General Assembly tackled a range of judicial legislation during 2022 session

50th District State Representative

Thursday, May 5, 2022 — One of the primary missions of government is to ensure public safety so it makes good sense that this session we passed several pieces of legislation aimed at making Kentucky a safer place to live, from creating a restorative justice pilot program to enhancing penalties on those who are bringing fentanyl into the state. It is important that we worked to make this state a better place for everyone, especially with the rising crime rates and drug overdoses. Kentucky has seen some of the highest rates in overdose deaths and child abuse reports in the nation, so it was crucial for legislators to pass legislation addressing these rising rates.


Here are a couple of examples of judiciary legislation that was signed into law after this session:

SB38: Protecting Victims of Incest. SB 38 protects the victims of incest from their abuser by increasing the minimum time served required for the crime of incest from 15 percent to 85 percent.

SB 90: Restorative Justice Pilot Program. SB 90 is a restorative justice bill, which creates a pilot program. This program will establish a behavioral health program for those arrested with substance abuse issues. Those arrested will be assessed within 72 hours by a mental health specialist, and as long as they complete the program, their case can be dismissed. It is important because it helps those who are dealing with substance abuse problems. They are not placed into jail and left without any assistance. The program would give offenders the necessary resources to recover and get back into the workforce.

HB 154: Making Stricter DUI Laws. This measure closes a loophole that allows a person suspected of driving under the influence to refuse a blood test unless someone dies or is hurt. The loophole stems from a court decision. With the passage of HB 154, anyone who refuses a blood alcohol test is subject to having their driver’s license suspended. HB 154 allows for a search warrant to be issue to perform a blood test.

SB 179: Enhancing the Penalties for Looting, Violence, Etc. during a State of Emergency. This legislation enhances penalties for eligible criminal offenses that occur during a declared emergency arising from a natural or man-made disaster and within the area covered. Sadly, there was an increase in theft from homes after the December tornados in western Kentucky. SB 179 ensures that those who are taking advantage of those affected by natural disasters receive the fullest penalties.

HB 215: Dalton’s Law. HB 215 enhances the penalty for importing or trafficking carfentanil, fentanyl, or fentanyl derivatives to a Class C felony and time served from a minimum of 50 percent served to a minimum of 85 percent. It also states that those convicted of possessing more than 10 grams of fentanyl must serve 85 percent of their incarceration. The bill is in response to the increasing overdose deaths from fentanyl and the large spike of fentanyl being brought into and distributed throughout the state.

HB 263: Kami’s Law. HB 263, also known as Kami’s Law, makes abuse of children under the age of 12 a Class B felony. Since offenders would be convicted of a violent crime, they would be subject to registration on the Kentucky Caregiver Misconduct and Kentucky Child Abuse registries, and they would have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. Additional protections for those who cannot protect themselves from violence is extremely important, and that is exactly what this legislation does.

HB 402: Fertility Fraud Bill. HB 402, also known as the Fertility Fraud Bill, would add fraudulent assisted reproduction to the list of violations that may cause a doctor to lose or be restricted in the use of his or her medical license. The bill is protecting women who wish to undergo artificial insemination from their doctors so medical professionals do not take advantage of their patients.

As always, I can be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. Feel free to contact me via email at Chad.McCoy@lrc.ky.gov. If you would like more information on any of the legislation passed during the 2022 regular legislative session, please visit the LRC website www.legislature.ky.gov.


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