FRANKFORT, Ky. — Despite being a “short” legislative session this year, Kentucky lawmakers filed over 1,000 bills and resolutions. While some high-profile bills, supported by Republican lawmakers, are on their way to becoming law, they did not get everything they hoped for this year.
Senate Bill 115 would have essentially barred drag shows in public places or at businesses where a child could see the performance. Supporters said the measure was meant to protect children in the state. While the bill passed in the Senate, it stalled in the House and won’t become law in Kentucky.
In recent years, lawmakers have been looking for ways to change the state’s largest school district, Jefferson County Public Schools. A last-minute committee substitute which would have split Jefferson County’s school district into three smaller districts also never made it to the floor for a vote.
State Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, used a “shell bill” to introduce legislation that would ban gun-free zones on colleges and universities in the state. The state’s major universities — UK, UofL, NKU and EKU — said they opposed the bill as it would make their schools less safe. That bill passed out of committee but also never made it to the floor for a vote.
Senate Bill 50 would have changed many local, nonpartisan elections for offices like school board and turned them into partisan elections. That bill made it to the Committee on State & Local Government but stalled there. It will not become law in Kentucky, either.
While these high-profile bills stalled out, lawmakers still passed several major priorities, including bills related to juvenile justice reform, transgender youth, medical cannabis and sports betting.