Hemp farmer contends harassment at justice center

Sergeant discussed issue with deputies, considers matter closed

 

A Bowling Green hemp advocate and business owner claims he was ordered to leave a baseball cap with a hemp leaf logo on it with court security personnel as he entered the Warren County Justice Center on Thursday.

Chad Wilson, who owns Modern Farm Concepts and is vice president of sales and marketing for hemp products company Green Remedy, said he accompanied his son to the justice center to get his driver’s license.

After passing through the metal detectors in the front lobby of the justice center, Wilson, who was wearing a T-shirt and hat promoting Green Remedy, said a deputy told Wilson he would have to leave the hemp-logo hat with court security or else he would have to leave.

Hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis plant genus, but hemp is genetically different and generally has negligible amounts of THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

Kentucky and several other states have legalized the cultivation and research of industrial hemp, which can be used in the making of paper, fabrics, cosmetics and several other products. Hemp growers, however, must get permission from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to raise the crop.

Green Remedy is one of 167 registered participants in this year’s Kentucky Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.

Wilson attempted to explain what was on his hat and that he was a licensed grower, but court security officers said that Wilson’s hat promoted marijuana, Wilson said Friday.

“I was told basically that I had no right to come into a government building that my taxes paid for,” Wilson said. “I didn’t want to make a scene because I was trying to be a good dad, but I should have stood for my rights.”

Wilson said he gave the hat to court security officers, who stored it in a lock box until he left the justice center. As he left, Wilson recorded a video of himself in which he gave an account of the incident and posted it to his Facebook page.

Later on Thursday, Wilson said he went to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office to complain about how he was treated and that Chief Deputy Maj. Tommy Smith apologized.

The court security officers are a division of the sheriff’s office.

Sgt. Andy McDowell said he was apprised of the situation after Wilson went to the sheriff’s office and he met with the court security officers on duty to discuss the incident.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky Legislative Update

 

 

Legislative Update

Submitted by Senator Reginald Thomas

Now that the 2016 Legislative Session is behind us, I would like to update you on some of the accomplishments made by the Kentucky General Assembly over the past several months. 

Most importantly, we fulfilled our constitutional mandate by approving an executive, legislative and judicial budget. (I shared some of the budget highlights with you last week.) We also passed a transportation plan to help keep the bridges and roads of Kentucky maintained and safe. 

Below is a summary of some of the legislation passed during the 2016 Session:

· Autism. Senate Bill 185 made permanent the Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders (established in 2013) and the state Office of Autism (created in 2014). The bodies will continue to ensure there are not gaps in providing services to individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

· Booking photos. House Bill 132 makes posting jail booking photos to a website or including the booking photos in a publication illegal when the person is required to pay to remove them from public view. Damages start at $100 a day for each separate offense, along with attorney fees.

· Budget.  House Bill 303 will guide state spending over the next two fiscal years.  The two-year state budget plan is aimed at creating savings in many areas and using more money to stabilize the public pension systems.  It includes $1.28 billion for the state pension systems.  The budget makes no cuts to K-12 education and increases pre-school eligibility.

· Children locked in cars. Senate Bill 16 protects prospective rescuers from being sued for property damage caused by saving the life of a child left in a locked vehicle.

· Child safety. House Bill 148 allows child daycare centers to receive prescriptions for EpiPen injectors to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.  The bill also gives parents up to 30 days to legally surrender their newborn at a state-approved safe place under the state’s safe harbor laws.

· CPR in schools. Senate Bill 33 requires high school students be taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by an emergency medical professional. The life-saving measure is to be taught as part of the students’ physical education or health class, or as part of ROTC training.

· Disability-related expenses. Senate Bill 179 allows individuals with disabilities to set up an ABLE account to save money for disability-related expenses without it being taxed. Money saved in the account also does not count against Medicaid and other federal means-based benefits.

· Dog fighting. House Bill 428 makes it a felony to possess, breed, sell or otherwise handle dogs for the purpose of dog fighting.

· DUI.  Senate Bill 56 allows law enforcement to look back 10 years to determine prior DUI convictions for penalty purposes instead of five years.   

· Felony expungement.  Under House Bill 40, Kentuckians convicted of low-level non-violent felonies can ask the court to permanently expunge their records 5 years after they have completed their sentence or probation.  Sex crimes and crimes against children cannot be expunged. 

· Harassing telecommunications. House Bill 162 adds electronic communications to those acts that can be harassment, if it’s done with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy or alarm another person. Harassment is a Class B misdemeanor.

· Noah’s Law. Senate Bill 193, also known as “Noah’s Law” after a 9-year-old Pike County boy, extends health insurance coverage to include expensive amino acid-based elemental formula needed by some children with gastric disorders and food allergies.

