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February opened with snow and ice across most of Kentucky. I hope you and yours are safe. As crews are out working all hours of the night, and utility workers restoring power to the many areas that lost it, I am reminded of, and appreciate, the people that are out working in these tough and hazardous conditions.
Despite the tough conditions in travel, the Senate continued working with a full week of committee hearings and bills that came to the Senate floor for vote.
I sponsored Senate Bill 44, which passed this week. This bill grants 10 percent gross weight tolerance on all highways, except interstates, for farm trucks transporting agricultural products.
Many of our leading agricultural industries can save money and operate more efficiently with this measure.
It also will keep companies in our state, rather than moving out to save money.
Other key bills passed this week included Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 58. Senate Bill 1, which places a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ensure checks and balances, empowers the legislature to void deficient executive branch regulations.
Senate Bill 58 proposes a constitutional amendment that abolishes the office of the state Treasurer.
With this measure, Kentucky would save at least $2 million in the first year, and $750,000 in subsequent years. The duties of the office would be absorbed by the finance cabinet.
A bill related to educational opportunities, Senate Bill 87, gives students flexibility by allowing Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship money to be spent on dual credit courses while the student is still in high school.
They can take up to six hours of college credit or industry-recognized licensure and certification granting schools.
Also, this week we again passed a bill requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion procedure. Senate Bill 8 ensures information is fully known by patients through the consult of a doctor during an ultrasound.
I invite you to come to Frankfort for hearings of interest to you.
Citizens are always welcome in our committee meetings.
You can also view live-streaming and archived coverage of legislative proceedings at www.ket.org. Also, the work of our caucus can be followed on twitter at @kysenategop. If you have any issues or concerns, please call my office in Frankfort at (502) 564-8100. I appreciate your time and input.
Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, represents the 20th District including Carroll, Henry, Shelby and Trimble Counties, as well as part of Jefferson County. He is the chairman of the Agriculture Committee and co-chairman of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee. He is a member of the Government Contract Review Committee, the Transportation Committee, and as a liaison member of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation.