2016 Legislative Summary

2016 Kentucky General Assembly

The 2016 Kentucky General Assembly was in session from January through April 2016.  It was a constitutionally-structured even-year session, which may not last more than 60 legislative days. The Session included consideration of the state’s biennium budget.  In total, 632 House bills and 309 Senate bills were introduced this year. By comparison, in 2014 (the previous even-year session), 584 House bills and 240 Senate bills were introduced.

The summary below includes legislation passed by the 2016 General Assembly that relates to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, criminal justice, firearms, adult protection, women's issues, and mental health. It includes 4 House bills and 4 Senate bills.

2016 General Assembly: Legislation by Chamber
BILL NUMBER SPONSOR(S) BILL TITLE BILL SUMMARY SENATE VOTE HOUSE VOTE GOV'S SIGNATURE
Senate
SB 60 Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R )(3)         Danny Carroll (R )(2) AN ACT relating to vulnerable victims AN ACT relating to offenses committed in a continuing course of conduct against vulnerable victims. Create a new section of KRS Chapter 501, relating to general principles of liability, to define “offense against a vulnerable victim” and to create a mechanism for charging a person with the commission of an offense against a vulnerable victim in a continuous course of conduct. Add KRS 529.100 and 529.110 to offenses which can be charged in a continuing course of conduct. Add subsection specifying that if a person is convicted of an offense against a vulnerable victim in a continuing course of conduct, that person may not also be convicted of charges based on the individual unlawful acts that were part of the continuing course of conduct. Clarify that applicability of bill is determined by age of victim at the time of the offense. Add KRS 510.120 to eligible offenses; declare an emergency. 38-0 98-0 9-Apr-16
SB 63 Sen. Denise Harper Angel, (D)(35) J. Adams, D. Carroll, P. Clark, M. McGarvey AN ACT relating to evidence and declaring an emergency.  Amend KRS 15.440 to require law enforcement agencies to have approved policies on the disposition of sexual assault evidence collection kits; amend KRS 17.175 to set processing timelines for state police forensic laboratory processing of sexual assault evidence collection kits and to authorize expedited repair and procurement authority to meet those deadlines; include noncodified language authorizing a one-time transfer of money from the Kentucky law Enforcement Foundation Program fund to the Department of Kentucky State Police to add additional evidence processing capacity at the state's criminal forensic laboratories; EMERGENCY. Require that all kits collected prior to this bill and which were not yet tested are submitted to the forensic laboratory by January 1, 2017; add to the policies required for law enforcement agencies transfer of kit to law enforcement agency with jurisdiction within 10 days of receipt, require that a suspect standard, if available, be sent with the kit, notification of victim if evidence is to be destroyed, and allow delay in notification of the victim until after the suspect has been apprehended; allow the state lab to prioritize analysis and classification of kits which have been submitted with a suspect standard, in cases where a suspect has been identified; make the goals for average completion time contingent on receipt of adequate funding; remove appropriation language; require hospitals and other facilities that perform forensic medical exams and collect evidence for sexual assault kits to notify law enforcement within 24 hours of obtaining the victim’s consent to release the kit to law enforcement; require hospitals to retain kits not reported to law enforcement for one year, instead of only 90 days; add to the Sexual Assault Response Team Advisory Committee (SART-AC) the Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers; require that SART-AC assist regional rape crisis centers in creating regional sexual assault response teams; develop model policies for law enforcement and these efforts should include economic impacts, as well as model policies and implementation; study the costs associated with crimes by individuals identified in the backlog effort; report annually to the General Assembly and the secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on data relating to sexual assault in Kentucky, including the number kits collected and the number tested; require KSP and AOC to report statistics to SART-AC; create a designation for SANE-ready hospitals, which requires 24-hour access to SANE nurses; require law enforcement basic training to include 8 hours on sexual assault by 2017; establish 40-hour training curriculum in sexual assault investigation for law enforcement officers by 2017, and require by 2019 at least one officer in every agency to receive that training; clarify and define retention period for kits when no trial has taken place; create short title "Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) Act of 2016." 38-0 97-0 8-Apr-16