· Off-duty conceal and carry. House Bill 314 allows current and retired peace officers to carry concealed firearms at any location where current, on-duty officers can carry guns.

· Outdoor recreation. House Bill 38 directs the state to set standards for the use and operation of zip lines and canopy tours.

· Public private partnerships. House Bill 309 allows government and private entities to enter into public-private partnerships – known as P3s – to fund Kentucky’s major infrastructure needs, including transportation projects.

· Sexual assault kits. Aimed at eliminating a backlog of sexual assault examination kits, Senate Bill 63 establishes new policies and procedures for handling evidence. SB 63 requires police to pick up sexual assault kits from hospitals within five days and submit the kit to the state crime lab within 30 days.   The bill also prohibits the destruction of any kits and notify victims of the progress and results of the tests.

· Vulnerable victims. Senate Bill 60 creates a new section of KRS Chapter 501, defining an “offense against a vulnerable victim” and creating a mechanism for charging someone with the commission of an offense against a victim who is under the age of 14, has an intellectual disability, or is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.

The legislation passed this session will have a positive impact on the lives of all Kentuckians.  We took steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens, maintain our roads and bridges, and invest in education, public safety and job creation across the Commonwealth.

Unless a bill declared an emergency or contains a special effective date, the bills passed by the Kentucky General Assembly will take effect on July 15, 2016.

Thank you for your continued input during this process and helping us move Kentucky forward.  As always, you are welcome to contact me at any time if I can be of any assistance. You can email me directly at reginald.thomas@lrc.ky.gov.

Above, the championship Dunbar basketball team visited us in the final days of session.

-END-

23rd District Kentucky: Freddie Joe Wilkerson (State Representative – Republican)

0511 Wilkerson mugshot .jpg

1. Why are you seeking office?

I do not like the direction our county is heading. I am concerned about the future of the Commonwealth and our children. Our government has continued to separate from the “people” and put us at risk. I want to be the voice of “all” people of the 23rd District.  

2. What are your top five spending priorities and why?

Education of our children. We must continue to ensure our children get the best possible education opportunities. I do think we need to take a look at where these dollars are being spent and ensure it is going to education/classroom and not other areas that do not directly impact our children’s learning opportunities.

Restoring the state retirement pension, We have a duty to ensure the retirement system is replenished to ensure people that paid in are getting the full benefit promised.

Workforce development. We must ensure Kentucky has a skilled labor force to compete for industry in this district and the Commonwealth. These funds should be spent directly toward the work force development and not wasted on buildings etc.. that does not impact the workforce development immediately.

Veterans. Taking care of our Veterans should always be a priority. We talk a good game but we are not ensuring our Veterans receive the care they need or deserve. I support a Veterans nursing home in this area to help Veterans of South Central Kentucky.

Agriculture Development, We must ensure our Farmers are able to sustain life on the farm. Funding research and development of opportunities such as hemp and medical marijuana would help our farmers and it would provide a better quality of life for those suffering illnesses that can be treated with medical marijuana.

3. Would you support a so-called “Freedom of Religion” bill similar to what other states have passed? Why or why not?

I would support a bill that ensures freedom to all. The government forcing adults to participate in an activity they deem against their belief to accommodate others simply does not ensure freedom to all.

4. Who is someone you admire politically, or someone whose leadership style you value? Why?

Former President Ronald Reagan. He had genuine care for people and he loved the United States of America and was not afraid to show it.

5. Do you support continuing kynect, or do you believe Kentucky should rely on the federal exchange for mandated health insurance coverage?

I support governor Bevin’s plan to convert kynect to the federal program. Saving money for Kentucky is critical and if it can be done without jeopardizing the health care we need to do it.

Bio:

Party: Republican 

Age: 52

EDUCATION: Bachelor of General Studies with emphasis in Business/Western Kentucky University 

Career experience: 

• Served in the Kentucky National Guard for 24 and 1/2 years. Worked full-time from June 1987 to March 2009

• Real Estate agent with Mr. Bill Reality and Big South Realty from January 2009 to present 

• Small business owner: RADIT Properties Rental(residential), RADIT Log Homes and Barren River Log Condos Vacation Rentals 

• JROTC Instructor at Barren County High School October 2010 to April 2016 

• President of the South Central Landlord Association October 2014 to present

CONTINUE READING…

Local Cannabis Company Trying To Overcome Stigma In Business Community

Kentucky Cannabis Company

The hemp industry in Kentucky is growing, but it is facing problems due to misconceptions of how the product is used.

The Kentucky Cannabis Company is a local business that has been forced to slow production because of the difficulty to overcome the stigma of cannabis in the business community.

