Kentucky Senators Unveil More Top Priorities

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Senators filed more bills Monday, detailing their top priorities as committee hearings start this week.

State Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, introduced Senate Bill 8, called the School Safety and Resiliency Act. It would require school resource officers to carry a handgun.

Wise specifically called out Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district, for not arming its school resource officers.

“Every other school district across the Commonwealth is doing this, but we want to make sure that this bill is strengthened, that all school districts will have armed SROs with a firearm,” Wise said.

The bill amends a 2019 bill that requires public schools to have resource officers. It also clarifies that every school district have an officer at each campus of the school and school resources officers would be entitled to the same death benefits as police officers.

“We always have to go back and revisit major legislation like this,” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said. “Not anything unusual, but it is something we need to do.

Another bill, Senate Bill 6, would ban the practice of pension spiking.

Current law allows former lawmakers to boost their legislative pensions by taking another, more lucrative job in state government, and then applying that salary to the pension payout calculation.

Former Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order to prohibit the practice after Gov. Andy Beshear appointed former House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins to a job in his administration at a salary of $129,000 per year.

Stivers said it’s not specifically targeted at Adkins.

Also on Monday, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, introduced Senate Bill 9, which he called the Born Alive Infant Protection Bill. The bill would require doctors to care for an infant if it survived an abortion attempt.

“Everybody recognizes there’s another life there, but there’s no law that requires that child be provided care,” Westerfield said. A similar bill passed in the Senate last year but was not voted on in the House.

Senate Bill 7, filed by state Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, would change the role of school-based decision making councils when it comes to hiring school administrators. Those councils are made up of parents, teachers and administrators.