House Bill 456 concerns overtime law

Since the federal Department of Labor has not been able to put its proposed overtime rule into effect, word was out that some state legislatures were going to step in.

While the list of states didn’t include Kentucky, there was mention that Rep. Chris Harris, D-Pikeville, was considering such legislation to have introduced into the House.

And that happened this morning (Friday) when he filed HB 456. Now we won’t be able to read the legislation until tonight or this weekend, but we will be checking to see just how closely it resembles what the feds were trying.

You may recall that the Department of Labor had proposed an exemption level somewhere around $47,000. I doubt Rep. Harris’ bill goes that far but we will be checking.

Additionally, federal law exempts a newspaper with 4,000 or less circulation from the provisions and we’ll work to make sure that level is mirrored in House Bill 456.

Then again, it may not affect the newspaper industry at all but with the rumor that this was in the works, until we can read it and see what levels are imposed, we won’t know.

If it’s of concern, we’ll notify publishers this weekend.

HB 416 — This is legislation coordinated through the Kentucky League of Cities and on behalf of city police departments concerning body cams and release of videos. Jon Fleischaker and I met with KLC officials a couple of weeks ago and Jon laid out KPA’s concerns with any legislation. It’s covered under the Open Records Law and KPA’s position is that should suffice.

We’ll be monitoring it should it start moving.

SB 234 — Interesting legislation on personally identifiable information of a victim. It would allow for any identifiable information of a victim to be redacted for a long list of crimes against the victim. KPA will be working against this legislation as it currently reads. There was a similar attempt about 30 years ago and what this could allow is for police to hide how a case was handled.

What’s worse, according to Jon F., is that this legislation would allow all of the information in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services instances to remain closed.

SB 222 — This legislation is identical to House Bill 202, a piece of legislation that has been called “absurd” by a host of Louisville/Metro Government officials. Of concern to newspapers is the very last section that would allow county clerks in Fayette and Jefferson counties to publish names and party affiliations of candidates with the election ballot itself and other information published only on the county clerk’s website. While as written it only pertains to those two counties, the stroke of a cheap pen could make it applicable to all county clerks.

HB 215 — Legislation trying to rein on access to accident reports. We’ve long fought attempts to close accident reports because of the number of attorneys, chiropractors and other ambulance chasers wanting to get to the information for commercial (profit) advantages. We’re working with parties involved in backing this legislation to make sure news-gathering organizations maintain access to accident reports.

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