The company makes products out of Cannabidiol also known as CBD. There is nothing in CBD that can get you high, but there are several in the business community that think the hemp industry is blowing smoke.

The company’s website says that CBD has been shown to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of artery blockage. They say it has also been shown to have benefits as an anti-epileptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, and much more.

As the company explains online, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not alter perception or consciousness.

LEX 18’s Richard Essex spoke with Bill Polyniak, the man behind the Kentucky Cannabis Company.

Polyniak is a straight-laced, stand-up businessman who stands behind his product.

He grows a form of the cannabis plant that is rich in oil and while he can’t legally claim the oil has medicinal properties, there are plenty of people who believe it will relieve pain, lower blood sugar levels and treat seizures. Polyniak says that a small amount of cannabis oil twice a day has relieved his son’s epilepsy. On the Kentucky Cannabis Company’s website, you can see testimony after testimony from people saying that cannabis oil has helped them.

Polyniak says that they are federally approved and they are one of the few federally approved companies to make this product.

The oil is a natural hemp extract that is pesticide free. The extraction of the oil is a complicated process. First, the entire plant is ground up, and then the stems, leaves and stalk are put through a heating process. The exchange of hot and cold forces the oil from the plant.  Polyniak uses butane to drive the reaction, if he can find someone to sell it to them.

Despite the testimonies, and despite being federally approved and legal, the stigma of cannabis in the business community makes it difficult for Polyniak to be able to buy butane.

“You run into the nonsense again, ‘Uhh, we don’t deal with cannabis companies,’,” Polyniak told LEX 18. “We have two suppliers now and were looking for another one. I guess local people want to do business but the big brother corporate says no.”

Kentucky Cannabis Company is part of the Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Program. They are regulated by the federal government and they pay taxes like any other business.

To learn more about the Kentucky Cannabis Company or buy their products, click here.

CONTINUE READING (and Video)

Marijuana Foes Losing Direction in Kentucky

 
With Thomas Tony Vance and Angela Gatewood.
 
Thomas Tony Vance

 

An Informational Town Hall meeting on Medical Cannabis was held on November 8. 2015 in Alexandria, KY sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Campbell County Post 3205 Auxiliary and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Having given the keynote speech at that event I was surprised and somewhat curious when immediately afterward the opponents of marijuana legalization organized and held one on December 1, 2015. The ‘Marijuana Summit’ was published as giving both sides of the issue.

 
I attended the event. They offered a ‘Legislative Breakfast’ and all our local legislators were there. They seemed to be very close with the organizers of the event. During breakfast Mr. Tony Coder, the Assistant Director of Drug Free Action Alliance, presided over a lively discussion of the issues. Senator Perry Clark, who attended, responded to the notion that since we already have a heroin problem we don’t need to legalize another drug. Ignoring the obvious attempt to link heroin with marijuana Senator Clark pointed out the report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of a 25% drop in opioid drug overdose deaths in states that have medical cannabis programs and that that percentage is increasing.

The response was a change of subject.

I was struck by the snarky way Mr. Coder regaled us with the story of him breaking California law and lying to obtain a medical marijuana card to prove how easy it was to get one. At this point I was able to get a word in and posed him this query.

California has had medical marijuana since 1996. You say that’s a scam and Californians can access marijuana any time they want. Ok, I’ll give you that, (when I said that he looked surprised, then I continued), however that means the citizens of California have had easy access to marijuana for 20 years. You have to answer this. Where are the bodies? Where are all the bad things you all say will happen if marijuana is legalized?

Another change of subject.

Mr. Coder repeated his easy access claim during the next session on marijuana prohibition history. I quickly pointed out that he proves my point.
Change of subject.

The 3rd session was a speech by Mr. Ed Shemelya, the National Coordinator for the National Marijuana Initiative, a retired police officer who worked extensively with the High Intensity Drug Task Force and gives speeches for a living. He did point out, among a load of numbers that if 2 of the 6 states that will have legalization on the ballot pass it in 2016 it is, as he put it, “all over folks!”
Oh I wish it were true!

I had to leave at the halfway point. The first session after lunch was about hemp which is legal and really only a problem for the helicopter eradication program. The last was about the last 2 Monitoring the Future surveys concerning teen access and use which has not changed significantly with legalization. The interesting thing here is that with the exception of medical need supervised by a Doctor, no State has or will legalize marijuana for anyone under 21, so it’s really a moot point.

They always come back to protecting the children. I wonder? Marijuana has been used by women for menstrual cramps and morning sickness for 4000 years. In all that time there is no anecdotal evidence of birth defects or problems in birth resulting from marijuana use during pregnancy. Given the role we now know the cannabinoid system plays in maintaining good health and the fact of marijuana’s zero toxicity, one can envision a future in which ones Cheerios come, “fortified with THC for your protection”.

