Kentucky lawmakers close in on budget deal, continue to advance education bills
March 03, 2021
State lawmakers are hammering out the final details of a new budget proposal, and a number of education-related bills remain on the move as the Kentucky General Assembly heads into the final weeks of this year's legislative session.
Both chambers look to pass a budget bill by March 16, which would provide lawmakers enough time to override any vetoes from Gov. Andy Beshear.
Meanwhile, lawmakers have filed more than 880 bills this session, and several related to postsecondary education are pressing forward. Here's a breakdown of some of the measures that are advancing:
- Senate Bill 8, which would provide broad exemptions for COVID-19 vaccinations, has already advanced off the Senate floor and now heads to House committee. The measure would allow anyone with conscientious objections or a doctor's recommendation to opt out of immunization mandates.
- Senate Bill 135, which would update Kentucky's performance funding model for higher education, has passed out of the Senate and has been approved by the House Education Committee. Specifically, it would eliminate any redistribution of base funding between public universities and apply the performance model only to new funding from the legislature.
- Senate Bill 128 would allow high school students to request an extra year of school while still maintaining eligibility for college athletics and other programs. The bill has advanced out of the Senate. Estimates indicate that 3% to 10% of students might request a supplemental year of high school, lowering this year's graduating class.
- House Bill 145, which would require public colleges and universities to adopt a standard disciplinary code for all students, has won approval in House and advanced to the Senate.
- House Bill 253 would require high school students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in order to graduate. The measure has passed out of House committee.
- House Bill 258 would create a hybrid pension plan for newly hired teachers in the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. So far, the measure has advanced off the House floor and is under consideration in the Senate.
- House Bill 383 would create the Better Kentucky Promise Scholarship, an effort proposed by Beshear to provide "last dollar" assistance for nearly 6,300 Kentuckians to complete a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. The measure would expand on the current Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship and has passed out of the House Education Committee.
Last Updated: 7/23/2021