Two committees approved KLC initiatives on Thursday, the 40th day of 2022 Kentucky General Assembly’s 60-day session.
The House Health and Family Services Committee passed House Bill 777. KLC Executive Director/CEO J.D. Chaney testified alongside bill sponsor Representative Ken Fleming (R-Louisville) and Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) President Nancy Galvagni. The measure addresses several issues involving emergency medical services (EMS) and ambulances.
“For many years, dealing with the transportation of patients between healthcare facilities had become a very sensitive and problematic issue without very much movement. This bill today helps to answer some of that,” Fleming told the committee.
House Bill 777 addresses a pressing issue for many Kentucky cities, obtaining a certificate of need (CON). Cities with a private ambulance service need the ability to begin operations if the private company cannot respond to emergency calls promptly, which has been the situation in some communities. House Bill 777 allows cities, counties, and hospitals to transport patients under certain conditions without a CON. Cities can perform emergency patient transport without a CON under HB 777, while hospitals can transport any patient from their facility without a CON under the measure.
“It’s so frustrating for an elected city official to have to tell their constituents that there’s nothing they can do about it,” Chaney told the committee. “This legislation addresses that certificate of need process. It empowers it and tackles it from a local government perspective. Local leaders know these needs. This is a sound bill — a sound policy that moves this ball forward, significantly, for the citizens of the commonwealth. It protects our personnel that provides these services and sets the stage for a bigger discussion.”
House Bill 777 also forms a legislative task force to study EMS delivery services and offer recommendations to the General Assembly. It establishes the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) as an independent agency of state government, provides the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) access to KBEMS data, reforms the EMS complaint and investigation process, and exempts organ procurement organization vehicles from speed limits while transporting a human organ.
The measure now heads to the House of Representatives for approval.
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 191. Senator Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) sponsored the measure to help homeowners and local governments when a homeowners’ association (HOA) becomes inactive, fails to maintain infrastructure, or sets overly restrictive rules.
“There have been multiple lawsuits in my district regarding homeowners’ associations and people who were either directors of those HOAs or developers who took control of the funds and didn’t provide for maintenance of common areas,” testified Alvarado. “Citizens would often seek the help of county or city officials only to find out that they too had no jurisdiction over these matters.”
Senate Bill 191 outlines the process for municipal authorities to address planned communities that cease to remain active or fail to maintain infrastructure, common areas, watersheds, stormwater detention or retention areas, or other legally obligated areas. A municipality can get reimbursed for appointing a receiver to repair, renovate, or correct code violations.
It also outlines how the appointed receiver or homeowners can revive an inactive HOA.
Homeowners and potential buyers also receive protection from the measure, which outlines transparency requirements for an HOA’s legal rules, documents, and financial records.
Senate Bill 191 now heads to the Senate for consideration.