Legislators moved three KLC-supported bills forward on Wednesday. The measures focus on pensions, opioids, and local control in new school construction projects.
The House of Representatives passed House Bill 76 97 to 0. Representative Jerry Miller (R-Louisville) sponsored the measure to require pension systems to conduct an economic experience study every two years instead of five. The legislation also requires actuaries to project County Employee Retirement System (CERS) employer contribution rates over 30 years instead of the current 20-year timetable.
“Since 2016, we’ve seen some very large changes in actuarial assumptions that have affected our appropriations bills,” Miller rose to say on the House floor. “We need to look at making changes, which this bill does, to smooth future impacts by having economic assumptions, which is two-thirds of the impact traditionally reviewed by an economic experience study, every two years while retaining five years for demographic assumptions.”
House Bill 76 now heads to the Senate.
Senate Bill 56, sponsored by Senator Dr. Donald Douglas (R-Nicholasville), creates new options to combat opioid overdoses. It redefines “opioid antagonist” as any United States Food and Drug Administration-approved medication to reverse the effect of an overdose. The current statute lists naloxone in legislation that protects first responders and other good samaritans.
“We need to make more preparations available for our first responders and our healthcare workers,” Douglas said. “This will not cost the state of Kentucky an extra dime, but it will save lives.”
Overdose deaths nearly doubled in Kentucky in 2020. Douglas said that more than 96,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year — 72% from opiates.
The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 56, and the bill now heads to the House.
Also Wednesday, the House Local Government Committee unanimously approved House Bill 33, sponsored by Representative Josh Branscum (R-Russell Springs).
“The purpose of House Bill 33 is to allow local governments to perform plan review, inspection, and have jurisdiction over enforcement responsibilities for school construction projects when the local government and the Department of Housing and Building Construction (HBC) agree in writing,” Branscum testified.
He said House Bill 33 returns local control to the process that currently requires approval from Frankfort, which created a burden on HBC and a backlog of plans. The measure also removes some water fountain requirements that districts found costly and deletes the Kentucky efficient school design trust fund.
House Bill 33 heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.