Dozens of new Kentucky laws, including police conduct, school choice, etc. take effect Tuesday

Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Dozens of bills passed by the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year are officially law today.

The new laws range from changes in elections, to safety of newborn babies.

Thousands of Kentucky voters voted early during the three-week period in last fall’s general election. In future elections, it will be for a three-day period.

“Instead of take off part of the day to go vote on a Tuesday, you can vote on Thursday, Friday or Saturday,” said Daviess Co. Clerk Leslie McCarty.

The house bill making permanent changes to how Kentucky elections are run, including adding early voting, and allowing drop boxes and voting centers, takes effect. McCarty says they’re planning to add more voting centers for next year’s election.

“Here in Daviess County, we are looking to going back to using schools for voting centers. We are looking at having at least 15 voting center locations,” she described.

Other new laws in effect include education opportunity accounts can be created for families to send their children to non-public schools, but it’s being challenged in court. A senate bill now requires the governor to choose a replacement U.S. Senator out of three candidates from the party holding that seat. Another new law allows for installation of newborn safety devices in police stations, fire stations or hospitals, where a parent can surrender a newborn anonymously if in a crisis. The group Pathway Of Hope in Muhlenberg County is working on installing one at the county 911 center.

It makes it where we are able to put these in our state, to provide an opportunity for women in crisis situations to provide a safe alternative for their newborn,” said Diana Anderson of Pathway of Hope.

Another new law starting raises the amount of felony theft from $500 to $1,000 dollars, and increases the penalty on repeat offenders.

(This story was originally published on June 29, 2021)

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