Weekly Legislative Update from Sen. Danny Carroll
By Sen. Danny Carroll
PADUCAH, KY - The hallways were packed with Kentuckians from across the state making their voices heard as we began the second part of the 2017 Legislative Session in Frankfort. I was especially heartened at the passionate crowd for the Rally for Life on Wednesday, February 8, and later in the evening that energy and excitement continued during Governor Bevin’s State of the Commonwealth Address.
Hundreds of people filled the Capitol to celebrate the sanctity of life alongside Governor Bevin and members of the General Assembly. The governor ceremonially signed Senate Bill (SB) 5 and House Bill (HB) 2, both pro-life bills that help protect unborn Kentuckians who cannot protect themselves. As Governor Bevin noted, 83 percent of the General Assembly supported these bills—a great reflection of the pro-family values of Kentuckians—and I was proud to be a member of those ranks.
During the State of the Commonwealth Address, the governor told compelling stories from citizens across the commonwealth both praising our state’s progress and offering suggestions for improvement. From addressing tax reformation to our pension crisis to assistance for veterans, Governor Bevin hit the nail on the head when he outlined these issues. I look forward to continually working with him to solve these problems.
Between the rallies and visits from citizens from across the commonwealth, the Senate was busy hearing bills in committee and passing some out of the chamber. Although this week was not quite as hectic as the first week of session in January, we kept a quick pace and sent four bills to the House.
Senate Bill 2, a bill I cosponsored, encourages transparency and accountability in the state pension system. This bill passed unanimously from the Senate, and I am proud to stand up for taxpayers and retirees alike by taking another step toward fixing our broken pension system.
Senate Bill 18, which protects the confidentiality of peer review information conducted by doctors.
Senate Bill 50 was another bill that passed with bipartisan support. This legislation gives local school districts control over their school calendars, giving them the option to push back their school start dates so families have more time to enjoy the summer months. I voted to support this bill only after changes to the original bill made this change optional for local school districts.
Senate Bill 17, which protects students’ rights to religious and political speech, is another bill I cosponsored and was the last bill to pass this week. I feel this piece of legislation will strengthen the First Amendment rights of our students and allow for expanded discussion of religion and politics in our schools.
On a personal note, I was honored to accept a 2017 “Champion for Children” award this week during Children’s Advocacy Day.
I also had the pleasure of welcoming several folks from home to the Capitol this week including Jennifer Jordan, Morgan Guess and her mother, Susan Guess, Paducah Fire Chief Steve Kyle, members of the Paducah Board of Realtors, Mary Foley from the Merryman House, Julie McKeel from ChildWatch, Jennifer Beck Walker and staff from the PADD office, Calvert City Administrator John Ward and staff from the City of Calvert City, Mr. and Mrs. Barney McNeill with NAMI Paducah, Mrs. Lana Trice Blish, and last, but certainly not least, a group of awesome young people from the Oscar Cross Boys and Girls Club.
I would like to thank all those in my district who have taken the time to reach out with their questions, concerns, and support, and those who responded to Facebook posts asking for input. It is an honor to be in Frankfort on your behalf.
If you have any questions or comments about these issues or any other public policy issue, please call me toll-free at 1-800-372-7181 or email me at email@example.com. You can also review the Legislature’s work online at www.lrc.ky.gov.
Senator Danny Carroll (R-Paducah) represents the 2nd District encompassing Ballard, Carlisle, Marshall and McCracken counties. Senator Carroll serves as the chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, as well as the co-chair of the Program Review and Investigations Committee. He also serves as a member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, the Education Committee, the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education, the Health and Welfare Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Government.