The ‘Marijuana Summit’, although misguided was certainly sincere, however we would be better served by them joining in as legalization comes and helping to craft effective policy rather than opposing it completely and having no say in the policy eventually enacted.

 

SOURCE

2 Kentucky governors, past and present, in acrid public feud

 

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2015, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin gives his inaugural address as former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, lower left, listens on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Kentucky's two most recent governors are feuding and have verbally attacked each other more than any other governors in recent memory. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

 

Adam Beam, Associated Press

 

FILE – In this Dec. 8, 2015, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin gives his inaugural address as former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, lower left, listens on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Kentucky’s two most recent governors are feuding and have verbally attacked each other more than any other governors in recent memory. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s two most recent governors are feuding, but they can agree on one thing: the FBI is investigating.

While peaceful transitions of power are a longstanding U.S. tradition, the handoff in Kentucky from Democrat Steve Beshear to Republican Matt Bevin has been ugly. The two men have argued loudly over health care, voting rights, pensions and even the appointment of Beshear’s wife to a state commission.

Things were so tense recently that Bevin and Beshear both claimed the FBI was investigating the other. An FBI spokesman would not confirm or deny anything, preferring to stay out of the fight like many in Kentucky’s political circles.

The spat has intensified so much that Beshear has taken the extraordinary step of starting a nonprofit group that is paying for ads critical of Bevin and his policies. Bevin, in turn, has launched an investigation of the former Beshear administration, using a state law granting him subpoena power and public money to hire a private law firm to determine if the ex-governor violated state ethics and procurement laws.

Also nipping at Bevin’s side is Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, Steve Beshear’s son. The younger Beshear has already taken Bevin to court — twice — over his policies. The result is an old-fashioned clash in this Appalachian state pitting one of Kentucky’s most powerful political families against a Republican outsider intent on upending a power structure in which Democrats have controlled things for decades.

“This has got the makings of a real Hatfield and McCoy feud,” former Democratic Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. said. “I don’t think it’s good for Kentucky.”

The harsh talk from both sides — with Bevin accusing Beshear of telling a “straight-out lie” and Beshear calling Bevin “a bully” — is surprising to some. Bevin had repeatedly promised on the campaign trail to change the political tone in Frankfort if elected.

Yet the hostilities emerged before Bevin took office when he called Beshear “an embarrassment” for appointing his wife to an unpaid position on the Kentucky Horse Park Commission. He then leavened his December inaugural address with some veiled shots at Beshear as the former governor sat stone-faced just a few feet away.

In March, Bevin posted a scathing video to his Facebook page of an empty state House chamber, chiding Democratic leaders for not meeting on the budget. The legislature wasn’t scheduled to convene until 4 p.m. that day, and House Democrats were in fact meeting in their offices across the street.

“His attacks tend to be personal attacks,” Steve Beshear said. “It’s not just a disagreement over ideas. But because you disagree with me you are a bad person and I’m going to get you in some way.”

Beshear has not been blameless. Ten days after Bevin was elected, Beshear held a news conference criticizing Bevin’s plans to dismantle Kentucky’s health insurance exchange and replace its expanded Medicaid program, both cornerstones of Beshear’s legacy.

Once he left office, Beshear started a nonprofit group which — because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling — can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads as long as more than half of its spending is on social welfare issues. The group has already paid for its first web ad, declaring that Bevin “uses fake numbers as justification for an ideological agenda.” And this week, he wrote a letter criticizing both Bevin and federal officials for negotiating “back room deals” for Kentucky’s Medicaid program.

“It’s protocol for a former governor or a former president to be gracious and let the new governor be the governor,” said Damon Thayer, the Republican floor leader of the state Senate. “It just seems to me that Steve Beshear is having a hard time dealing with the fact that he’s no longer governor.”

The feud is likely to ripple out into the fall elections as Republicans seek control of the state House of Representatives, the only legislative chamber in the South the GOP does not control. Democrats recently were clinging to a three-seat majority in the state House of Representatives, but campaigned hard against Bevin in a series of special elections, winning three out of four to solidify their majority for the rest of this year. Now Republicans are eyeing November, when all 100 seats in the House will be on the ballot.

Recently, Bevin prayed at a National Day of Prayer event at the state Capitol, where he lamented the division in the country, “some of which we seem to increasingly celebrate.” But after the event, Bevin did not appear willing to reconcile his differences with Beshear.

“For those who have their own agendas and miss their role to such a degree that they keep hanging around, God bless them,” he said. “I can’t speak for what the motivation is there. But I’m a little confused by it. It’s rather embarrassing for Kentucky, frankly.”

