Legislative Update: Bills addressing tobacco-free schools, nuclear power, and more see movement

Many bills supported by the business community saw passage through committees and on the Senate floor dealing with prohibiting tobacco use on school campuses, lifting the nuclear power ban in the state, property owners’ rights, and more on Wednesday.

Tobacco-Free Schools

Legislation seeking to make Kentucky’s schools tobacco-free passed the Senate Wednesday with a 32-4 vote on the floor.

Kentucky doctor and state Sen. Ralph Alvarado said he is looking to make the state’s publically-funded school campuses tobacco-free to help cut down on health issues related to smoking including lung cancer and the impacts of second-hand smoke. Read more about the legislation here.

The Kentucky Chamber has long been a supporter of a state-wide smoke free law, and is supportive of prohibiting all tobacco products on school campuses in an effort to curb the high rate of youth smoking.

Nuclear Power Plants

The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee voted to lift Kentucky’s ban on nuclear power by passing SB 11, sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll.  Not only does SB 11 lift the nuclear moratorium, but ensures that nuclear power facilities have a plan for the storage of nuclear waste.

The Kentucky Chamber supports lifting the ban which would allow electricity providers to consider nuclear power when planning to meet future demand for electricity. SB 11 now heads to the full Senate for a floor vote.

Property Owner Rights

A bill to protect property owners from lawsuits related to dog bites passed the Senate Thursday with a 25-8 vote and two members passing on the vote.

Senate Bill 99, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, known as “the dog bite bill,” would amend the current statute to modify the definition of persons who would qualify as the “owner” of a dog.

Alvarado says that under current law, landlords are responsible for the actions of their tenant’s animals which put unfair pressure on property owners who may not even know that a dog is living on their property.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce supports the bill and sees it as a critical step toward reforming Kentucky’s legal liability environment.

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