New Kentucky laws take effect July 15

The new laws include the voter photo ID requirement, ending a sex offender registry loophole and alcohol being able to be mailed.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Starting July 15, most new laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly’s regular sessions take effect. 

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic took a week from this year’s sessions, lawmakers passed 124 new bills. Many took effect in April but a handful of them begin this week. 

The voter photo ID bill goes into effect on Wednesday and November’s election will be the first time it will be used. The law requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. 

You can still vote even if you don’t have one if you’re able to explain why and prove you’re qualified. 

“It’s scandalous that we have second class citizens in our state who can’t perform basic life functions because they don’t have a photo ID due to its costs,” Sec. of State Michael Adams said of the bill in January.

Another bill closes a loophole in the sex offender registry. At this time, those convicted of sex trafficking someone over the age of 18 don’t have to register as a sex offender.

“I think it’s more prevalent than you realize and I think that we have several victims out there that don’t realize that they are a victim of this process,” State Rep. Suzanne Miles said of the bill in March.

The new law will also require a national anti-human trafficking hotline number to be advertised in airports, train stations and bus stops.

Additionally, veterinarians will be able to report to authorities if they find that an animal they’re caring for has been abused. Currently, they have been unable to do so unless the animal’s owner gives permission or if they’re under a court order. 

Lastly, distillers, wineries and breweries will be able to start shipping directly to people both in and out of Kentucky.

“This is really a good news story for the consumers in Kentucky, it gives them access to products out-of-state that they otherwise might have,” Spirits Council of the US’s Chief Economist David Ozgo, said on the bill in April.

However, there are limits on how much they can ship each month, and they can’t ship to places where the local laws doesn’t allow selling alcohol. The packages have to be signed by someone 21 or older

Although, the law goes into effect Wednesday, don’t expect to get that alcohol shipped to your door anytime soon.

The Kentucky Distillers Association told WHAS11 that state agencies like the Departments of Revenue and Alcoholic Beverage Control have to take some additional steps to create the necessary licenses and forms to be able to get everything squared away.

Their goal is to start shipping by early October.

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