Bill Tracker | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Bill Tracker

KFTC's legislative issues during the
2021 Kentucky General Assembly

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly is now concluded. The bills listed below are among the ones KFTC prioritized, within the limits of our organizational capacity and a Republican supermajority opposed to KFTC's vision in most important ways.

To read a bill or get additional information, click on the bill number in the Summary column. If you’d like to let your legislators know what you think of any of these bills or how they voted, contact them through the Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181 (open all year) or by email.

Check out the bill trackers and legislative priorities of our allies: ACLU-Kentucky; Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky; Kentucky Voices for Health; Forward Kentucky and the Kentucky Conservation Committee.

Please like KFTC on Facebook. That’s where we will provide the latest updates on important policy matters. Donate here to support this work year round

KFTC's Priority Legislation
KFTC Supports

Voting Rights

House Bill 232
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Jason Nemes, Pamela Stevenson, William Lawrence and others
Additional Information

HB 232 is similar to legislation passed by a House committee last year that received no further consideration when the pandemic curtailed the 2020 session. It had bipartisan sponsorship and support.

HB 232 was not assigned to a committee and legislative leaders denied the bill a hearing or a vote.

KFTC Supports

Breonna's Law

House Bill 21
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Attica Scott & other Democrats
Additional Information

HB 21 was introduced in the House on January 5, and after much delay assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The committee however passed over HB 21 and instead approved Senate Bill 4, a weaker bill that addresses the issuance and execution of police warrants but does not ban no-knock warrants. SB 4, which had passed the Senate 33-0 on February 25, was amended and approved by the House, 92-5, on March 30. The Senate concurred, 34-0, with House amendments. SB 4 was signed into law by the governor on April 9.

See how legislators voted on SB 4.

KFTC Supports

Death Penalty Limit / Abolition

House Bill 148
Senate Bill 60
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Chad McCoy, Sen, Stephen Meredith and other Republicans and Democrats
Additional Information

HB 148 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on February 24. It passed the full House, 75-16, on March 1. See how House members voted.

HB 148 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, 6-4-1, on March 4 (see how committee members voted). HB 148 was been blocked from getting a vote by the full Senate by Sen. Damon Thayer (@damon_thayer) and died in the Senate Rules Committee

SB 60 was not assigned to a committee.

KFTC Supports

Healthy Democracy: Redistricting

House Bill 23
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Buddy Wheatley, Kelly Flood & Attica Scott
Additional Information

The majority party often has used redistricting to shape districts in ways that weaken the votes of minority populations, pit sitting legislators against each other and skew the district to favor their party’s candidates. The goal of this legislation was to remove that partisanship from the process. The Kentucky League of Women Voters has been particularly active in developing HB 23.

HB 23 was not assigned to a committee and ignored by legislative leaders.

KFTC Supports

Healthy Democracy: Voting Hours

House Bill 51
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Buddy Wheatley & others
Additional Information

Kentucky has one of the earliest poll closing times in the nation at 6 p.m. This would have added one hour in the evening.

HB 51 was not assigned to a committee and ignored by legislative leaders.

KFTC Supports

Healthy Democracy: Expanded Absentee Voting

House Bill 72
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Rachel Roberts & others
Additional Information

"No excuse" absentee voting absentee (also referred to as mail-in voting) was widely used in the 2020 elections, but done so only under emergency orders for voters concerned about voting safely. HB 72 would have made this a part of Kentucky law.

HB 72 was not assigned to a committee. No excuse absentee (mail-in) voting was specifically excluded from the voting bill that did pass (see entry below for HB 574).

KFTC Supports

Healthy Democracy: Expanded voter registration

House Bill 182
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Josie Raymond
Additional Information

A person not previously registered could do so at the precinct of their residence on the day of an election, provided they met all qualifications to be a voter (age, residency, etc.). A person registered through their driver's license application or renewal would be required to decline if they did not meet all qualification.

HB 182 was not assigned to a committee or given a hearing or vote.

KFTC Supports

Redistricting

Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Buddy Wheatley, Attica Scott, Lisa Willner
Additional Information

HCR 61 was not assigned to a committee and was ignored by legislative leaders.

KFTC Supports

Ban Conversion Therapy

House Bill 19
Senate Bill 30
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Lisa Willner / Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr with bipartisan cosponsors
Additional Information

Both bills had bipartisan sponsorship. Despite this, neither bill was assigned to a committee and received no consideration during the session.

KFTC Supports

Maternal Health Bill

House Bill 27
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Attica Scott and others
Additional Information

HB 27 and most of the other maternal health-related bills were not assigned to committees and were ignored by legislative leaders.

However, House Bill 212 did move. It requires a child and maternal fatality annual demographic analysis by race, income and geography. HB 212 was approved unanimously by the House Health & Family Services Committee on February 4 and then, after a delay, by the full House, 92-3, on March 3. It received approval by the Senate, 36-0, on March 16, and was signed into law by Gov. Beshear on March 25.

