Legislative Update: Workforce dollar transparency, medical review panels, and more

Medical Review Panels

On Wednesday, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 4, medical review panel legislation seeking to address the escalating costs directly attributed to Kentucky’s uncontrolled medical liability climate, an issue of serious concern for Kentucky employers and taxpayers who foot bill in terms of direct employee benefit costs and higher taxes, by a vote of 51 to 45.

Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, would put a panel of three doctors—one picked by each side of the case and a third chosen by the other two doctors—to examine the evidence of the case and give an expert review before the case goes to court.

On the House floor, Rep. Robert Benvenuti presented the legislation and called it a “balanced, unbiased, and thoughtful approach” to legal liability issues.

Senate Bill 4 now heads back to the Senate for concurrence before heading to the governor for signature.

Area Development District Transparency

Legislation to bring more oversight and transparency to the state’s area development districts, entities using state and federal dollars on aging programs and employment services, passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee unanimously Wednesday.

House Bill 189, co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green and Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington, seeks to place more accountability on the spending and programming of the state’s 15 area development districts (ADDs) and require additional financial reporting. The bill also brings the ADDs under the same oversight rules that have long governed other state agencies and local governments. Get more details on the bill here.

House Bill 189 is now on the consent calendar in the Senate for its final vote before heading to the Governor’s desk for signature.

Nuclear Power Plants

The Senate voted to lift Kentucky’s ban on nuclear power by passing SB 11, sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll, on Wednesday.  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 House for consideration.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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