Honoring a life lost too soon
by Stan Humphries, Kentucky Senator, District One
Mar 12, 2014 | 215 215 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This week in a committee meeting of the Veterans, Military and Public Protection Committee, I testified for a bill to change the title of a statute addressing campus safety standards to honor the life of Michael Minger by naming it the Michael Minger Life Safety Act. Minger was a student at Murray State University when he tragically died in an arson fire in 1998. Michael Minger’s family, specifically his mother Gail, continues to work diligently to address fire safety standards and other protection methods for all students attending our state colleges and universities.

I welcomed Mrs. Minger to the floor of the Senate on Thursday and shared her story with the chamber. It is an inspiration to see how this family has worked throughout our state to address these important issues, setting up a foundation in Michael’s name, and advocating for fire safety on all college campuses.

Like last week, the work on the floor of the Senate centered on cleaning up statutory language, fixing some areas of recent laws, and restricting youth access to e-cigarettes. Wednesday was a date of historical significance. During the brisk morning, many lawmakers joined thousands of Kentuckians gathered along Capitol Avenue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Frankfort. It was a cold and blustery March 5, 1964, when Dr. King led 10,000 others in a march up to the front door of our Capitol in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

Addressing access to nicotine products by our youth, Senate Bill 109 passed the Senate. This would prohibit the sale of “electronic cigarettes” to minors. E-cigarettes are sometimes marketed as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes because they are smokeless. But they still emit a vaporized form of nicotine to users that is reportedly addictive and unsafe for youth.

A measure that would help the real estate industry, Senate Bill 36, reduces the time period for the right of redemption of real property from one year to six months. After researching the issue, no cases of redemption after six months could be found. This legislation helps purchasers rehabilitate and sell these properties rather than leaving them empty and vulnerable to crime, vandalism, and other misuse that not only hurts the value of the property, but those in its vicinity. SB 36 passed the Senate Wednesday.

A few bills regarding the “conceal and carry a deadly weapon” (CCDW) license process also received passage this week. Senate Bill 100 speeds up CCDW licensing by a simple measure; allowing electronic applications for licensure and license renewal. This will take advantage of modern technology and make the licensing process more efficient. The convenience of the electronic application will cost the applicant an additional $10, but if the applicant does not want to pay that, the paper application will remain available at the current cost.

To address personal protection of those under threat of violence, Senate Bill 106 would permit a person protected by an EPO or DVO to be issued a temporary CCDW for the period of the protective order. A background check by the State Police will have to be conducted, and the recipient will have to receive training within 45 days in order for the provision to convert to a full CCDW license.

In an effort to make the CCDW application process more straightforward for veterans, Senate Bill 125 further clarifies allowing honorably discharged service members to forgo the training requirement for a CCDW license. The measure would allow them to sign an affidavit confirming completion of military handgun training. These men and women have served and defended our Commonwealth and nation and have proven they can safely and responsibly handle weapons outside the military.

Outside of the Senate chamber, the members and staff of the Majority Caucus have been busy reviewing the budget situation in preparation for receipt of the House’s budget bill. Even though we do not have an actual piece of legislation to work with at this time, we still anticipate certain requests and appropriations, will be ready to review it thoroughly, and make any and all necessary adjustments in a timely manner when the bill comes out of the House.

Please continue to contact me with your issues and concerns. You may call my office in Frankfort at 800-372-7181 or e-mail me at Stan.Humphries@lrc.ky.gov. You can also follow the work of our caucus on twitter at @kysenategop. I appreciate your time and input.

Senator Stan Humphries (R-Cadiz) represents the 1st District including Calloway, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon and Trigg Counties. He is the Co-Chairman of the Capital Planning Advisory Board, Chairman of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education, as well as the Vice-Chairman of both the Education Committee and the State and Local Government Committee. He is a member of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and the Agriculture Committee.
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