They’re baaaaack…well, almost

Tuesday, January 7, being “the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the year,” marks the beginning of the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly. It’s a full, 60-day session, with the final gavel scheduled for April 15. That’s also “Tax Day,” and lobbyists (well, at least one I know) don’t mind paying whatever taxes they owe because it means the end of the regular session.

You can check out the full Legislative Calendar at  https://legislature.ky.gov/Documents/RS_Calendar.pdf

If you want to keep up with the daily grind of bills being introduced, actions by either chamber or bio information about your State Reps or State Senator, go to  https://legislature.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx. Take note of that URL because the long-time www.lrc.ky/gov no longer works.

We anticipate some legislation on public notice advertising based on comments by at least two legislators in a recent Interim Committee meeting and there probably will be a plethora of bills on Open Records. There seem to be attacks from all fronts on one of the strongest Open Records Laws in the country but we hope to continue being successful in fighting off those efforts. A new one recently cropped up when Rep. Chris Freeland, from Benton, said he would be filing legislation about the gruesome photos, inspired by the killing of two students at Marshall County High School two years ago.

Here’s a recent article on what Freeland’s legislation would do: https://www.wkms.org/post/bill-prefiled-marshall-county-legislator-would-prevent-spread-grisly-crime-evidence?fbclid=IwAR2K07QRgIXHWG1Du4zNLCoUfYz5ilyBDsbzOAzHgZhpYqjeO70EBHd0dGM#stream/0

We’ve also been working closely with Rep. Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, following some legislation he attempted during the 2019 session. We believe we’ve reached agreement in concept on some of the language and plan to continue working with him to get language that does what he wants while being acceptable to KPA.

We plan to update members each Friday, once the session really gets underway, about legislation we’re watching, monitoring or lobbying on and asking for help from publishers while their legislators are back home for the weekend. And if something comes up during the week that needs immediate attention, watch for URGENT LEGISLATIVE ACTION emails that will give publishers directions on what needs to be done to fight specific legislation. It’s imperative that newspapers stay aware and alert and be ready to contact their legislators by phone, email or text.

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