Lawmakers mark halfway point of session

Published 12:50 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

By Representative Daniel Elliott

While many of us associate the month of February with the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, the month also assumes a more profound role as Heart Health Month.

The Kentucky Chapter of the American Heart Association used this week to draw attention to our cardiovascular health and the importance of screenings, treatments, and healthy choices. Kentucky faces significant heart health challenges due to hereditary heart conditions as well as high rates of obesity, smoking, and limited access to healthcare.

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In fact, Kentucky consistently ranks among the highest in cardiovascular disease prevalence nationwide, with elevated rates of heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension. While we continue to work towards better access to affordable health care, individual choices play a big role in managing cardiovascular health. I appreciate the association’s work to bring attention, as well as education and awareness.

This week marked the halfway point of the 2024 Regular Session. Though our journey is ongoing, it is heartening to recognize the progress we have made in addressing the pressing issues in the Commonwealth. Here are a few of the measures we acted upon last week:


Passed House Committee:

Employment of minors/HB 255

This measure places students 16 and older to work more hours during the school week. Student athletes often return home from games and meets far later than students with jobs are allowed to work. HB 255 simply prohibits the state from creating regulations on child labor that are more restrictive than those created by the United States Secretary of Labor.


Postsecondary tuition waiver program for foster or adoption children/HB 105

The measure would establish a monthly stipend for students participating in the Kentucky foster or adopted child public postsecondary tuition waiver program. HB 105 would establish the Mentorship for At-Risk Male Students Grant Program and the Responsible Father Initiative Grant Program. Additionally, the measure would require the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to identify children that are dually involved with both systems of care and provide a report to the General Assembly each year that includes actions taken by both agencies to better serve such children.


Eligibility for supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP)/HB 367:  

The measure would prohibit CHFS from taking certain actions regarding the SNAP including increasing the eligibility standards for participation in the program, granting noncash, in kind, or other benefits to individuals in the program unless those individuals are eligible for those benefits under a different program, exempting individuals from the gross income and financial resources standards for benefits, applying for, seeking accepting, or renewing any waiver of work requirements for able bodied adults without dependents. HB 367 would remove the provisions that allow the Cabinet to waive certain requirements within the SNAP program without obtaining authorization from the General Assembly.

In addition to the measures that passed in committee, these bills were approved by the House and will head to the Senate for further consideration:


Ensuring school personnel are treated fairly/HB 300

The measure protects the due process rights of educators if they have a complaint filed at the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). HB 300 would help make sure that professional school personnel will be treated fairly, professionally, and in a timely manner. This will serve as an opportunity to treat our educators as the professionals they are.


Substitute teacher certification/HB 387

This bill would permit the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) to issue emergency certification for substitute teaching to anyone with a high school diploma, or an equivalent, that meets all other substitute teaching requirements provided by EPSB regulations. It would also allow EPSB to provide 5-year certification for applicants with a bachelor’s degree, and 10-year certifications for individuals with out-of-state certification or those who previously had a teaching certification.


Removing annual purchase limits on pseudoephedrine products/HB 386

The measure would remove annual and package purchase limits for pseudoephedrine products, including Sudafed. Purchase limits were initially put into place to help limit product sales when it was commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, but it is no longer necessary as the battle against meth has changed fronts. With the current restrictions in place, we are preventing those who need the medication from being able to purchase it at different times throughout the year.


Motor vehicle registration/HB 375

The measure is a military friendly measure that allows for registration for the primary owner who lives in Kentucky and the co-signer/co-buyer of the vehicle to not reside in the state. If the primary owner is now longer an owner, the co-owner shall move the vehicle title to their state of residence.

As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at