House committee passes bills dealing with powers of Attorney General and how civil actions against the state are heard on first day of 2021 session

The House Judiciary Committee heard and passed two priority bills on the first day of the 2021 session.

House Bill 3, sponsored by Rep. Ed Massey, would change the way civil actions against the Commonwealth are heard by creating three new districts based on population and geography statewide and allow cases to originate in the area of original jurisdiction.

Current law requires that all civil actions involving the Commonwealth of Kentucky be assigned to the Franklin Circuit Court. Massey explained that the current system means lawsuits are only heard by two judges and prohibits people in the rest of the state to have lawsuits heard by the people they elected to their circuit courts.

House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Joseph Fischer, would transfer some powers dealing with abortion laws to the Kentucky Attorney General from the Governor.

Fischer said the bill was passed in the last session but not in time to overturn the governor’s veto.  

“It is my job as the Chief Law Officer for the Commonwealth to ensure that abortion providers follow the law and are not given special treatment or blanket exemptions, as they were during the start of this pandemic.  I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly on this important measure,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a statement Tuesday.

Both House Bill 2 and House Bill 3 now head back to the full House to get their additional readings and then be heard and voted on by the full House.

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