House continues work as veto recess approaches

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

By Representative Daniel Elliott

While time continues to run out on the 2024 Regular Session, there is still much work to be done. Within the last week, the Senate has amended and approved its budget, putting it back into our hands to either concur or to send to a conference committee to be negotiated. Additionally, we have seen a calendar change that moves days 53-56 to better align with committee scheduling. The final stretch of the session is often referred to as the busiest portion. With bills being moved in both chambers ahead of the veto recess and more on the table for consideration, I would like to inform you this week on some of the measures we have been working on ahead of our deadline.

Ending human trafficking:

Email newsletter signup

With human trafficking becoming a more prevalent issue in our state and nation by the day, the House has acted on a measure to begin investigating the best way to put an end to these heinous crimes. HB 3 works in tandem with federal law to further prevent human trafficking, particularly in areas of public transit. This measure also takes steps to create a working group whose purpose would be to investigate ongoing human trafficking concerns in Kentucky. This group’s membership was solidified with a floor amendment which establishes that it will be comprised of several state/federal law enforcement groups, as well as non- governmental organizations that will advocate for victims in addition to the victims themselves.

Giving Kentuckians a vote on education: 

Both the House and Senate have approved HB 2, which would allow Kentuckians to vote on a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would clear the way for the legislature to empower parents to make educational choices for their children. The change would allow the state to give public dollars to charter schools. For almost two centuries, education has been one of the primary focuses of our General Assembly. Kindergarten through 12th grade education accounts for more than 40% of the state’s budget and the legislature provided historic levels (even adjusted for inflation) of funding in the current and proposed budgets. However, there is still a great deal to be done and many believe the state’s 133-year-old constitution prevents progress from happening. HB 2 would allow voters to decide and settle the issue.

Providing patients more options:

Kentuckians whose mandatory mail-order pharmacies cannot fill a prescription in a timely manner are one step closer to finding relief with the House passage of HB 190. This measure prevents patients from having to pay more to fill the prescription at a local pharmacy.

Lending a helping hand to our future veterinarians:

The shortage of veterinarians in the commonwealth impacts not only pet owners, but also farmers and our food supply. The House approved HB 553, which establishes a student loan repayment program for eligible veterinary students in underserved areas of the commonwealth.

Enhancing civic understanding:

Now more than ever it is vital that our children understand both the importance of civics and how our government works. HB 535 would allow schools to implement a half credit civics education course for 9th grade students to meet the graduation requirement instead of the current civics test requirement.

Reconstructing the office of conservation officers: 

Kentucky is home to one of the greatest fish and wildlife resource resources in the nation. With this comes a robust team of conservation officers who protect and serve our Commonwealth’s most precious resources. HB 586 rebrands conservation officers to game wardens and grants them additional legal authority, including jurisdiction over waterways. Currently, water safety enforcement lies with the Kentucky State Police.

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