Higher dollar amounts for small claims court cases and the approval of wellness rewards for health insurance plans are among the dozens of new laws set to take effect this week.
Under the state constitution, most new laws take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session. Laws passed during the 2011 Regular Session, which ended March 9, will become effective on June 8, except for those with emergency clauses or with specific effective dates contained within the bills themselves.
Among the issues affected by legislation taking effect on June 8 are the following:
African-American Heritage. Senate Bill 64 creates the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage and outlines its board membership.
Carbon dioxide. SB 50 includes pipelines for captured carbon dioxide in the eminent domain process, allowing such a pipeline to be constructed through Western Kentucky.
Courts. SB 108 increases the jurisdiction of district courts in civil cases from $4,000 to $5,000 and the jurisdiction of small claims courts from $1,500 to $2,500.
Diabetes. SB 63 creates a collaborative group to identify goals and plans to reduce incidences of diabetes and improve diabetes care. SB 71 creates a licensing process for diabetes educators.
Doctoral programs. SB 130 allows the state’s six comprehensive universities to offer certain advanced practice doctoral programs within limits.
Education. HB 425 allows out-of-state veterans to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
Eye care. SB 110 allows optometrists to perform certain types of laser surgery, including treatments for glaucoma and cataracts.
Firearms. HB 308 establishes a program for people who have been banned from purchasing a firearm due to mental illness to recover that right.
Flu shots. SB 40 allows pharmacists to give flu shots to children ages 9-13.
Government publications. HB 33 bans state agencies from mailing most publications to the public unless they are requested by the recipient.
Homelessness. SB 26 reduces the fee for ID cards for the homeless from $12 to $4.
Occupational and physical therapy. SB 112 limits health insurance co-pays on occupational and physical therapy sessions to no higher than that of regular doctor’s visits.
Prescriptions. HB 311 allows Schedule II prescriptions, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to be transmitted electronically or by fax. The bill also allows Schedule III-V drugs to be transmitted by fax; those can already be transmitted electronically.
School personnel. SB 12 authorizes local school superintendents to chair the school council when selecting a new principal. Previous practice allowed the school council to select from a list submitted by the superintendent.
School board elections. HB 228 increases the contribution limits for school board candidates to $200 for individuals and $1,000 for organizations.
Traffic laws. HB 289 adds fines for driving over the 70 miles-per-hour speed limit and clarifies that vehicle-integrated GPS units are exempt from the state’s ban on texting or using other communications devices while driving.
Voter registration. HB 192 requires high schools to provide seniors information on how to register to vote and related information.
Wellness programs. SB 114 allows private health insurance plans to offer incentives and awards for wellness programs.