State Representative Regina Bunch Huff, R-Williamsburg, saw two of the bills she sponsored during the current legislative session become law, while two others failed to pass the Senate.
The bills passing included HB 30, which requires teachers to devote two of their required 24 hours of annual professional development to student suicide prevention training.
“I want to give them the training to have a conversation and understand the signs of a student who may be contemplating suicide,” said Huff who teaches middle school in the Whitley County School System in proposing the bill.
Huff said there are a number of programs that would provide the training for free.
“It is time for this discussion to be out front and prevalent,” Huff said.
HB 30 passed the House by a vote of 90-0 and was approved by the Senate by a vote of 36-1, with Senator John Schickel, R-Union, casting the lone nay vote.
HB 363 requires various state agencies, including vital statistics, unemployment and the lottery to cooperate with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in working to eliminate program assistance fraud.
“Michigan did it with lottery winnings and found instances of people winning upwards of $250,000 and didn’t declare it on their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or Medicaid cases,” Huff said.
Cabinet officials will then report back to the Interim Committee on Judiciary and the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services on its findings of fraud as a result of the new law.
Huff sponsored HB 52, which would mandate that children uner 12 wear bicycle helmets while riding.
The bill was known as “TJ’s Bill” in recognition of a child that suffered severe head injuries after being thrown over the handlebars of his bike.
“If we keep one child from that devastation, it is worth it,” Huff said in proposing the bill noting that out of 450,000 bicycle-related accidents that occur annually nationwide, 135,000 result in head injuries.
While the bill passed out of the House by a vote of 77-5, it failed to make it out of the transportation committee in the Senate.
HB 40 would have designated the last Wednesday in September of each year as a, “Day of Prayer” for Kentucky’s students.
The bill passed out of the house by a vote of 83-5 but failed to make it out of the education committee of the Senate.
Huff said she was glad to see education funding remain at current levels. Under the current budget, school systems will see a small increase in Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding per pupil.
“You always want more,” Huff said. “If we were more fiscally sound, I would have liked to have added more.”