KFTC Supports

Re-entering Kentuckians

House Bill 497
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Kimberly Moser
Additional Information

HB 497 was passed by the House, 95-0, on March 5. In the Senate it was amended and approved by the Judiciary Committee on March 15 and the full Senate on March 16, 35-0. The House concurred with Senate changes, 91-0, on March 29. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Beshear on April 5.

KFTC Supports

Civil rights protection

House Bill 132
Bill Sponsor(s):
Nima Kulkarni, Jason Nemes
Additional Information

HB 132 was not assigned to a committee and denied a hearing or vote by legislative leaders.

KFTC Opposes

Public funding for private schools II

House Bill 563
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. C. McCoy, S. Santoro
Additional Information

HB 563, as amended with school voucher language, passed the House, 51-45, on March 11. 

In the Senate, HB 563 was further amended and approved by the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee hearing on March 16, and passed the full Senate a few hours later, 21-15. The House later concurred with Senate changes, 48-47. 

HB 563 was vetoed by the governor on March 24, citing the $25 million cost that would be taken away from public funds and used to subsidize private schools. The House (51-42) and the Senate (23-14) voted to override the governor's veto on March 29.

See how legislators voted on HB 563.

KFTC Opposes

Public funding for private schools

House Bill 149
Senate Bill 25
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Chad McCoy / Sen. Ralph Alvarado and other Republicans
Additional Information

HB 149 was assigned to the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee. The bill was not moving  so the bill language was added to House Bill 563, which passed the House, 51-45, on March 11. See the entry above for action on HB 563.

A companion bill, Senate Bill 25, was assigned to the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee but did not receive a hearing or vote with HB 563 moving.

KFTC Opposes

Penalties on water customers

House Bill 272
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Josh Bray and other Republicans
Additional Information

HB 272 was amended and approved by the House Local Government Committee on Feb. 11. It was passed by the full House, 70-25, on March 1.

In the Senate, bipartisan opposition during a Natural Resources & Energy Committee hearing led the sponsors to agree to stop pushing their bill and work with opponents on a modified version next year. However, Senate Republican leaders demanded an emergency committee meeting on March 16, where the bill was amended and passed committee. Because it had been fast-tracked, it went to a vote before the full Senate just a few hours later and passed the Senate, 25-10. The House then concurred with Senate changes, 71-23. See how legislators voted on HB 272.

HB 272 was vetoed by Gov. Beshear on March 23. The House (69-26) and the Senate (24-12) voted to override the governor's veto of HB 272 on March 29.

KFTC Opposes

Renter Evictions

Senate Bill 264
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Stephen West and Republicans; Rep. David Meade
Additional Information

SB 264 was assigned to the Senate Economic Development, Tourism & Labor Committee. Though initially fast tracked by Senate leaders, SB 264 did not receive approval by the Senate committee.

HB 570 was not assigned to a committee.

KFTC Opposes

Medical care refusal

Senate Bill 83
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Stephen Meredith, Robby Mills
Additional Information

SB 83 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 11. It was not given a vote before the full Senate and died in that chamber.

See how committee members voted.

KFTC Opposes

Go to jail for not being nice

Senate Bill 211
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Danny Carroll, Michael Nemes
Additional Information

SB 211 was approoved by the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee on March 4, and by the full Senate, 22-11, on March 11. It was not given a heraring or vote in the House.

See how senators voted.

KFTC Opposes

Child food security

Senate Bill 65
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Steven West, Ralph Alvarado
Additional Information

SB 65 was approved by the Senate State & Local Government Committee on February 10 and the full Senate, 30-6, on February 23. In the House, SB 65 was approved by the Licensing & Occupations Committee on March 11. It passed the full House on March 16, 68-23. 

SB 65 was vetoed by Gov. Beshear on March 23. The House (71-23) and the Senate (30-7) voted to override the governor's veto of SB 65 on March 29.

See how legislators voted on SB 65.

KFTC Opposes

Criminalizing rental damage

Senate Bill 11
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. John Schickel & other Republicans
Additional Information

SB 11 was approved by the Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee and the full Senate, 28-8, on February 4. In the House, SB 11 was approved by the Licensing & Occupations Committee and the full House, 75-17, on March 5. On March 11, the Senate, on a 26-6 vote, concurred with House changes.

On March 24, Gov. Beshear vetoed SB 11. The House (74-18) and the Senate (28-8) voted to override the governor's veto of SB 11 on March 29.

 See how legislators voted.

KFTC Opposes

Legalized pari-mutuel gambling

Senate Bill 120
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. John Schickel and others
Additional Information

SB 120 was approved by the Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee and by the full Senate, 22-15, on February 9.

