These new Kentucky laws went into effect Tuesday

Published 5:57 am Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Numerous bills passed by the General Assembly this year took effect on Tuesday.

Under the Kentucky Constitution, new laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature unless they have a special effective date, are general appropriations measures, or include an emergency clause that makes them effective immediately upon becoming law. Final adjournment of the 2021 Regular Session occurred on March 30, making June 29 the effective date for most bills.

They include:

• Adoption: House Bill 210 will ensure that employers offer parents adopting a child under the age of ten the same amount of time off as birth parents. While existing state law mandates six weeks of parental leave, any business that offers more time off as well as those who offer paid parental leave, must do the same for adoptive parents. This does not include foster parents who adopt their foster child.

• Asthma: Senate Bill 127 encourages schools to keep bronchodilator rescue inhalers in at least two locations and will require schools with inhalers to have policies regarding their use.
• Child and new mother fatalities: HB 212 will require data in an annual state report on fatalities among children and new mothers to include information on demographics, race, income and geography associated with the fatalities.

• Child pornography: HB254 will raise the penalty for possession or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor under the age of 12 years to a Class C felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison. It will also raise the penalty for the distribution of matter portraying a sexual performance of a minor under the age of 12 years to a Class C felony for the first offense and a Class B felony, 10-20 years in prison, for each subsequent offense.

• Child support: HB 402 will revise child support laws to increase the amount considered flagrant nonsupport from $1,000 to $2,500. The original bill raised the amount to $5,000 but was changed during the legislative process. Flagrant nonsupport carries a 1-5 year prison sentence.