The 2023 Legislative Session has adjourned Sine Die until January 2nd, 2024, unless otherwise called into extraordinary session by the governor. During this 30-day session, there were 876 bills introduced. Of those 876 bills that have been filed, only 178 were passed and sent to the governor. In 2022, the 60-day session, 221 bills were passed and sent to the governor.
Thus far, 129 bills have been signed by the governor with 14 of them becoming law without his signature. During the veto period, Governor Beshear vetoed 15 bills with the legislature overriding all of them. He vetoed 37 bills last session.
It was a historic session in Kentucky with the passage of medicinal cannabis and sports wagering on the final day. While SB47 and HB551 took most of the spotlight as session came to an end, there were several bills that gained attention throughout.
Some high-profile bills to note:
Veterinarian Modernization – HB167 – On March 24, 2023, Governor Beshear signed HB167. This bill updates and creates new sections of KRS Chapter 321, the statutory chapter creating the KBVE and mandating licensure for the professions of veterinary medicine, ensuring public protection for animal owners across the commonwealth. Prior to this year’s bill, the Kentucky Veterinary Medicine Practice Act had not been updated for more than 30 years.
Why is this bill important to you?
In 2022, the KAC met with the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Medicine and the Kentucky Board of Chiropractic Examiners regarding sections related to allied professionals and animal chiropractic. This bill creates a new credential under the veterinary practice act, an allied animal health professional, for chiropractors who specialize in animal chiropractic. This bill allows chiropractors to legally practice animal chiropractic, after obtaining an allied professional’s license, in the Commonwealth.
While the bill has been signed by the governor, the process is not over! Before a chiropractor can obtain an allied animal health professional permit, regulations relating to the animal chiropractic under the allied animal health professional’s permit must still be written. The KAC has already started the conversation surrounding the regulations alongside of the KBCE and KBVE.
We are grateful for the open communication between the KBVE, KBCE and KAC throughout this process and look forward to continuing our conversation so animals have the ability to receive chiropractic care in Kentucky!
Stay tuned for more information throughout 2023!
Sports Wagering- HB551 – Under HB 551, sports betting would be taxed 9.75% at horse racing facilities and 14.25% online. The bill states that sports betting would be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHC) “which has demonstrated a long and successful history of regulating wagering.” The act goes into effect 90 days after sine die, which is June 28. From there, KHC has six months under the bill to “promulgate administrative regulations to establish a fully functioning sports wagering system.” That means the system could be established any time between the end of summer and Dec. 28.
Medicinal Cannabis- SB47 – After a decade of attempts, a bill to legalize medicinal cannabis was passed and signed by the governor. Under the measure, medical cannabis could be prescribed for a list of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, chronic nausea and post-traumatic stress disorder. A person would have to be approved for a card allowing its use. A patient under 18 couldn’t possess or acquire medical cannabis without assistance from a designated caregiver. The bill is set to take effect January 2025.
Ban on “Gray Games”- HB594 – would ban gray machines and make them illegal in Kentucky, while also implementing a $25,000 fine for those operating the machines that would be paid to the county in which they were operating. There are currently three forms of legal gaming in Kentucky, and these machines fall outside of the three regulated categories of the Kentucky lottery, charitable gaming, and parimutuel wagering on horse racing. No taxes are being collected on the machines addressed in the bill, and there is currently no regulation in place.
Bourbon Barrell Tax-HB5 –phasing out a local property tax on the value of bourbon barrels in counties where they are stored. The bourbon industry pushed heavily for a repeal of the tax, with local governments and school officials remaining strongly opposed to losing that tax revenue.
Parental Rights- SB 5 – requires schools adopt a complaint resolution policy for parents who allege that materials taught in school are harmful to minors. Critics have said SB 5 is a ‘book-banning’ bill, while its supporters say it is about protecting children from obscene materials in school.
LGBTQ-SB150 – In addition to banning puberty-blockers, hormones and surgeries for kids under 18, Senate Bill 150 would also ban lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation, prevents trans students from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity and stops school districts from requiring teachers use a student’s pronouns if they don’t align with their sex assigned at birth. The bill has been called the most “extreme” and “worst” anti-LGBTQ piece of legislation in the country by pro-LGBTQ rights groups.
All seven bills mentioned above have become law. Governor Beshear vetoed SB150, but the Republican-led legislature overrode his veto 29-8 in the Senate and 76-23 in the House. SB 5 became law without the governor’s signature, while the rest were signed into law. The governor has 10 days after sine die to either sign, veto or let a bill become law without his signature. After April 13th, we will let you know the final outcome.
As mentioned, the Kentucky legislature is set to convene for the 2024 legislative session on January 2nd. This will be a 60-day budget session that will adjourn on April 15th.