SB 179 Sen. Will Schroder    (R )(24), D. Carroll, R. Alvarado AN ACT relating to persons with disabilities. Amend KRS 205.200 to disregard any amount in an ABLE account, any contributions to an ABLE account, and any distribution from an ABLE account for qualified expenses for the purposes of determining an individual's eligibility for a means-tested public assistance program and the amount of assistance or benefits the individual is eligible to receive under the program; direct the State Treasurer, the Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, and the Executive Director of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority to work cooperatively to seek all available sources of funding, determine the best plan of action related to ABLE accounts, and report to the Legislative Research Commission on or before December 31, 2016. 36-0 99-0 5-Apr-16
SB 217 C. B. Embry Jr. (R )(6)  A. Robinson, W. Schroder AN ACT relating to military justice. Amend KRS 35.010, relating to the code of military justice, to clarify definitions; amend KRS 35.070 to change the maximum fine or forfeiture of pay that a commanding officer may impose as well as clarify other nonjudicial punishments; amend KRS 35.125 to clarify who is eligible to serve as a military judge; amend KRS 35.215 to exempt sexual crimes from a statute of limitations; create a new section of KRS Chapter 35 to move those definitions previously found under each individual sexual crime into one statute; create a new section of KRS Chapter 35 to create the crime of sexual harassment; amend KRS 35.681 to remove the definitions related to rape from the statute; create a new section of KRS Chapter 35 to create the crime of rape of a child; amend KRS 35.685 to remove the definitions related to stalking from the statute; amend KRS 35.690 to remove the definitions related to other sexual crimes. 38-0 99-0 9-Apr-16
House of Representatives
HB 40 Rep. Darryl T. Owens (D)(43), D. Floyd, L. Belcher, G. Brown Jr., L. Clark, M. Denham, K. Flood, J. Glenn, J. Gooch Jr., J. Greer, D. Horlander, D. Keene, M. Marzian, R. Meeks, J. Miller, T. Mills, J. Richards, S. Riggs, T. Riner, K. Sinnette, J. Taylor, T. Thompson, D. Watkins, S. Westrom, B. Yonts AN ACT relating to criminal records. Amend KRS 431.076 to expand the scope of an expungement motion under that statute to include felonies referred to a grand jury where no indictment ensues; amend KRS 431.078 to expand that statute's expungement process to include Class D felonies; amend KRS 527.040 to expressly provide that an expunged felony does not trigger the application of that statute; create a new section of KRS Chapter 413 to prohibit the introduction of information pertaining to an expunged conviction as evidence in a civil suit or administrative proceeding alleging negligent hiring or licensing.      
HB 162 Rep. Adam Koenig   (R )(69) AN ACT relating to harassing communications. Amend KRS 525.080 to include electronic communications within the definition of harassing communications. 37-0 95-0 13-Apr-16
HB 250 Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo (D)(76), R. Smart, L. Belcher, C. Howard, S. Lee, L. Nicholls, R. Rand, S. Riggs, C. Tackett, J. Taylor, K. Upchurch AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments. Amend KRS 431.015 to remove the requirement for peace officers to issue a citation in lieu of arrest for most misdemeanors committed in their presence; amend KRS 523.110 to include intentionally providing a peace officer a false date of birth, Social Security number, state identification card number, or operator's license number as elements of the offense of giving a peace officer false identifying information. 37-0 97-0 13-Apr-16
HB 314 Rep. Steve Riggs (D)(31), C. Miller, L. Belcher, D. Butler, W. Coursey, D. Horlander, M. King, A. Koenig, B. Linder, T. Mills, J. Richards, S. Santoro, G. Watkins, S. Westrom, A. Wuchner, B. Yonts  AN ACT relating to weapons carried by current and retired peace officers and declaring an emergency. Create a new section of KRS Chapter 237 to allow authorized off-duty and retired peace officers to carry concealed firearms at any location where on-duty officers may carry firearms. 37-0 87-2 13-Apr-16

The summary was prepared by LaKeysha Singleton, Research Assistant to Carol E. Jordan, Executive Director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women, University of Kentucky.

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