KY Baptists ‘impact’ 2018 laws on abortion, adoption and more

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The combined efforts of Kentucky Baptists’ legislative agent, Tom Troth, our news service, Kentucky Today, and our state chaplain, Steve Weaver, have created an elevated platform from which to impact state government for the sake of Christ. Here’s a quick review of some of the more significant pieces of legislation passed during the 2018 General Assembly:

1) A bill passed banning an especially barbaric abortion procedure scientifically known as dilatation and evacuation. In English, that means abortionists dismember the unborn baby and bring it out of the womb piece by piece. The procedure was used 537 times in Kentucky in 2016 alone.

2) In a major victory for abused and neglected children, House Bill 1 passed unanimously in the Senate and received only one no vote in House. Now signed into law, this legislation reduces wait times for adoption, creates greater accountability for the Cabinet, removes some of the bureaucracy of the system, and increases pay for social workers, as well as other provisions.

3) Casino supporters thought the financial climate was in their favor for getting an expanded gambling bill through the Legislature. With the pension system for state workers and teachers nearing the point of insolvency, gambling interests made the argument that casinos could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund pensions. Not only would the end result of funds in all likelihood been far less than that, the thinking is in error because the pro-gambling folks didn’t factor in the hundreds of millions of dollars state government would be out for government programs to help families broken by gambling addictions and to help children from those families. Thankfully, none of the proposals gained traction.

4) Medical marijuana proponents also used the argument that taxes from legal sales could help solve the state’s financial problems. Lawmakers wisely saw through that argument and stood their ground. Our KBC Public Affairs Committee has taken the stand that the Food and Drug Administration, not politicians, should be the ones to determine which drugs are legal and permissible.

5) At the 2017 Annual meeting, KBC messengers passed a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment which would enshrine in our state Constitution the rights of victims of crime: 1) to notice of proceedings, 2) to be present, 3) to be heard, 4) to have proceedings free from delay, and 5) to protection from the accused. Marsy’s law was passed early in the session and will appear on the ballot in November. If ratified by the voters, it will become a new section of our Kentucky Constitution.

6) Legislation was enacted to permit prisoners in county jails to participate in religious charitable community-based service projects, such as Habitat for Humanity, if authorized and supervised by the county jailer.

7) Legislation passed that would allow private home school sports teams to participate in public school athletics under certain conditions.

8) On the human/child trafficking front, legislation was passed to make it clear that sex offenders are prohibited from using the internet to gather information or communicate with or about minor children and to prohibit the distribution of sexually exploitive images of children via the internet or otherwise. Laws like these are required to keep up with those who prey on kids in this digital age.

Once again, Kentucky Baptists are making a difference.

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