2021 Legislative Summary

                                                              2021 Kentucky General Assembly

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly was in regular session from January through March 2021.  It was a constitutionally structured odd-year session.  The Session also addressed the state’s budget, an unusual step for an odd-numbered session because the pandemic caused the General Assembly to create an unusual one-year budget in 2020.

The Kentucky legislature, in odd-numbered years, convenes in regular session for a period not exceeding a total of 30 days. The first part of the session begins on the Tuesday after the first Monday in January. The second part of the session begins on the first Tuesday in February of the same year. A “legislative day” is defined as a calendar day, excluding Sundays, legal holidays, and any day on which neither house meets.

During the 2021 legislative session, 595 House Bills and 286 Senate Bills were introduced. By comparison, in 2019 (the previous odd-year session) 525 House Bills and 264 Senate Bills were introduced.

The summary below includes 14 House Bills and 9 Senate Bills legislation passed by the 2021 General Assembly. The summary includes bills that relate to mental health treatment; child custody, juvenile justice; healthcare; criminal justice, specifically including no-knock warrants, sexual offenses, and crimes against children; pregnant or postpartum inmates; education; abortion; missing persons; abandoned infants; adoption; open records of crime victims; child support; and child welfare. For summaries of prior legislative sessions, please refer to an earlier section of this web page.

 


2021 General Assembly: Legislation by Chamber
BILL NUMBER SPONSOR(S) BILL TITLE BILL SUMMARY SENATE VOTE HOUSE VOTE GOV'S
SIGNATURE
Senate

SB 4

Senator Robert Stivers (R)(25), R. Thomas, T. Buford, D. Carroll, M. Nemes, J. Schickel, D. Thayer, J. Turner, D. Yates

AN ACT relating to warrants authorizing entry without notice

The bill creates new sections of KRS Chapter 455 to create procedures and requirements for issuance of warrants authorizing entry without notice; require judges to review applications for warrants impartially; and requires service by SWAT or special response teams with special training; it amends KRS 523.020 to make clear that an officer's false statement in an application for a warrant authorizing entry without notice constitutes perjury; propose a rule of evidence making inadmissible any evidence collected as the result of a warrant authorizing entry without notice which did not comply with statutes or which was obtained through perjury or false statements.

