.
The cause for reduction of customer usage varies, Larimore said. Some areas have been monitoring a predicted decrease in population but the pandemic did exacerbate the issue. Chase Azevedo, general manager of Georgetown Municipal Utilities, said the industry is also having supply chain and inflation issues. Chemicals to treat wastewater are in short supply, and prices of certain essential materials continue to fluctuate. Lawmakers used the opportunity to extend some emergency executive actions, eliminate others, try new strategies to mitigate COVID and provide relief to institutions strained by the pandemic.
Those include schools, hospitals, nursing homes and businesses. Lawmakers stressed they would monitor the implementation of the legislation and the evolving pandemic during the remainder of the interim, the period between regular sessions where lawmakers study, propose and prefile bills.
Legislators will have an additional opportunity to act when they return for the Regular Session in early January. The actions taken during the special session break down into the followingincluding one non-pandemic related measure:.
Education: Senate Bill 1 will prioritize in-person learning at public schools while shifting decisions about COVID protocols to locally-elected school boards, including whether students should wear a mask. The first provision will allow school districts to waive a requirement of instructional days in favor of 1, instructional hours. That will let schools adjust starting and ending times to make up for lost days. It will not add additional non-traditional instruction days, but instead create 20 so-called temporary remote instruction days through the end of the year Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky a specific class, grade, building or entire school stricken by COVID This will prevent an entire district from shutting down when a COVID outbreak happens among a particular group within the district.
The measure will also require local health departments to develop a so-called test-to-stay model for school districts. To address staffing shortages, SB 1 will make it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom, in some cases as soon as 30 days after retiring. A final provision will stabilize school funding. Many districts were looking at budget shortfalls because state funding is based, in part, on average daily attendance. And that measurement has plunged because of students out sick or quarantined. SB 1 passed by a vote in the Senate and vote in the House. Health care: Senate Bill 2 will declare the statewide facemask mandate void but encourage vaccinations, COVID testing and greater access to monoclonal antibody treatments, such as Regeneron.
A third will assist health care providers, jails, prisons, homeless shelters and local health departments in acquiring COVID tests. A fourth will make it easier to administer the vaccine at the offices of primary care physicians. A fifth will allow paramedics to work in hospitals to relieve a nursing shortage.
The bill will also establish safety protocols for so-called essential compassionate care visitors in long-term care facilities during pandemic-induced lockdowns. They could be a family member, legal guardian or close friend. SB 2 passed by a vote in the Senate and vote in the House.
The loan was taken out to cover a surge of pandemic-related unemployment claims. The money will be used to help health care providers, schools and others to implement provisions of SB 1 and SB 2. These include the purchase of COVID tests, the establishment of regional monoclonal antibody treatment centers and test-to-stay programs in schools.
SB 3 passed by a vote in the Senate and vote Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky the House. The resolution also extended a state of emergency order for Nicholas County, which is recovering from flash flooding, for another 30 days. The orders addressed in the resolution included protections from price gouging, expansion of nutrition assistance, allowing flexibility for retired first responders to return to work, allowing state and local governments to conduct business and meetings virtually and more. HJR 1 was adopted on the first day of the special session by a vote in the House and vote in the Senate.
Economic development bill: Senate Bill 5 was the only legislation that passed during the special session that contained no pandemic-related provisions. Some incentives will be in the form of forgivable loans. Economic development officials testified that the incentives will be paid out over time to ensure any project meets the required job and wage targets.
Sponsors of the legislation said a non-disclosure agreement prevented them from releasing too many details, but that Kentucky is in the running for at least one mega project eyeing Hardin County. SB 5 passed by a vote in the Senate and vote in the House. House Speaker David W. Andy Beshear. The resolution also extends a state of emergency order for Nicholas County, which is recovering from flash flooding, for another 30 days.
Osborne said HJR 1 also addresses extending the provisions of two bills— one from the Regular Session and another from the Regular Session. The other allowed certain flexibilities in regards to unemployment insurance. HJR 1 was adopted by the House by a vote after lawmakers voted to waive rules that require a bill or resolution to undergo three readings on three separate days before receiving final passage.
Cantrell said while she voted against HJR 77 from the Regular Session because she found it arbitrary, she decided to vote yes on HJR 1 since the legislature will be back in session by the Jan. HRJ 1 was also introduced and adopted by the Senate today by a vote. Givens, R-Greensburg, said while explaining what necessitated the resolution. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, voted for the resolution but expressed concern over a section he said would allow nurse practitioners to write more prescriptions for narcotics.
Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, voted for the resolution but said he feared it still restricted the executive branch from using all its resources to combat the virus. Beshear may also allow HJR 1 to become law without his ature. Beshear issued a proclamation on Saturday calling the Kentucky General Assembly into an extraordinary session to tackle issues related to the pandemic, a state of emergency for Nicholas County and funding for certain economic development projects.Sarcastic chat girl from Frankfort Kentucky
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