Say, whatever happened to that bill ?

Republished from Kentucky Lantern

FRANKFORT — Kentucky lawmakers filed more than 1,200 bills this session — the most in more than 20 years  — and passed about 215 of them before adjourning Monday, according to a news release from the Legislative Research Commission. 

That’s a lot of legislating to keep up with. So we put together a scorecard of what made it into law and what didn’t

A couple of high-profile bills — a rewrite of the open records law and restrictions on diversity, equity and inclusion in higher ed — fizzled out in the Senate. But they’ll likely be back in some form, said top lawmakers. In the months ahead, during the interim between regular sessions, representatives and senators will be meeting in committees to plan for the 2025 session. 

Meanwhile, some hotly debated bills never made it to the finish line, including loosening child labor laws, restrictions on SNAP eligibility, moving fish and wildlife to agriculture and what was described as “this year’s anti-drag bill.”

Other legislation never made it out of the starting gate, including anything having to do with abortion.

Come November, Kentucky voters will decide on only two constitutional amendments, although lawmakers could have put four on the ballot. Perhaps mindful of recent amendments’ defeats, lawmakers demurred from advancing one that would have allowed them to call themselves into special session.

Here’s a look at some of what passed and some of what didn’t:

Bills that made into law

HB 5 (Rep. Jared Bauman) Tough-on-crime bill including “street camping” ban. Became law after veto override.

SB 349 (Sen. Robby Mills) Makes it harder to retire coal-fired power plants. Became law after veto override.

SB 2 (Sen. Max Wise) School districts can employ armed “guardians” for vacant law enforcement positions. Became law without the governor’s signature.

SB 299 (Sen. Damon Thayer) A new government corporation will oversee horse racing and charitable gaming. Became law without the governor’s signature.

HB 10 (Rep. Kim Moser) “Momnibus” (passed within SB 74) directs Kentucky to take steps to improve maternal health. Signed by governor. 

HB 11 (Rep. Rebecca Raymer) Limits what kind of vaping products can be sold in Kentucky. Signed by governor. 

SB 16 (Sen. John Schickel) Criminalizes filming or photographing food processing or confined animal feeding operations. Became law over governor’s veto.

HB 18 (Rep. Ryan Dotson) Bans local source-of-income discrimination ordinances. Became law after veto override. 

SB 167 (Sen. Lindsey Tichenor) Makes cursive writing a course of study in elementary schools. Signed by governor. 

Celebrity rescue dog Ethan made several trips to the Capitol to lobby for his bill. (LRC Public Information)

HB 8 (Rep. Jason Petrie)  Eases way for legislature to cut income tax rate in the future, exempts currency and bullion from sales tax. 

HB 136 (Rep. Jared Bauman) Limiting the power of Louisville’s air pollution control district. Became law after veto override.

SB 151 (Sen. Julie Raque Adams) Allows kinship caregivers to get child care benefits.

SB 1 (Sen. Robert Stivers) Creates endowment for collaborative research by public universities. 

HB 258 (Rep. Susan Witten) Ethan’s law makes torture of a dog or cat a felony on first offense. 

SB 198  (Sen. Danny Carroll) New research authority dedicated to advancing nuclear energy

Died along the way

HB 509 (Rep. John Hodgson) Limit access to public records created on private electronic devices. Died in Senate.

SB 6 (Sen. Mike Wilson) Limit diversity, equity and inclusion in public higher education. Died in Senate after House amendments.

HB 255 (Rep. Phillip Pratt) Loosen child labor laws for older teens. Died in Senate.

HB  500 (Rep. Phillip Pratt) Employers no longer required to give workers lunch, rest breaks. Died in House.

SB 147 (Sen. Lindsey Tichenor) restricts “sexually explicit” performances. Died in House.

HB 626 (Sen. John Blanton) Making interrupting legislative proceedings a crime. Died in Senate. 

SB 34 (Sen. Whitney Westerfield) $551 million worth of  support and assistance for mothers, children. Died in Senate. 

SB 142 (Sen. Amanda Mays Bledsoe) Four weeks paid parental leave for state employees. Died in House.

SB 97 (Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong) Exempt diapers from the sales tax. Died in Senate.

Kentucky food banks opposed HB 367. (Getty Images)

HB 367 (Rep. Wade Williams) Paved way for work requirements for  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP. Died in Senate. 

SB 203 (Sen. Danny Carroll) $300 million for child care and early childhood education. Died in Senate

SB 242 (Sen. Danny Carroll) Establish a mental health facility for juveniles in detention. Died in House.

HB 199 (Rep. Jason Nemes) Pave the way to opening freestanding birth centers by removing the certificate of need requirement. Died in Senate.

SB 8 (Sen. Mike Wilson) Choose Kentucky Board of Education through partisan elections. Died in House.

Dentists, including Dr. Bill Collins of Red Bird Mission, opposed making fluoride optional.

SB 3 (Sen. Jason Howell) Fish and Wildlife Commission would be appointed by state agriculture commissioner. Died in House.

SB 4 (Sen. Jimmy Higdon) Changes how teachers are paid for sick days upon retirement. Died in House. 

HB 141 (Rep. Mark Hart) End water fluoridation requirement

HB 85 (Rep. Bill Wesley) Reduce required mine emergency technicians (METs) in underground coal mines. (Died in Senate)

SB 230 (Sen. Whitney Westerfield) Protects workers who have natural hairstyles associated with race. Died in Senate.

HB 467 (Rep. Nancy Tate) ‘Alternatives to abortion’ perinatal palliative care mandate.

HB 346 (Rep. Nancy Tate) Baby Olivia Act requires schools to show computer-generated video about pregnancy. (Died in House)

Certificate of need: None of the bills reforming certificate of need laws passed the full legislature. 

Abortion: None of the bills filed to loosen the state’s strict abortion ban advanced. 

In vitro fertilization: None bills to specifically protect access to IVF passed. 

Constitutional amendments

On the ballot in November:

(Getty Images)

SB 143 (Sen. Jason Howell) Prohibit people who are not United Citizens from voting in elections held in Kentucky. 

HB 2 (Rep. Suzanne Miles) Gives General Assembly authority to give public dollars to non public schools. On ballot in November. 

Didn’t make the cut

HB 4 (Rep. David Osborne) Legislature can call itself into special session. Died in House.

SB 10 (Sen. Chris McDaniel) Elect governor and other constitutional officers in presidential election years. Died in House. 

SB 126 (Sen. Chris McDaniel) Limit governors’ pardon power around elections. Died in House.

The Kentucky House of Representatives in session, Feb. 27, 2024. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Arden Barnes)


Kentucky Lantern is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kentucky Lantern maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jamie Lucke for questions: Follow Kentucky Lantern on Facebook and Twitter. Kentucky Lantern stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Donate to Kentucky Lantern here.