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This week at the State Capitol



 FRANKFORT – Although the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2020 session reached its halfway point this week, much more than half of the workload of this session likely lies ahead.

 After seven weeks of legislative activity, hundreds of bills have moved closer to becoming law, although fewer than ten have reached the governor’s desk to be signed. That’s typical at this point in a session. It’s likely that the pace will progressively increase in the days ahead and that the number of bills sent to the governor’s desk could exceed 100 by the time the legislative veto recess begins in early April.

 One of the lengthiest legislative debates so far this year was held on Thursday as members of the House considered – and ultimately approved – a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky. Under an amendment added to the bill, qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana would include chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and nausea or vomiting.

 If House Bill 136 becomes law, the measure would establish policies for the cultivation, processing, sale, distribution and use of medical marijuana. Patients who qualify to receive a registry card to obtain medical marijuana would not be able to use the medicine in a form that could be smoked. They wouldn’t be allowed to grow marijuana at home either. Local governments would be able to prevent dispensaries from locating in their areas, if they choose.

 The bill was approved by the House on a 65-30 vote on Thursday. It now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

 In other business this week, lawmakers cast votes on numerous other measures, including bills on the following topics:

 Diabetes. House Bill 12 would limit patient costs for a 30-day supply of insulin to $100. The legislation was approved by the House 92-0 on Wednesday and now goes to the Senate.

 Marsy’s Law. A measure to add a crime victims’ “bill of rights” to the state constitution was approved by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. Senate Bill 15—widely known as Marsy’s Law— would specify in the state constitution that crime victims have the certain rights, including the right to be notified about court proceedings, the right to reasonable protection from the accused, and the right to be heard in hearings. If approved by the full Senate and the House, the measure would be decided on by Kentucky voters this fall.

 Lawmakers considered Marsy’s Law legislation two years ago and approved the measure, which sent it before the states’ voters in the form of a proposed amendment to the state constitution. Though a majority of Kentucky voters cast votes in favor of Marsy’s Law, the Supreme Court invalidated the measure with a ruling that said the voti