34-0

92-5

4/9/21

SB 21 R. Alvarado (R )(28) AN ACT relating to mental health treatment. Amend KRS 202A.021 to permit voluntary transport to a hospital or psychiatric facility with authorization of the originating and receiving hospital or facility and a patient's signed written agreement to be voluntarily transported and to not be physically removed during transport; amend KRS 645.030 to permit voluntary transport of a child to a hospital or psychiatric facility with authorization of the originating and receiving hospital or facility and a parent if the child is under 16 and parent and child if the child is age 16 or older and a signed written agreement to be voluntarily transported and to not be physically removed during transport; amend KRS 214.185 to establish that any qualified mental health professional may provide outpatient mental health counseling to any child who is age 16 or older and is an unaccompanied youth; amend KRS 645.190 to conform. 36-0 91-3 3/18/2021
SB 32 P. Wheeler (R )(31) AN ACT relating to children. Amend KRS 403.270 to specify that the existing time periods required to be considered a de facto custodian be calculated in aggragate within the last two years. 33-0 91-3 3/25/2021
SB 36 W. Westerfield (R )(03) AN ACT providing financing and conditions for the operations, maintenance, support, and functioning of the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring an emergency. Amend KRS 635.020 to remove automatic transfer of a child from District Court to Circuit Court in certain cases; amend KRS 640.010 to specify additional factors to be considered in determining whether a child's case should be transferred from District Court to Circuit Court. 36-0 95-0 4/7/2020
SB 44 R. Alvarado (R )(28), M. Wilson AN ACT relating to access to health care. Create a new section of Subtitle 17A, KRS Chapter 304 to require health benefit plans to accept, and count towards the insured's contributions, premium and cost-sharing payments made on behalf of an insured from state or federal government programs, Indian or tribal organizations, and certain tax-exempt organizations; permit insurers to accept, and count towards the insured's contributions, premium and cost-sharing payments made on behalf of an insured from other persons; provide exception for Health Savings Account-qualified High Deductible Health Plans; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2022. 35-0 89-3 3/25/2021
SB 51 R. Alvarado (R )(28) AN ACT relating to addiction treatment. Amend KRS 304.17A-611 to prohibit insurers from requiring or using certain utilization reviews for certain prescription drugs used to treat alcohol or opioid use disorder; amend KRS 205.536 to prohibit the Department for Medicaid Services or a Medicaid managed care organization from requiring or using certain utilization reviews for certain prescription drugs used to treat alcohol or opioid use disorder; create a new section of Subtitle 17A of KRS Chapter 304 to require insurers to report the number and type of providers prescribing medication for addiction treatment; require the Department of Insurance to report to the General Assembly and State Board of Medical Licensure; EFFECTIVE in part January 1, 2022. 36-0 87-2 4/8/2021
SB 52 D. Harper Angel (D)(35), W. Westerfield, M. McGarvey, D. Yates AN ACT relating to sexual offenses by peace officers. Amend KRS 510.060, rape in the third degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to sexual intercourse; amend KRS 510.090, sodomy in the third degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to deviate sexual intercourse; amend KRS 510.120, sexual abuse in the second degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to sexual contact. 35-0 93-1 3/25/2021
SB 64 A. Kerr (R )(12), D. Carroll AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments. Amend KRS 510.010 to define "registrant" and "adult intermediary"; amend KRS 510.155 to include communications with adult intermediaries for minors and enhance punishment if the minor or perceived minor is under 12 years old, the offender is a registered sex offender, or a person travels into the Commonwealth for the purpose of procuring or promoting the use of a minor. 37-0 98-0 3/23/2021
SB 84 J. Adams (R )(36) , K. Berg, M. McGarvey, G. Neal, A. Southworth, D. Thayer, W. Westerfield AN ACT relating to the housing of inmates. Create a new section of KRS Chapter 196 to establish restrictive housing and medical observation of inmates who are pregnant or in the immediate postpartum period; define "immediate postpartum period"; create a new section of KRS Chapter 196 to establish notice of availability and access to applicable community-based programs and social workers; establish parameters for care of the infant for the 72-hour period after birth; create a new section of Chapter 196 to require an annual restricted housing report be filed with the Legislative Research Commission; amend KRS 510.060, rape in the third degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to sexual intercourse; amend KRS 510.090, sodomy in the third degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to deviate sexual intercourse; amend KRS 510.120, sexual abuse in the second degree, to include a peace officer who subjects a person in custody or under arrest to sexual contact. 28-0 94-0 3/23/2021
