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House passes pro-life legislation; adoption and foster care reforms closer to passage

By David Meade

State Representative

In addition to ongoing work on pension reform and crafting a responsible budget that restores cuts to public education, pro-family legislation is also moving.

I presented House Bill 1 before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this week, where it received unanimous passage and was sent to the full Senate for consideration. This legislation is a bipartisan effort to place children into loving homes in a timely manner, and is the result of nearly a year’s worth of meetings with all stakeholders, including social workers, judges, and involved parents. The House Working Group on Adoption has spent countless hours listening and developing this measure, which will improve the lives of many Kentucky children and families.

These meetings laid the groundwork for what became our top House priority of this session, which is all about putting children first. More than 8,000 children are currently in state care – a sad reality that this legislation seeks to remedy. Our bill will make tremendous strides toward doing so, in large part because of the increased support we will provide for social workers, parents, and needy children themselves.

We also passed significant legislation that is a priority of all House Republicans, and a personal priority of mine. House Bill 454 is a strong pro-life measure that would ban a particularly violent form of abortion after eleven weeks of pregnancy. I was proud to support and co-sponsor this measure, which is just another step in continuing the progress our majority has made on behalf of life. I will always fight hard to preserve and protect innocent life, something that I believe is a critical role of government.

In short order, we will receive the Senate’s proposed budget, and evaluate the best way to move forward on a two-year spending plan. I was proud to support a House budget that strongly supported pensions and public education, and we are dedicated to working with the Senate to do just that. I am also confident that the structure of House Bill 1 will be fully funded in the final budget, including hiring more social workers and increasing their pay.

We also soon plan to file a comprehensive tax reform measure, which will allow us to better meet our existing obligations while also increasing Kentucky’s economic competitiveness. For years and years, panels and commissions have met and talked a lot about this issue, but never got around to actually doing something about it. Our tax reform package will clean up our outdated tax code while also creating jobs – two goals that Kentuckians from both parties should share.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your voice in Frankfort. As this year’s session nears its conclusion, there are a variety of significant issues up for consideration. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you have about pending legislation.

Rep. David Meade is the Majority Caucus Chairman in the State House of Representatives. He represents the 80th district, which includes Lincoln as well as part of Pulaski County.