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky: SENATE WEEK IN REVIEW

COLUMN

SENATE WEEK IN REVIEW

Submitted by Senator Reginald Thomas

FRANKFORT – The 2016 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly ended just before midnight Friday, April 15 as we pushed through a long week to finalize legislation, including a $21 billion spending plan for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2016.

The governor set the stage for the state budget debate when he rolled out his proposed budget during the fourth week of the session. He proposed major outlays of new money to pension systems but cut funding to universities and most state agencies by 9 percent to help come up with the money for the retirement plans. The House rejected the cuts being applied to universities and restored that funding. The Senate Republicans put the 9 percent cuts to universities back in.

The compromise reached between the Senate and House settled on a 4.5 percent reduction to funding for institutions of higher education with the exception of Kentucky State University in Frankfort, which is fully funded.

The compromise budget appropriates $973 million to the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement Systems, an additional $186 million to the Kentucky Retirement Systems and $125 million in the form of a contribution to the “Permanent Fund” which will be a depository of certain surplus funds used to stabilize the pension funds in the most peril.

The budget the Kentucky General Assembly sent to the governor was a good plan. I sat at the table during the entire budget negotiations between leaders of both the House and Senate chambers as they worked on the finished product to send to the governor. In my mind, it was not perfect by any means, but the charge of the Budget Conference Committee was to find a compromise between the House and Senate budgets that would best meet the needs of citizens across the state.

The work was intense and the hours were long, but I was satisfied that the end product would serve our state well for the next biennium. It is very unfortunate that Governor Bevin used his veto power to make line item cuts that will affect Kentuckians across the commonwealth, especially in the area of education. A few of the vetoes made by Governor Bevin that were important components to move the state forward in the biennium are listed below:

  • Not only was the structure for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program eliminated (with his veto of House Bill 626), but $9.4 million was cut from the budget to fund scholarships in 2016-17. An appropriation of $15 million does remain for scholarships for 2017-18.
  • Appropriations for lung-, colon-, and breast-cancer screening programs.
  • Funding for Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity Program, Access to Justice and Public Safety First.
  • Funding for Every1 Reads Program ($225,700 in each fiscal year).
  • Funds for pre-school education eligibility pilot project expansion up to 200 percent of poverty level.
  • Funding for Kentucky scholarships programs based on financial need – the College Access Program (CAP) and Kentucky Tuition Grant Program (KTG).

One significant plus, the budget bill includes $60 million in state money to go toward the $250 million Lexington Convention Center to make it an A-1 facility. House Bill 55 puts in place a revenue raising measure for the project by increasing the hotel tax by 2.5 percent points.

I have said repeatedly, this project will make a $100 million difference in Fayette County and it is absolutely critical for our city. Without the expansion project, we would continue to lose convention business to competitor cities. Currently, our tourism data tells us we are only marketing to 65 percent of the available national conventions and meetings market. Without this expansion, officials said the annual $42 million impact from the convention centers would drop by more than $13 million annually. Lexington could not suffer such a blow and continue to progress so I fought vigorously for this project.

Highlights of some priority areas shielded from cuts also include:

  • $175 million for a budget reserve trust fund;
  • fully funding public schools through 12th grade;
  • fully funding anti-heroin legislation from 2015;
  • raises for state troopers;
  • fully funding Kentucky Educational Television;
  • restoring funding to the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky;
  • preserving the Kentucky One Stop Business Portal, and
  • allocating a $5 million bond pool for Kentucky state parks.

We also passed a two-year road plan, which funds the Transportation Cabinet.

While the budget grabbed the headlines during this legislative session, we also passed some other legislation that will have a positive impact on the lives of all Kentuckians. I will share a summary highlighting some of the bills that passed this session next week. Through those measures, we took steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens, maintain our transportation infrastructure, and invest in education, public safety and job creation across the Commonwealth.

While this legislative session is over, the work in Frankfort continues, as interim joint committees soon resume post session work.  Interim committees provide continuity of discussion for ongoing issues and provide forum for new and developing issues. It is the opportunity to take government to the people, as we sometimes have meetings outside of Frankfort, discuss issues in-depth, and allow bill identification, creation and approval for prefiling for the 2017 regular session. This enables bills to be introduced at the beginning of the session, allowing citizens ample time to express their opinions on the measures.

Please stay in contact with me during the interim by emailing me directly at reginald.thomas@lrc.ky.gov. Thank you and enjoy the remainder of our wonderful Kentucky spring.

-END-

A new report says Kentucky has the highest percentage of children in the nation who have had a parent in jail – a situation so detrimental that a child advocate compares it to abuse

LOUISVILLE – A new report says Kentucky has the highest percentage of children in the nation who have had a parent in jail – a situation so detrimental that a child advocate compares it to abuse.