SB 128 M. Wise (R )(16), R. Girdler, D. Carroll AN ACT relating to supplementary education and declaring an emergency. Allow public high school students currently enrolled in Kentucky to request to use the 2021-2022 school year as a supplemental school year to retake and supplement coursework already completed; require local boards of education to either approve or deny all requests; allow Kentucky nonpublic schools to also implement supplemental school years; ensure students utilizing supplemental school years are not ineligible to participate in KHSAA activities; EMERGENCY. 36-0 92-5 3/24/2021
House of Representatives
HB 2 J. Fischer (R )(68), L. Bechler, S. Baker, D. Bentley, A. Bowling, J. Branscum, J. Bray, R. Bridges, J. Calloway, J. Decker, J. DuPlessis, D. Elliott, D. Fister, P. Flannery, D. Frazier, C. Freeland, C. Fugate, R. Goforth, D. Hale, M. Hart, R. Heath, R. Huff, T. Huff, M. Imes, K. King, W. Lawrence, D. Lewis, S. Lewis, S. Maddox, C. Massey, B. McCool, C. McCoy, S. McPherson, D. Meade , S. Miles, K. Moser, D. Osborne, P. Pratt, M. Prunty, B. Reed, B. Rowland, S. Rudy, S. Santoro, S. Sharp, S. Sheldon, T. Smith, N. Tate, W. Thomas, J. Tipton, K. Upchurch, B. Wesley AN ACT relating to medical procedures and declaring an emergency. Amend KRS 15.241 to allow the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief as well as civil and criminal penalties to prevent, penalize, and remedy violations of KRS Chapter 216B relating to abortion facilities, violations of KRS 311.710 to 311.830 relating to abortions, and violations of emergency management orders relating to elective medical procedures issued under KRS Chapter 39A; specify that nothing in this section shall limit or preclude the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services from seeking similar relief; create a noncodified section to prohibit an abortion facility from deeming an abortion to be an emergent or urgent medical procedure and to prohibit a physician from deeming an abortion to be performed in an abortion facility to be an emergent or urgent medical procedure during the state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19; EMERGENCY. 32-5 73-20 2/2/2021                   Enacted over Governor's veto
HB 563 C. McCoy (R )(50), S. Santoro AN ACT relating to education Amend KRS 157.350 to allow inclusion of nonresident pupils in a district's average daily attendance; amend KRS 158.120 to require a local board of education to adopt a nonresident student policy and forbid discrimination among nonresident students; require the Kentucky Department of Education to submit a report by August 1, 2021 concerning options to ensure a school district's local effort funds follow a students to the district in which the student is enrolled; specify that no provisions are intended to override current rules and regulations adopted by the Kentucky High School Athletics Association, including transfers. 23-14 51-42 3/30/2021            Enacted over Governor's veto
HB 105 D. Frazier (R )(81), T. Bojanowski, R. Bridges, A. Gentry, D. Lewis, C. Massey, R. Palumbo, M. Prunty, S. Westrom AN ACT relating to missing persons Amend KRS 39F.180 to require that any agency searching for a lost or missing person contact appropriate agencies within four hours of receiving the report and utilize existing resources, including but not limited to electronic highway signs, the Amber Alert system, law enforcement communications systems, electronic media, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System if authorized and under conditions permitted by the federal government, and local, regional, and statewide media providers. 35-0 92-0 3/23/21
HB 155 N. Tate (R )(27), M. Prunty, L. Bechler, A. Bowling, J. Branscum, J. Bray, J. Decker, M. Dossett, D. Elliott, D. Fister, P. Flannery, D. Frazier, C. Fugate, R. Goforth, D. Hale, M. Hart, S. Heavrin, T. Huff, DJ Johnson, K. King, N. Kirk-McCormick, S. Lewis, C. Massey, M. Meredith, S. Sheldon, W. Thomas, R. Webber AN ACT relating to abandoned infants. Amend KRS 405.075 to define and allow the use of a "newborn safety device" related to the anonymous surrendering of a newborn infant in the Commonwealth at a participating staffed police station, staffed fire station, or a staffed hospital. 36-0 96-0 3/25/21
HB 178 S. Sheldon (R )(17) AN ACT relating to the Kentucky Board of Education. Amend KRS 156.029 to require appointments to the Kentucky Board of Education to reflect equal gender representation and proportionally reflect the Commonwealth's political affiliation and minority racial composition; provide that members can be removed if composition requirements are not met; add a student and a teacher to the board as non-voting members; prohibit the Governor from reorganizing the board; amend KRS 156.040 and KRS 63.080 to conform. 30-3 89-5 4/5/21
HB 210 S. Heavrin (R )(18), D. Meade , T. Bojanowski, D. Hale, DJ Johnson, K. King, C. Massey, R. Palumbo, M. Prunty, J. Raymond, S. Sheldon, N. Tate, K. Timoney, B. Wesley AN ACT related to adoption leave. Amend KRS 337.015 to require employers to provide the same leave policies to adoptive parents as they provide to birth parents; change the applicable age of an adoptive child from seven to ten; create an exemption for specified categories of adoption. 33-2 97-0 3/23/21
