House Passes Two KLC Initiatives

The House passed two more KLC initiatives on Monday, including legislation to address emergency medical services (EMS) and certificate of need (CON) issues as well as a bill that fixes alcohol licensure problems in the City of Ashland.

Representative Ken Fleming (R-Louisville) sponsored House Bill 777, which addresses several EMS issues. It allows a city or county to operate an emergency ambulance transport without a CON if the local government determines that a need exists after holding a public hearing.

Some cities have struggled with CONs when private ambulance services cannot respond quickly to 911 calls due to staffing shortages and/or too many non-emergency transport runs.

“This bill comes down to transporting patients,” Fleming explained. “The stories I have heard. The emails I have received. Individuals have not been transported for at least eight hours or more, if not several days. In fact, a friend of mine’s sister did not survive because she was not transported in a timely manner.”

House Bill 777 also removes the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) from the Kentucky Career and Technical College System (KCTCS), establishing KBEMS within the Public Protection Cabinet. It also creates a task force to study EMS issues and clarifies the licensure and complaint process.

“This is about our patients and emergency services in Kentucky. This is not and should never be about revenue for any agency for providing services in Kentucky,” said bill cosponsor Representative Kimberly Moser (R-Taylor Mill). “Our job is to ensure quality patient care.”

The House passed the measure 77-15.

Representatives also passed House Bill 536 to fix alcohol regulatory issues for the City of Ashland. Representative Scott Sharp (R-Ashland) sponsored the KLC initiative that ensures his home city has the same alcohol regulatory options as other cities.

“Decades ago, there were four precincts that were wet in Ashland, and each precinct had a total of four alcohol licenses each, for a total of 16,” said Sharp. “Due to voting several decades ago, they combined these four precincts into two, and they kept the 16 licenses. Here recently, the ABC commission has decided that does not work, and they only have eight licenses, so we’re bringing this bill to fix the problem.”

House Bill 536 also allows caterers in wet areas to serve alcohol at events in a moist territory if at least 10% of the caterer’s receipts comes from food sales.

Representatives voted 67-19 to approve the bill.

Both measures head to the Senate for consideration.