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New laws go into effect tomorrow

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By Calen McKinney

Starting tomorrow, Kentuckians will have a few more laws to abide by.

Lawmakers discussed many pieces of legislation during their General Assembly session earlier this year. Many were passed, but others never saw any action.

According to the Legislative Research Commission, the commonwealth's constitution states that new laws take effect 90 days after legislators adjourn, except for those containing emergency clauses.

This year's session adjourned on April 15, making tomorrow the day most new laws will go into effect.

Measures referring to domestic violence, adult care, the writing of prescriptions, bullying, child abuse, jobs, veterans, voyeurism and more will become state law as of tomorrow.

And Taylor County will see more than $44 million from the state's road plan. Money has been earmarked for replacement of bridges and construction of a Campbellsville Bypass in a few years.

State Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticello, says one of the most significant pieces of legislation that becomes law tomorrow refers to adult protection.

Senate Bill 98, which Gregory filed, creates an adult abuse registry to protect vulnerable adults from caregivers who have a history of abuse or neglect.

Gregory said that even though the bill becomes law tomorrow, more work must be done to actually create the registry.

Cabinet for Health & Family Services staff members are working on creating the registry, she said, and it's expected to be ready later this summer.

"It will take some time to populate the registry with names because cases will have to go through the due process standards established in the bill, which provide an opportunity for administrative hearing and appeal before a name may be placed on the registry," Gregory said.

"After it is up and running, this is going to be an extremely important tool for employers as well as individuals who need to hire a caregiver for a loved one."

While several bills passed this session and are becoming law after Gov. Steve Beshear signed them, Gregory said, she wishes Senate Bill 5 would be on that list.

The bill, which was the subject of much discussion during the session, would have address the growing heroin problem in Kentucky.

"Senate Bill 5 ... would be high on my list because of its potential to save lives," Gregory said.

State Rep. John "Bam" Carney, R-Campbellsville, didn't return a request to comment for this story by press time.

Laws going into effect tomorrow include the following.

• Acupuncture - Acupuncturists must be licensed.

• All terrain vehicles - ATV operators age 16 and older can cross a public roadway if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less without protective headgear, in order to get from one ATV trail to another.

• Boaters - The "Boater Freedom Act" will require boating enforcement officers to have a reasonable suspicion of violation of the state's boating laws before boarding and inspecting a boat on Kentucky waterways.

• Bullying - October will be recognized as Anti-Bullying Month and a purple and yellow ribbon will be the symbol for anti-bullying awareness.

• Child abuse - More training will be required for doctors to recognize and prevent abusive head trauma among children.

• Concealed weapons - Anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order can receive a provisional concealed carry permit in one business day. Petitioners will undergo the same background checks and application requirements as other applicants, but will have up to 45 days to complete the necessary training for a full concealed carry license.

• Consumer protection - Businesses and other entities will notify consumers if a security breach might have resulted in the unauthorized acquisition of consumers' personal or financial information.

• Diabetes - School staff members who are trained by health professionals can help diabetic students with insulin administration.

• Driver safety - Parents or guardians must make a court appearance when a driver younger than 18 is cited for a traffic violation.

• Ethics - Legislative ethics rules will be tightened to prevent a lobbyist from buying food or drink for an individual legislator. It will also prevent interest groups from paying for lawmakers' out-of-state travel and prohibit legislators and all legislative candidates from accepting campaign contributions during General Assembly sessions from political action committees or other organizations that employee lobbyists.

• Health care - The prescribing authority of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses will broaden.

• Human trafficking - A person's record can be cleared of a non-violent offense, if a judge determines the offense resulted from the person being a victim of human trafficking.

• Invasive plants - The state's list of invasive and noxious plants, targeted for eradication from roadsides and public right of ways, will be updated and expanded.

• Jobs retention - Eligibility for Kentucky Jobs Retention Act benefits will be expanded to include manufacturers of appliances.

• Newborn health - Periodic reporting of health statistics that are related to drug-addicted or dependent newborns will be required.

• Road plan - The state's $5.2 billion plan will be implemented for road and bridge projects throughout the state for the next two fiscal years. In the plan, Taylor County will receive more than $44 million, in the replacement of bridges over Stoner Creek Road, Long Branch Road and Green River, along with building Campbellsville Bypass from KY 55 to KY 70. Construction is slated to begin in 2018 and 2010.

• State parks - Residents near state park lodges and golf courses in counties where alcohol sales currently aren't allowed to vote on whether by-the-drink alcohol sales should be allowed at the facilities. With this law, they will now be allowed to vote.

• Tax zappers - Possession of a "tax zapper," a device that could be used on a computerized cash register to help a retailer hide sales subject to tax from tax collectors becomes a Class D felony, punishable by as much as five years in prison.

• Veterans - It will become easier for veterans with applicable military experience to become licensed as an HVAC professional.

• Voyeurism - The state's voyeurism laws will be updated to outlaw a practice called "up-skirting," in which a cell phone is used to take pictures underneath a woman's skirt without her consent.

• Wineries - Sunday alcohol sales will be allowed at small farm wineries, but only if authorized by a fiscal court vote or a local option election.