KLC Initiative Regulating Pools Passes House Committee

A Kentucky League of Cities 2024 legislative session initiative has cleared a House committee.

House Bill 109, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Jackson, R-Bowling Green, easily cleared the House Local Government Committee on Wednesday with no members opposing the legislation and Rep. Steven Doan passing his vote.

The legislation would allow pools to reopen that shut down due to overburdensome regulations by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which changed the lifeguard rules in 2022.

The legislation classifies pools under two categories: Class A and Class B. Class A pools are those that are intended for use by the public, and Class B pools are those that do not open for the general public but do cater to guests, like health clubs, country clubs, and residential communities.

The bill would require a lifeguard on duty for all Class A and B pools if the pool allows those 17 years or younger without an adult, or contains waves or slides, or if a diving board is in use. Pools that meet those criteria must provide one lifeguard per 100 bathers. Class A pools must require a lifeguard if they are 2,000 sq ft or over.

“This bill comes at the request of constituents far and wide from Paducah to Pikeville and Louisville to Bowling Green who are affected by the changes,” Rep. Jackson said.

“You mentioned, what I think is the clear thing here, government overreach,” Rep. Michael Meredith said, commenting on the regulations that brought the legislature to take action. “There should have been no reason to have to have this bill.”

House Local Government Chairman Randy Bridges, R-Paducah, agreed with Rep. Meredith, saying, “This is a blatant overreach of the regulatory department.”

“We’re not going to tolerate it,” he continued. “Even though we are a group that would prefer less laws, and when they force us to add additional laws, it’s unacceptable. [I] appreciate your work on this.”

The legislation now moves to the full House.