Senate passes medical review panel and charter school legislation

photo 1Week two of the 2015 session wrapped up with the state Senate passing bills dealing with the creation of charter schools and medical review panels in the state, two main priorities of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Before adjourning Thursday, the Senate voted 24-12 to pass Senate Bill 6 aimed at creating medical review panels in the state.

Sen. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, a doctor who is sponsoring the legislation, said in a debate on the floor Thursday that the legislation is needed to add accountability to the system.

“Right now Kentucky has one of the nation’s most litigation-friendly environments, making our commonwealth a prime and profitable target for personal injuring lawyers preying upon our health care providers,” Alvarado said on the floor.

The Kentucky Chamber supports the implementation of medical review panels because escalating costs directly attributed to Kentucky’s uncontrolled medical liability climate are a serious concern for Kentucky employers and taxpayers who foot bill in terms of direct employee benefit costs and higher taxes.

Charter School legislation passes in the Senate

Friday morning, the Senate passed Senate Bill 8 by a vote of 23-12. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green, establishes a public charter school pilot project to specifically address the achievement gap in schools by proving more flexibility for schools and educators.

The vote comes after the Senate Education Committee voted in favor of the legislation Thursday, with many members expressing the need for the education alternative to add another tool to the toolbox in order to help better educate children.

Both pieces of legislation now move to the House for consideration. Please let your legislator know that you support these bills by calling 1-800-372-7181.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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