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New laws take effect next week




New laws approved during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2007 session go into effect on June 26.

Among the measures slated to take effect that day are laws that will raise the minimum wage, make human trafficking a felony and give the Transportation Cabinet authority to raise speed limits on interstate highways and parkways.

The Kentucky Constitution says that legislation approved by the General Assembly goes into effect as state law 90 days after a legislative session ends, unless a bill specifies a different effective date or contains an emergency clause that makes it effective as soon as it is signed by the governor.

New laws going into effect next week include measures on the following issues:

Bluegrass music. House Bill 71 will designate bluegrass music as the official state music of Kentucky.

Deceptive business practices. HB 246 will prohibit flower shops from misrepresenting their business locations in telephone directories.

Human trafficking. SB 43 takes aim at human trafficking by making it a felony in Kentucky to force someone into labor, domestic work or the sex trade.

Jury duty. SB 111 will allow a mother who is breastfeeding a child to be excused from jury duty.

License plates. HB 390 will eliminate all fees for special Gold Star Mothers license plates that are available to mothers who lost a son or daughter in service to the United States.

Minimum Wage. HB 305 will increase the current minimum wage of $5.15 by $2.10 over the next two years. The legislation requires that the state’s minimum wage increase to $5.85 on June 26; $6.55 on July 1, 2008; and $7.25 on July 1, 2009. If the federal minimum wage is increased beyond the amounts called for in HB 305, Kentucky’s minimum wage will mirror the federal level.

Military burial. HB 280 will require that a funeral director involved in arrangements for a deceased veteran provide a fact sheet stating military burial rights.

School bus safety. HB 230 will prohibit school bus drivers from using cell phones while transporting students.

Speed limits. SB 83 will allow the Transportation Cabinet to increase the speed limits on interstates and parkways in Kentucky to 70 miles per hour in areas where it is determined that vehicles can travel safely at that speed.

Veterans’ families. HB 128 will expand the eligibility for education benefits available to family members of deceased or disabled veterans.


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