FRANKFORT – A national gathering of state legislators and their staffs last week in Alaska recognized Kentucky for six pieces of legislation passed during the last two regular sessions.
The Council of State Governments will include six Kentucky laws (all but one of which were passed in 2014) to its annual list of suggested legislation for the rest of the nation. The complete list of suggested laws will be published in a booklet by the Council of State Governments this winter.
The Kentucky bills selected included measures to:
· make the possession of cash registers altered to avoid recording sales, known as “tax zappers,” illegal (House Bill 69);
· provided civil liability protections to engineers and architects who volunteer their services after a natural disaster or emergency (Senate Bill 74);
· allow victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to remove their addresses from public voter registration rolls (HB222 – this legislation was passed in 2013);
· allow victims forced into prostitution by human traffickers to take steps to clear their criminal records (SB 184);
· automatically terminate parental and custody rights of anyone convicted of felony rape when the mother chooses to keep the child (SB 108);
· and require businesses to report data breaches of individuals’ personal information (HB 232).
The Lexington-based council annually publishes suggested legislation about topics of current importance to states. The goal is to compile draft legislation so states can learn from the experience of others and not to influence the enactment of state legislation, according to the council.
A special committee of the council meets at least twice a year and typically reviews approximately 80 pieces of legislation per meeting, voting to include an average of 30 to 40 bills in its yearly volume of suggested legislation. It prefers to consider legislation that has been enacted into law by at least one state.
State officials and their staff, council and council staff can submit legislation to be considered. The committee also considers legislation from other sources, but only when that legislation is submitted through a state official.