March 15, 2018
‘It’s taken off”: Kentucky’s child bride bill is likely to become law, sponsor says
FRANKFORT, KY — The “child bride” bill to limit underage marriage in Kentucky picked up speed in the General Assembly on Wednesday, passing the House Judiciary Committee after compelling testimony from a Louisville woman who said she survived an abusive marriage as a teenager.
Judy Wiegand, 54, told the panel she was married at 13 in Pike County after she became pregnant by an older man who sexually assaulted her, describing hers as the story of a young girl no one would help for fear of interfering in a marriage.
Senate Bill 48 passed the committee on a unanimous vote.
After a tumultuous trip through the Senate, in which some initial opposition stirred up a social media storm, SB 48 appears likely to become law, said the sponsor, Sen. Julie Raque Adams, a Louisville Republican.
“It’s taken off on its own,” Adams said. “It really has shown it is time to address this issue.”
SB 48 is aimed at reducing marriages of those under 18 which too often involve younger girls who have been sexually exploited by an older man, supporters say.
It would establish 18 as the legal age for marriage in Kentucky but would allow 17-year-olds to marry with the permission of family or district court judges.
PSC revamps required training for water district boards
Kentucky Press News Service
Newly appointed water district commissioners now will be required to receive training in key areas only through courses offered directly by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
In an order issued Thursday, the PSC cited a need for more consistent and rigorous training for new commissioners, noting that a number of water districts recently have been found by the PSC to be in violation of basic statutory requirements governing issues such as financing and operations.
BESHEAR SUES AMERISOURCEBERGEN FOR ALLEGEDLY SUPPLYING ‘DANGEROUS LEVELS’ OF PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS TO KY
By filing suit Thursday against national opioid distributor AmerisourceBergen, Attorney General Andy Beshear now seeks to hold a group of distributors responsible for supplying 85 percent of opioids in Kentucky.
The lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen alleges unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices for excessively distributing opioids in Kentucky and for failing to legally report suspiciously large volumes of these drugs to state and federal authorities, according to a news release from Beshear’s office.
BILL MAKES CHANGES TO RAPE AND SODOMY LAWS
FRANKFORT — The Senate has advanced a measure to broaden the state’s rape and sodomy statutes.
House Bill 101 would expand third-degree rape or sodomy to include an adult having sex with a 16 or 17 year old if the age difference is 10 years or greater. A violation of HB 101 would be punishable by up to five years in prison. HB 101 passed the Senate yesterday by a 34-1 vote.
Sen. Wil Schroder, R-Wilder, said HB 101 would stop an accused rapist from mounting a trial defense that the sexual intercourse was consensual when the victim was 16 or 17 and the defendant was at least 10 years older.
He asked fellow parents to image their 16-year-old son or daughter being sexually involved with an adult 10 or more years older.
“This would put a stop to that,” Schroder said. “Currently, it is appalling but it is not criminal. This would make it criminal.”
Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, stood in support of HB 101. He said 24 other states have passed similar laws in light of compelling evidence for the need.
“Children of this age demand protection,” Westerfield said.
HB 101 now goes back to the House for consideration because the Senate amended the bill.
ONLINE EYE-EXAM BILL PASSES SENATE
FRANKFORT – Kentucky is a step closer to regulating online businesses offering prescription eyeglasses and contacts to individuals who take vision tests on their computers or smartphones.
The move came yesterday when the Senate amended and then unanimously passed House Bill 191. The measure would require the person taking the online test for a prescription to be 18 or older and have received an in-person exam within the last 24 months.
The online services would also be required to have doctors licensed in Kentucky signing off on the prescriptions or findings of the virtual exams. Other provisions of HB 191 would hold online exams to the same standards as in-person exams, require the online companies to register with the state attorney general and require them to carry liability insurance.
“House Bill 191 protects consumers who use these technologies and provides consumers the same protections they would have if they got their prescription from an in-person exam,” said Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville.
Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, said the amendment changed the language in HB 191 to make it congruent with Senate Bill 112, a measure promoting the use of telehealth in Kentucky. SB 112 passed the Senate last month and is now being considered in the House.
“We wanted to make sure the language in (HB 191) would still permit people to use telehealth for their eye examinations,” Alvarado said.
HB 191 now goes back now goes back to the House for consideration of the Senate change.
CARTER CAVES STATE PARK TO HOST EASTERN MINING COLLECTORS SHOW ON APRIL 7
OLIVE HILL, Ky. – (March 15, 2018) – Learn about the history of mining or buy a few antiques at the Eastern Mining Collectors Association’s annual Spring Meet and Show at Carter Caves State Resort Park on Saturday, April 7.
Vendors from across the country will be at the show to sell, buy and trade mining artifacts used in the mining of coal, gold, silver and copper. The artifacts include lamps, mine signs, photos, posters and other items. Vendors can also identify and give free appraisals of mining-related items that you might have hidden in your attic, basement or barn.
The show is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7. The show is free to the public. Contact Chris Hacker at 513-383-8954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Carter Caves State Resort Park is located at 344 Caveland Drive in Olive Hill. The park has a lodge with a restaurant, cottages and campground. Besides cave tours, activities include hiking, horseback riding, swimming, boating and fishing. For more information about the park, call 606-286-4411 or visit www.parks.ky.gov.
Directions to Carter Caves: From Interstate 64, Exit 161, take U.S. 60 east. Go approximately two miles and turn left on KY 182 north. The park entrance is three miles from the left turn onto KY 182 north. Look for the signs pointing to the show at the park entrance.
THE VERDICT: SENATE COMMITTEE OKS VOLUNTEER JURORS
Robin Webb is only ‘no’ vote
FRANKFORT – A Senate committee approved a bill today that would alter aspects of jury service throughout the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 87 would allow Kentucky’s 54 judicial districts to accept volunteers for jury duty. These volunteer jurors would still be subject to jury selection and voire dire like any other person called for jury duty, said Sen. Dan “Malano” Seum, R-Fairdale, who introduced the legislation. The volunteer could only serve as a juror once a year, according to the bill’s language.
Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, a lawyer by trade, cast the only vote against SB 87.
“I just like the random cross section of society that a jury in its present form takes,” she said, “and I think that’s important to access to justice and yielding a good, fair result.”
Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, a former law enforcement official, voted for the measure but expressed concern.
“My concern is that we hold the jury sacred as being a jury of your peers both in the Kentucky Constitution and the United States Constitution,” he said.
SB 87 now goes to the Senate floor for further consideration.