Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Biting Legislation

Cervical cancer vaccine bill appears dead

No one is officially declaring it dead, but a controversial bill that would require Kentucky middle-school girls to be vaccinated against a virus that causes most cervical cancers appears to be going nowhere. Even staunch supporters say it has little chance of passing the state Senate with less than a week left in this year's legislative session. "I hope it passes. It's good legislation," said Rep. Tom Burch, a Louisville Democrat who co-sponsored House Bill 345. "But I'm not optimistic about it."

Controversial is correct. Texas is fighting this exact battle. The Lone Star bill proponents are losing. Evidently, the Kentucky proponents have lost.

State retirement system rescue plan approved by Senate

State government would borrow more than $800 million to finance a plan key lawmakers say would keep the pension systems for teachers and government employees from eventual financial collapse, under a plan the Senate approved Tuesday. State government would finance the plan to keep the state pension system from financial collapse by selling bonds, which would be repaid over the next 20 years, said Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville.

Borrow $800 million? Grandchildren paying the tab?

Retirement reform is laudable. However, we should not mortgage our future for present payment. Governor Fletcher, veto this bill.

Bill calls for review before terminating parents' rights

With the foster-care adoption bill stalled in the Senate, state Rep. Tom Burch took steps in the House on Tuesday to revive it. In the revised legislation, Burch calls for a panel of top state child-protection officials to carefully review every recommendation to terminate parental rights before that recommendation is sent to a judge. In essence, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services secretary and the inspector general and the officials who head legal and social-service divisions would have to review every request to terminate parental rights.

Bureaucracy personified.

Bill would allow companies in Kentucky prisons

David Halbert sews nylon holsters and belts for $7 an hour. If he gets hurt on the job, he’ll get worker’s compensation. But his employer, Raine Inc., doesn’t have to pay medical or retirement benefits or vacation pay.

Cellblock D, sponsored by McDonalds.

Panel approves billboard-visibility measure

Legislation that would allow billboard owners to cut down vegetation to improve visibility around their signs cleared a House committee today. Senate Bill 155, which passed the committee by a 19-2 vote, now moves to the full House for consideration. Before final passage, it would have to go back to the Senate because the House committee made changes to the legislation.

Homeowners, this is perfect. Now you will have that unobstructed view of the Viagra billboard.

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