Legislative Update: Essential skills education and voluntary ID bills move forward 

Essential Skills Education

As Kentucky employers continue to struggle to find qualified workers to fill jobs in the state, a bill to ensure students learn essential skills passed with House Education Committee with only one no vote and one member passing.

House Bill 454, sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell, would ensure a local school district provide essential skills education to students and require it for graduation.

Essential skills include the ability to communicate, work well on a team, show up regularly and on time for work, handle conflict, pass a drug test and other traits.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Public Affairs Vice President Ashli Watts stated that the lack of essential skills continues to be one of the business community’s top concerns.

“To address this critical problem, the Chamber is pleased to support House Bill 454. We see this bill’s effort to incorporate essential skills into our education system as the best possible way our state can help ensure that our students develop characteristics that will improve their prospects for success in both postsecondary education and the workplace,” Watts said in her testimony.

The committee also heard testimony from representatives from Hardin County where the school system and business community came together and have implemented similar tactics to tackle the essential skills problem head on.

House Bill 454 now heads to the full House for a vote on the floor.

Voluntary Travel ID

Legislation to put Kentucky in compliance with federal law and provide citizens with a voluntary travel ID passed the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday.

Currently, Kentucky is out of compliance with federal law requiring the new form of identification and has been granted an extension until June of this year. Without this legislation, Kentuckians will have to provide a passport, or another form of ID in addition to a drivers’ license in order to fly domestically, or enter onto federal property.

House Bill 410 bill sponsor, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, of Elizabethtown, said the legislation would ensure Kentuckians will have enhanced and secure identifications.

The bill now heads to the full House for a vote on the floor.

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