By: Patrick Flannery
Representative, State of Kentucky
Lawmakers passed almost 200 bills during the legislative session that adjourned on March 30, and one of our busiest committees this year was the one tasked with overseeing the state’s professional, racing, and alcoholic beverage licensure. The House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee approved 13 bills that eventually became law.
Among those measures is a bill that was a hot topic last week as legalized wagering on sporting events took one giant step towards becoming a reality. On Monday, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission released the rules that will guide those who offer the gaming as well as those who participate. The bill that made it all possible, HB 551, not only legalized the entertainment option, but also specified that a portion of the monies raised through licensure will be set aside for a program to address gambling addiction, and any excess funds are committed to addressing the state’s $40 billion public pension debt. Commission administrators anticipate that Kentuckians will be able to legally gamble on live sporting events on September 7.
However, HB 551 is not the only measure this committee addressed this session. Here is a complete list:
Protecting consumers in transactions with real estate wholesalers–HB 62 protects consumers by requiring real estate wholesalers to follow the same rules, regulations, and oversight as licensed estate agents.
Kentucky Veterinary Medicine Practice Act– HB 167modernizes the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. Provisions include establishing a framework for the use of telehealth; creating a voluntary registration and inspection program; implementing a new credential for allied animal health professionals working in animal chiropractic; and creating an educational incentive to attract new graduates to rural areas and food animal species.
Addressing the workforce shortage in barbering and barbering schools– HB 172 expedites the process for an individual to become a licensed barber instructor to 12 months to address a shortage in barbers and barbering school instructors.
Changing Deposit Requirements for Charitable Gaming Organizations– HB 287 allows designated licensed charitable organizations to make weekly deposits instead of requiring them to be made within two-days. The bill also limits the deposit exemption to weeks in which the organization’s deposits of gross receipts and adjusted gross receipts total less than $2,500 in the week prior to the deposit.
Legalizing wagering on live sports events– HB 551 allows Kentuckians 18 and older to wager on live sporting events. The measure requires online gaming providers associate with a Kentucky horseracing track and provides the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission with regulatory responsibility over gaming companies. Sports wagering could be provided through a licensed facility for sports wagering or online through a website or mobile App. HB 551 provides a fee framework that includes a 9.75% tax on the adjusted gross revenue of sports wagering at racetracks and 14.25% levied on online wagering. Monies received are designated to provide for regulatory administration; a 2.5% set aside to address problem gaming; and any remaining revenue towards the state’s public pension liabilities.
Clarifying that skill game machines are illegal– HB 594 explicitly bans skill machines, commonly referred to as gray machines.
Leveling the playing field for small farm wineries– SB 28 allows small farm wineries to sell and deliver up to 12,000 gallons of wine produced by it annually to any retail license holder.
Legalizing medicinal marijuana– SB 47 establishes a medicinal cannabis program and defines six different medical conditions that qualify for medicinal cannabis use. The legislation also grants the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with the authority to implement and administer the program.
Expanding access to licensed cosmetology services– SB 57 adopts the Cosmetology Licensure Compact to increase consumer access to safe cosmetology services and reduces unnecessary licensure burdens.
Ensuring uninterrupted access to audiology and hearing aid dispensary services– SB 58 aligns Kentucky with regulations implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, allowing audiologists and hearing aid dispensers licensed to recommend, select, fit, and dispense hearing aids to continue doing so under the FDA’s new classification system.
Nullifying poorly conceived administrative regulations– SB 65nullifies three administrative regulations promulgated by the executive branch and improperly addressing expanded Medicaid Services, board authorized protocols, and employer-employee relationships.
Providing prescriptive authority for advanced practice registered nurses– SB 94 establishes requirements related to the Collaborative Agreement for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse’s Prescriptive Authority for Nonscheduled Legend Drugs and Controlled Substances.
Ensuring inequity in funding the Horseracing Integrity Safety Act– HR 98 urges the Federal Trade Commission and the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to review the funding methodology of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act as a result of concerns that it does not provide uniform treatment and may place undue economic pressure on Kentucky’s horsemen and racing industry.
As always, I can be reached at home anytime or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Patrick.Flannery@lrc.ky.gov. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky legislature’s home page at legislature.ky.gov.