It was moved through the House in near record time, getting a committee hearing and approval on February 10 and approval by the full House, 55-38, on February 11. Gov. Beshear signed the bill into law on February 22.

An effort, through a House floor amendment, to increase the excise tax on historical horse racing from 1.5% to 3.5% was ruled out of order by House Speaker David Osborne. Another bill, HB 481 proposed a 27% excise tax on the gross commissions from the slot machine wagering. It was not assigned to a committee or allowed a vote.

House Concurrent Resolution 69 proposed a Pari-mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force. It passed the House, 88-6, on March 12, but was killed by Senate leaders.

See how Senate and House members voted on SB 120.

KFTC Opposes

U.S. Senate vacancies

Senate Bill 228
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Robert Stivers, Tom Buford
Additional Information

SB 228 was approved by the Senate State & Local Government Committee on March 1, and since it had been fast-tracked by Senate leaders received a floor vote the next day, passing 28-8.

SB 228 was approved by the House Elections & Constitutional Amendments Committee at a special meeting on March 12. It passed the House, 73-25, on March 16.

SB 228 was vetoed by Gov. Beshear on March 22. The House (70-24) and the Senate (29-8) voted to override the governor's veto of SB 228 on March 29, and the legislation becomes law.

See how legislators voted on SB 228.

KFTC Opposes

Constitutional Convention

Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Robby Mills and other Republicans
Additional Information

HJR 56 was assigned to a committee.

KFTC Opposes

Turn out anti-abortion voters

House Bill 91
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Joe Fischer and others
Additional Information

HB 91 was approved by House Elections & Const. Amendments Committee on February 11, and passed the full House, 76-20, on February 25. In the Senate it was approved by State & Local Govt Committee on March 15, and the full Senate, 32-6, on March 30. As a proposed constitutional amendment, the governor cannot veto this legislation.

See how legislators voted.

KFTC Opposes

Reproductive Justice

Senate Bill 9
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Whitney Westerfield
Additional Information

SB 9 was fast-tracked by Republicans and passed by the Senate 32-4 and the House 76-18 in the first week of January. It became law without Gov. Andy Beshear's signature. Because it has an emergency clause, it went into effect immedicately.

See how legislators voted.

Bills to Watch

Executive Branch Budget

House Bill 192
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. J. Petrie, B. Reed, R. Dotson
Additional Information

HB 192 was amended quickly and passed both the House and Senate in early January, with each chamber then going through a process of not agreeing with the other chamber's changes so that the budget could be created in conference committee, without public hearings.

On March 15, both chambers approved the "free conference committee" report and passed a state budget (executive branch) much different from the one proposed by Gov. Beshear. The vote was 30-0-6 in the Senate and 74-23 in the House.

Read about the what legislators did here: "Legislature To Pass Austere Budget, Prevent Governor From Using New Federal Aid Without Authorization."

Gov. Beshear vetoed a number of line items in the budget. Legislators sustained a few but overrode most of his vetoes on March 29.

Comprehensive Tax Reform

House Bill 356
Additional Information

HB 356 was not assigned to a committee or given consideration by legislative leaders.

Omnibus voting changes

House Bill 574
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jennifer Decker
Additional Information

A 144-page committee substitute for the original 138-page HB 574 was approved by the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee on February 25. It was approved by the full House, 93-4, on February 26, after they defeated a provision to expand no-excuse in-person early voting and added a provision to help people who are homeless register and vote.

HB 574 was amended and approved by the Senate State & Local Government Committee on March 15. On March 16, it passed the full Senate, 33-3. On March 29, the House concurred with Senate changes, 91-3. The bill was signed into law by the governor on April 7.

See how legislators voted.

SB 259 was not assigned to a committee.

Open Records

House Bill 312
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. B. Rowland, C. Massey, B. Wesley
Additional Information

HB 312 was approved by the House, 71-26, on February 26. The Senate amended the bill and approved it, 22-11, on March 11. The House concurred with the Senate changes on March 12, by a 70-26 vote. 

On March 23, Gov. Beshear vetoed HB 312. The House (66-29) and the Senate (22-16) voted to override the governor's veto of HB 312 on March 29.

See how House and Senate members voted.

Statewide Fairness

House Bill 116
Senate Bill 269
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Minter and Willner, Sen. McGarvey and Democrat and Republican cosponsors
Additional Information

None of the bills have been assigned to a committee by legislative leaders.

Commission on Race and Opportuntity

Senate Bill 10
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Givens and other Republicans and Democrats
Additional Information

SB 10 passed the Senate, 35-1, on February 24. It was amended in the House and passed, 65-24, on March 11. The Senate concurreed with House changes, 27-9 on March 15. SB 10 became law without the governor's signature.

See how Senate and House members voted.

Subscribe to KFTC's Bill Tracker