Citing a report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville reports that 13 percent of Kentucky children – 135,000 – reported in 2011-12 that they had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives. That percentage is nearly double the national average of 7 percent.

Nationwide, about 5.1 million children have experienced parental incarceration, according to the report, “A Shared Sentence,” co-released by Kentucky Youth Advocates, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization. Indiana had 177,000 such children, the report says.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks said parental incarceration exacts a devastating toll on families and society at large by creating an “unstable environment” for children, with the effects being long-lasting.

“Having a parent incarcerated is a stressful, traumatic experience of the same magnitude as abuse, domestic violence and divorce,” the report said.

Brooks hopes the report’s findings bring attention to the issue.

“Policy debates about incarceration rarely focus on the impact on children,” Brooks said. “You can’t ignore a 13-percent-of-the-population problem.”

The report uses data from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children’s Health, the latest available.

Since that survey took place, Kentucky has enacted numerous criminal justice reforms in order to curb the growth of a prison population that had been increasing four times faster than the national average. The reforms included an expansion of alternative sentencing for nonviolent crimes.

John Tilley, secretary of the Kentucky Justice Cabinet who helped push those changes as a legislator, said they have helped level off the increase that some predicted could have reached 27,000 by 2015.

Still, the prison population in the state has continued to grow.

State jails and prisons held about 22,700 people in April, compared to 21,500 in April 2012.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky comes up short of falling in line with current mainstream Cannabis reform – once again

April 17, 2016

Sheree Krider  

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

 

Kratom 2016

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/16RS/SB136/SCS1.pdf

 

The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2016 regular session ended on Friday, April 15 and once again the people’s requests were ignored.

There were a total of five Cannabis and Hemp Bills introduced into this Legislature and not one of them made it.

Here is the short list of them:

March 2, 2016

Senate Bill 262 is AN ACT relating to industrial hempSen. Perry Clark

Friday, March 4, 2016 – to Agriculture (S), Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – introduced in Senate

*

Senate Bill 263 is AN ACT relating to medical cannabisSen. Perry Clark

Friday, March 4, 2016 – to Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S), Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – introduced in Senate

*

March 1, 2016 –

HB 584(BR-1994) by Representative Denver Butler, “medical marijuana” .

Mar 01, 2016 – introduced in House, Mar 02, 2016 – to Health & Welfare (H)

*

February 25, 2016

HR 173  A “Resolution” to the FDA to “study medical marijuana”, the Sponsors are David Osborne, Lynn Bechler, and Brad Montell.

Monday, February 29, 2016 – to Health & Welfare (H), Thursday, February 25, 2016 – introduced in House

*

January 6, 2016 – introduced in Senate by Sen. Perry Clark – This was the “Cannabis Freedom Bill” (This Bill was “pre-filed” in December of 2015)!

SB 13(BR-161)/LM/CI

Jan 06, 2016 – introduced in Senate, Jan 07, 2016 – to Licensing, Occupations, & Administrative Regulations (S)

 

As early as January 28th they were already reporting that Legislation to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana is unlikely to be addressed during this legislative session in Kentucky,

so they KNEW beyond a doubt that they would not take any action on the Cannabis Bills as early as January!

At least Hundreds, maybe thousands of concerned Kentuckians made their way to the Capitol of Frankfort, Kentucky this year to attempt to

impress upon our Legislators just how important the “Cannabis” Bills were, yet I can count on one hand the number of Representatives

in Kentucky that stepped up. 

Louisville, KY’s Sen. Perry Clark is a “stand up” Legislator for the People and he definitely did his homework correctly.  I cannot see one thing

that he could have done differently to persuade a different outcome.  Please send him a note of THANKS for everything he has done this year!

Not only could the Representatives not find time to take up the Cannabis issue, but they MADE TIME to take up the issue of moving “Kratom”,

which is another herbal plant, not a “spice” type of drug, to Schedule I in Kentucky taking yet another plant away from the people via “legislation”.

THIS Bill was introduced by W. Westerfield.  Be sure to send him a note and let him know how much we appreciate him stealing our plants!

Kentucky is a corrupt State.  That’s it and that’s that.

Once again, Kentucky will remain last on the list, at least for now.  But it is not for lack of trying to climb up and out of this corruption, by the people who have stood up and asked to be counted!  It is,

as usual, the Kentucky Government as it exists today and has existed for many years.

There is always next year, and there will be a new President in the White House by that time.  As well, there will be new Legislators in Kentucky.

All we can do is to set our sites on next year, and say a prayer.

WE THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY WILL NOT BE SILENCED ANYMORE!

