Senator Charlie Borders

Senator Charlie Borders

The State Senate focused on family issues this week. As a member of the Education Committee, I was pleased to see both Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2 pass with bipartisan support. It is a fact that our students are in a worldwide competition as our nation competes for jobs. We must not fall behind in math and science - two areas that are critical to our future success. SB 1 will help increase the rigor of high school math and science classes by providing funding for increasing the number of schools offering Advanced Placement (AP) courses, the number of existing AP classes, and the number of exams taken by paying the $83 cost of the exam.

Senate Bill 2 will help recruit math and science teachers, historically hard-to-staff areas, particularly for schools with high percentages of students on free- or reduced-price lunch programs. It will provide incentives to those teachers who encourage students, especially those on free- or reduced-lunch programs, to take the higher level math and science classes. In order to succeed as a community, every child, regardless of their background, must be given the opportunity to excel. Both these bills are far-reaching but we must have the courage to try new ideas. Our children deserve no less.

Senate Bill 152 on public employee health insurance also passed on a bipartisan vote. As a matter of public policy, SB 152 provides state employees the opportunity to meet their obligations to pay the medical bills of spouses and dependent children, as recognized by statute. To expand participation in the state-provided health insurance plan beyond the defined legal responsibility as some universities have proposed would be unfair to Kentucky taxpayers by extending a benefit that has never been extended in this state before and diminish the institution of marriage. As Chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, the potential for unlimited health insurance exposure for the state is troubling. SB 152 clarifies who can be a part of the state health insurance pool.

Finally, Senate Bills 3 and 65 will help protect families from sexual predators. SB 3 will require a person convicted of a sex crime who wants to change his/her name to request permission from the trial court. SB 65 will require registered sex offenders to register their online or Internet names with the state. We cannot be too careful with the protection of our families.

Please feel free to contact my office toll-free at 800/372-7181 with any questions or concerns.


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