Most new laws approved during this year’s regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, that was cut short by a week because of COVID-19, will go into effect on Wednesday, July 15.
The Kentucky Constitution specifies that new laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature, which was April 15, unless they have special effective dates, are general appropriation measures, or include emergency clauses that make them effective immediately upon becoming law.
Some of those laws going into effect Wednesday include:
Voters will be asked to show photo identification at the polls starting with the November general election. If a voter does not have a photo ID, they will be able to show another form of ID and affirm, under the penalty of perjury, that they are qualified to vote. The bill allows poll workers to vouch for a voter they know even if that person has no valid ID. People who request mail-in absentee ballots must also provide a copy of a photo ID, or must complete an affirmation that they are qualified to vote. Another provision of SB 2 will provide a free state-issued ID card for individuals who are at least 18 and do not have a valid driver’s license.
People with state-issued personal identification cards will be added to the pool of potential jurors in the county where they live. Currently, the pool draws from driver’s license lists, tax rolls and voter registration lists.
Veterinarians will be allowed to make a report to authorities if they find that an animal under their care has been abused. Veterinarians are currently prohibited by law from reporting abuse of animals under their care unless they have the permission of the animal’s owner or are under a court order.
Distillers, wineries and breweries will be allowed to ship directly to consumers, in and out of Kentucky, once certain regulations are in place. The bill imposes shipping limits of 10 liters of distilled spirits, 10 cases of wine and 10 cases of malt beverages per month. Packages of alcohol will have to be clearly labeled and be signed for by someone 21 or older. They will also prohibit shipping to dry territories, communities where local laws prohibit alcohol sales.
Sex offenders will be prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a publicly leased playground. Sex offenders must already follow these standards for publicly owned parks.
A national anti-human trafficking hotline number will be required to be advertised in airports, truck stops, train stations and bus stations. Posters with the hotline number are currently required in rest areas. The bill also closes a loophole in the state sex offender registry by adding specific human trafficking offenses to the definition of a sex crime.
Starting on August 1, student IDs for middle school, high school and college students must list contacts for national crisis hotlines specializing in domestic violence, sexual assault and suicide prevention.