The Legislators can expect to have a LARGER crowd in Frankfort in 2017, expecting them to stand up and do the RIGHT thing!

sk

Kentucky General Assembly’s 2016 session ends

Due to technical difficulties, this news release didn’t reach all of our subscribers last night. Apologies if you’ve already received it. — RW

For Immediate Release

April 16, 2016

Kentucky General Assembly’s 2016 session ends

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2016 regular session ended on Friday, April 15, shortly before midnight, capping off a session in which lawmakers approved the state’s next two-year budget and numerous other measures that will impact people throughout the state.

Most new laws – those that come from legislation that don’t contain emergency clauses or different specified effective dates – will go into effect in mid-July.

A partial list of bills approved this year by the General Assembly include measures on the following topics:

Autism. Senate Bill 185 made permanent the Advisory Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders (established in 2013) and the state Office of Autism (created in 2014). The bodies will continue to ensure there aren’t gaps in providing services to individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

Booking photos. Under House Bill 132, websites or publications that use jail booking photographs for profit could face stiff court-ordered damages. The new law makes it illegal to post booking photos to a website or include them in a publication, then require payment to remove them from public view. Damages start at $100 a day for each separate offense, along with attorney fees.

Budget. House Bill 303 will guide $21 billion worth of state spending over the next two fiscal years. The two-year state budget plan is aimed at creating savings in many areas and using more revenue to shore up public pension systems. The budget will pour $1.28 billion into the state pension systems and make no cuts to K-12 education while authorizing the governor’s plan to cut most state agency funding by nine percent over the biennium. State spending will decrease by 4.5 percent for most public colleges and universities.

Chemical munitions disposal. House Bill 106 addresses the acute and chronic health effects of exposure to compounds used in chemical munitions. It requires that after the compounds in the weapons are treated to Energy and Environment standards, the byproducts be reclassified to ensure proper management and disposal.

Children locked in cars. Senate Bill 16 protects prospective rescuers from being sued for any property damage caused in pursuit of saving the life of a child left in a locked vehicle.

Child safety. House Bill 148 allows child daycare centers to receive prescriptions for EpiPen injectors to treat life-threatening allergic reactions while also giving parents more time to legally surrender their newborn under the state’s safe harbor laws. The bill amended Kentucky’s Safe Infants Act by giving parents up to 30 days to surrender their child at a state-approved safe place, instead of the previous standard of three days.

CPR in schools. Senate Bill 33 requires high school students be taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation, taught by an emergency medical professional. The life-saving measure would is to be taught as part of the students’ physical education or health class, or as part of ROTC training.

Distilleries and craft brewers. Senate Bill 11 modernizes the state’s 1930s-era alcohol regulations to aid new interest in bourbon, craft beer and small-farm wine products. Among other provisions, SB 11 allows malt beverages to be sold at festivals and drinking on quadricycles (better known as “party bikes”), and permits bed and breakfasts to sell liquor by the drink. It also raises limits for on-site sales at distilleries from three liters to nine liters.

Drunken Driving. Senate Bill 56 will help increase felony convictions for DUI in Kentucky by allowing the courts to look at 10 years of prior convictions instead of five years. Kentucky law requires those convicted of a fourth offense DUI within five years to be charged with a felony. The clock for determining penalties for offenders is reset after five years under current law. Senate Bill 56 will extend that so-called “look-back” period to 10 years to allow more habitual offenders to face stiffer penalties like felony charges.

Election regulations. Senate Bill 169, which became law without the governor’s signature, changed several election-centered statutes. Among them, it directed county clerks to redact voters’ Social Security numbers before allowing the public to review voter rolls, and loosened restrictions on electioneering from 300feet to 11 feet around polling sites. The law also expanded means of voter identification to include any county, state or federally issued ID.

Felony expungement. Under House Bill 40, Kentuckians convicted of low-level felonies can ask the court to permanently seal—or expunge—their records. The new law allows those convicted of Class D felonies, or those who were charged but not formally indicted, to seek expungement after they have completed their sentence or probation. Sex crimes and crimes against children would not be included in the law.

Harassing telecommunications. House Bill 162 includes electronic communication, if it’s done with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy or alarm another person, to current harassment statutes. Electronic harassment would be a Class B misdemeanor.

Helping the disabled. Designed to allow Kentuckians with disabilities to set up savings accounts for disability-related expenses, Senate Bill 179 allows them to save money in an ABLE account for those expenses without it being taxed, generally. It would also not count against Medicaid and other federal means-based benefits.

Informed consent law. The first bill delivered to the governor’s desk was Senate Bill 4, which requires an in-person or real-time video conference between a woman seeking an abortion and a health care provider at least 24 hours before the procedure.