HB 254 D. Lewis (R )(90), J. Blanton, A. Bowling, K. Bratcher, J. Bray, J. Decker, M. Dossett, J. DuPlessis, J. Fischer, D. Fister, P. Flannery, D. Frazier, C. Fugate, D. Graham, D. Hale, S. Heavrin, R. Huff, T. Huff, S. Lewis, C. Massey, R. Palumbo, P. Pratt, M. Prunty, S. Sheldon, C. Stevenson, N. Tate, K. Timoney, J. Tipton, S. Westrom AN ACT relating to the sexual exploitation of minors. Amend KRS 531.335 to raise the penalty for possession or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor under the age of 12 years to a Class C felony; amend KRS 531.340 to raise the penalty for the distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance of a minor under the age of 12 years to a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony for each subsequent offense. 35-0 96-0 3/23/21
HB 273 C. Freeland (R )(6), B. Reed, J. Decker AN ACT relating to public records and declaring an emergency. Amend KRS 61.878 to exclude from the Open Records Act photographs or videos that depict a person's death, killing, rape, or sexual assault or abuse; cite as the Bailey Holt-Preston Cope Victims Privacy Act; EMERGENCY. 34-0 82-10 3/23/21
HB 310 S. Heavrin (R )(18), J. Decker, K. King, C. Massey AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments and declaring an emergency. Amend KRS 439.340 to require notice and hearings prior to parole of persons convicted of a Class D felony classified as a sex crime under KRS 17.500; amend KRS 510.037, 456.010, and 403.720 to clarify that inchoate offenses are included in the statutory offenses. 37-0 91-0 4/1/21
HB 363 S. McPherson (R )(22), S. Santoro, W. Lawrence, C. Massey, B. Reed AN ACT relating to disabled license plates. Amend KRS 186.042 to allow the parent or guardian of a disabled minor or disabled adult to obtain a disabled license plate.     3/22/21
HB 404 C. Massey (R )(66), A. Hatton AN ACT relating to child support. Amend KRS 403.211 to increase the amount of an extraordinary medical expense from $100 to $250; amend KRS 403.212 to update the child support guidelines table and a self-support reserve; establish guidelines for imputation of income; create a new section of KRS Chapter 403 to establish adjustments to a child support obligation based upon parenting time; amend KRS 406.031 to decrease the time liability for child support shall attach in a paternity action from 4 years to 2 years; amend KRS 620.090 to establish an action for child support when a court issues a temporary order for child custody; amend KRS 403.160 and 620.230 to conform; Section 3 EFFECTIVE March 1, 2022. 33-0 87-5 3/19/21
HB 448 B. Wesley (R )(91), D. Bentley, A. Bowling, J. Bray, J. Decker, D. Frazier, R. Goforth, DJ Johnson, N. Kirk-McCormick, W. Lawrence, D. Lewis, K. Moser, M. Prunty, B. Reed, S. Sharp, T. Smith, J. Tipton, S. Westrom AN ACT relating to child welfare. Amend KRS 600.020 to expand the definition of "qualified mental health professional" as it relates to licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and credentialed professional counselors. 36-0 92-0 3/22/21
HB 472 L. Bechler (R )(4), M. Hart, C. Massey, R. Palumbo AN ACT relating to child abuse and declaring an emergency. Amend KRS 500.050 to extend the criminal statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses against minors from 5 to 10 years; amend KRS 413.249, relating to civil actions arising from childhood sexual assault or abuse, to apply to direct perpetrators as well as third-party individuals or corporate entities who may be criminally liable for the criminal act of those perpetrators; specify that the amendments enacted in 2017 Ky. Acts ch. 114, sec. 2 shall be applied retroactively to actions accruing before that Act's effective date of June 29, 2017; create a new section of KRS Chapter 413 to state legislative findings and declarations; provide for severability; EMERGENCY. 34-0 81-12 3/23/21
HB 492 D. Meade (R )(80) , R. Goforth, R. Huff, DJ Johnson, C. Massey, K. Moser, R. Palumbo, B. Wesley, S. Westrom AN ACT relating to child welfare. Amend KRS 620.100 to establish a requirement that ensures that separate counsel is available to advise a cabinet employee in court anytime that the cabinet employee is required to be in court; amend KRS 620.142 to establish custodial, permanency, and service options available to a relative or fictive kin caregiver; amend KRS 620.360 to expand the rights of foster parents in court proceedings and clarify that all components of a foster parent’s approval are effective for three years and that when reevaluation is required after that three years, all courses be offered online and in-person and allow the foster parent to choose the format they want for reevaluation; amend KRS 620.365 to establish requirements related to when a child has been in the same foster family home for a period of nine months; amend KRS 625.060 related to a foster parent's standing in a court case; amend KRS 194A.030 related to the duties and reporting of the Office of the Ombudsman and Administrative Review within the Office of the Secretary within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. 36-0 83-7 4/5/21

 

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