LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Back from their break, Kentucky lawmakers filed a flurry of new bills this week and now have less than 30 days to move them. 

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky lawmakers returned from their break this week  

  • The 30-day session ends March 30 

  • Lawmakers advanced bills related to the state income tax and student pronouns 

  • A committee heard testimony on Kentucky's teacher shortage 

Tuesday, a House committee met with educators and spent hours discussing what’s behind Kentucky’s teacher shortage and what to do about it. 

“A teacher shouldn’t have 25 kindergarten students in their classroom, even with an aide, so when I think about what can we do immediate, you know, the teaching class size... it’s huge,” said Amanda Sewell, a teacher for Fayette County Public Schools. 

The Senate sent House Bill 1 to the governor’s desk on Wednesday. It would lower the state income tax from 4.5% to 4%, effective next year. Opponents argued the cuts won’t help most Kentuckians.

“We moved the bills we wanted to move, particularly House Bill 1, which is the tax cuts, so individuals will not see as much being deducted from their paycheck,” Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said Friday. 

Rep. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) told Spectrum News 1 Friday that Democrats plan to file more bills related to health care when they return next week. 

“I believe you will see a slate of bills come out of the women’s caucus on the Democratic side that are really focused on mothers, on families and maternal health care outcomes in the state,” she said. 

Senate Bill 150, what Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) called a bill to empower parents and protect First Amendment freedoms, went up for a vote Thursday. 

Opponents told lawmakers it would harm Kentucky’s transgender children. 

Among other things, it would ban school districts from requiring staff or students to use pronouns aligned with a student’s gender identity.

It would also prohibit schools from having policies to keep student information confidential from parents, with some exceptions for the safety of the child.  

“The woke agenda that is not clickbait for cable TV is real,” said Wise Wednesday. “It is happening in schools across the Commonwealth.”

Sen. Karen Berg (D-Louisville) watched her Republican colleagues advance the bill out of committee.

Her 24-year-old transgender son Henry Berg Brousseau died by suicide in December. 

“I am going to make an open plea to the members of this body that we avoid politicizing issues that are literally killing our children,” Berg said to her colleagues Wednesday. 

Berg has filed several amendments to the bill, including one that would allow a parent or guardian to require school staff to address their child by a specific name or pronoun. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.