Juvenile court transparency. Senate Bill 40 permits some family court judges to hold public hearings. The new law allows a handful of courts to hold the open hearings as a pilot project. Judges could volunteer their courts for the program, and close proceedings as necessary.

Local government. House Bill 189 makes it easier for local entities – like cities, police and fire departments – to share services. HB 189 sets procedures for amending interlocal agreements without the lengthy process of having to seek approval from the state Attorney General or the Department for Local Government.

Medicaid appeals. Senate Bill 20 gives medical providers access to independent appeals of denied Medicaid claims. Under the new law, the decision of the third-party reviewer could then be appealed to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, where the decision of an administrative hearing tribunal would be the last step before judicial review.

Noah’s Law. Senate Bill 193, also known as “Noah’s Law” for a 9-year-old Pike County boy, extends health insurance coverage to include expensive amino acid-based elemental formula, needed by some children with gastric disorders and food allergies.

Off-duty conceal and carry. House Bill 314 allows current and retired peace officers to carry concealed firearms at any location where current, on-duty officers can carry guns.

Outdoor recreation. Zip lines and other outdoor recreation will be safer, as House Bill 38 became law. The new law directs the state to set standards for the use and operation of zip lines and canopy tours.

Pension oversight. House Bill 271 requires all state-administered retirement systems to report specific information on their members or members’ beneficiaries to the state Public Pension Oversight Board each fiscal year. The information is to be used by the board to plan for future expenses and recommend changes to keep the retirement systems solvent.

Permanent Fund. House Bill 238 creates the “permanent fund” for public pensions funded in the Executive Branch budget bill, or HB 303. It also sets out specific requirements for public pension system reporting, including the requirement that an actuarial audit be performed on the state-administered retirement systems once every five years.

Petroleum tanks. House Bill 187 extends the period of the Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assistance Fund to aid in the safe removal of old underground gas and oil tanks. The bill moved back the end date to participate in the program to 2021, from 2016, and the date to perform corrective actions from 2019 to 2024. It also extended a program for small operators by five years, to 2021.

Public private partnerships. House Bill 309, which allows government and private entities to enter into public-private partnerships – known as P3s – to fund Kentucky’s major infrastructure needs. The new law provides a framework for P3s as an alternative financing method for major public projects, including transportation projects.

Sexual assault investigations. Aimed at eliminating a backlog of sexual assault examination kits, Senate Bill 63 establishes new policies and procedures for handling evidence. SB 63 requires police to pick up sexual assault kits from hospitals within five days’ notice, submit evidence to the state crime lab within 30 days, prohibit the destruction of any kits and notify victims of the progress and results of the tests. The new law also requires the average completion date for kits tested not to exceed 90 days by July 2018 and 60 days by July 2020.

Stopping dog fights. House Bill 428 makes it a felony to possess, breed, sell or otherwise handle dogs for the purpose of dog fighting. The bill also defines dog fighting, and allows people who intentionally own, possess, breed, train, sell or transfer dogs for dog fighting to be charged with first-degree cruelty to animals, a Class D felony. In effect, it makes it easier to prosecute perpetrators.

Vulnerable victims. Senate Bill 60 creates a new section of KRS Chapter 501, defining an “offense against a vulnerable victim” and creating a mechanism for charging someone with the commission of an offense against a victim who is under the age of 14, has an intellectual disability, or is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.

Water resource protection. House Bill 529 created the Kentucky Water Resources Board to research current water resources in the Commonwealth, identify new available resources and examine efficiencies, especially to support farming. The new 11-member board includes officials from state interior and agriculture departments along with six gubernatorial appointees.

–END–

Additional Links:  (SOURCE)

Became Law Without Governor’s Signature: SB169, 188, 195, 225;
HB38, 111, 115, 497, 499, 529;
HCR101
Signed By Governor: SB4, 11, 16, 17, 19, 20, 33, 40, 43, 46, 54, 56, 58, 60, 63, 64, 74, 84, 90, 97, 103, 113, 114, 117, 118, 120, 122, 128, 129, 134, 140, 141, 154, 155, 167, 168, 170, 174, 178, 179, 182, 185, 186, 193, 203, 206, 209, 211, 214, 216, 217, 228, 230, 238, 242, 249, 256, 269, 293;
SCR9, 135;
HB16, 40, 52, 83, 87, 95, 100, 106, 124, 132, 148, 149, 153, 162, 175, 183, 184, 187, 189, 204, 208, 216, 237, 250, 261, 271, 272, 276, 281, 309, 314, 340, 343, 352, 354, 381, 382, 402, 420, 422, 428, 431, 434, 473, 487, 489, 527, 535, 562, 563, 570, 585;
HCR13, 117, 139, 187;
HJR5, 152, 164, 197