LIST: How key bills did in the 2023 Kentucky legislature

Kentucky lawmakers file dozens of bills each year, have hearings on them and vote on the measures at various stages.

Kentucky's 2023 legislative session ended March 30. Here's how things played out.

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House Bill 1 (tax cuts)

Sponsor: Rep. Brandon Reed, R-Hodgenville

What it does: HB 1 would drop the state's individual income tax rate from 4.5% to 4% beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

Status: Signed into law.

More: What you need to know about the bill to cut Kentucky's income tax

House Bill 3 (juvenile justice)

Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville

What it does: HB 3 allocates millions of dollars to retrofit and operate a youth detention facility in Louisville, along with making a few other changes as to how Kentucky's juvenile justice system works.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 191 (Louisville Metro Council)

Sponsor: Rep. Jared Bauman, R-Louisville

What it does: HB 191 would change how vacancies on Louisville's Metro Council are filled.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 200 (health care shortage)

Sponsor: Rep. Ken Fleming, R-Louisville

What it does: HB 200 would set up a fund to invest in health care workforce development through providing scholarships to eligible students.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 319 (teacher shortage)

Sponsor: Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville

What it does: Aimed at beginning to tackle Kentucky's teacher shortage, HB 319 would require districts to conduct exit surveys with employees leaving the profession and for a state entity to review alternative pathways to teaching and identify barriers to certification.

It would also launch a statewide job posting system and temporarily continue a pandemic-era change allowing classified staff, like instructional aides, to cover classes in place of a certified teacher.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 538 (student discipline)

Sponsor: Rep. Timmy Truett, R-McKee

What it does: HB 538 allows school leaders to craft policies determining when disruptive kids can be removed from class. Principals can move disruptive students to a different classroom or, with the superintendent's permission, to an alternative school. The bill doesn't require districts to build either concept into their behavior policies, though.

The bill previously allowed educators to kick students out of class if they're being disruptive, but the Senate removed that provision.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 551 (sports betting)

Sponsor: Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland

What it does: HB 551 would legalize, regulate and tax sports betting in Kentucky, allowing horse racing tracks and the Kentucky Speedway to be licensed as sports betting facilities and allowing bets on licensed websites and phone apps. The bill would enact an excise tax of 9.75% on the adjusted gross revenue of sports wagers placed at tracks, and 14.25% on online wagers.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 594 (gray machines)

Sponsor: Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Lexington

What it does: HB 594 would ban "gray machines" or "skill games," which are video games resembling slot machines that offer cash payouts and are proliferating in stores and clubs in Kentucky. The bill would implement a $25,000 fine for operating illegal devices.

Status: Signed into law.

Senate Bill 47 (medical marijuana)

Sponsor: Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris

What it does: SB 47 would make medical marijuana legal in Kentucky.

Status: Signed into law.

More: Expensive fight over slots-like 'gray machines' looms in Kentucky legislature

Senate Bill 150 (omnibus anti-trans)

Sponsor: Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville

What it does: SB 150 bans gender-affirming care for trans youths; restricts lessons about sex, sexual orientation and gender identity; allows teachers to misgender their students and requires schools implement "bathroom bans."

Status: Veto overridden by the legislature, now law.

Senate Bill 156 (reading center)

Sponsor: Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris

What it does: After a Courier Journal investigation into why Kentucky kids struggle to read, SB 156 would set a process to find a new entity to run the state's reading center and require that organization to update lawmakers on their impact on state reading and writing test scores.

A surprise and short-lived attempt to add a section to SB 156 requiring Jefferson County Public Schools to undergo an audit and potentially split into multiple districts failed and is not part of the final bill.

Status: Signed into law.

Between the Lines: An investigation into why Kentucky's kids can't read

Senate Bill 162 (juvenile justice)

Sponsor: Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Benton

What it does: SB 162 calls for a series of changes to the state's struggling juvenile justice system, including providing mental health support for detained youths and creating a comprehensive data system. A committee substitute to the bill would add roughly $45 million of appropriations to improve the Department of Juvenile Justice's facilities, operations and staffing.

Status: Signed into law.

House Bill 153 (federal gun laws)

Sponsor: Rep. Josh Bray, R-Mount Vernon

What it does: HB 153 would prohibit local law enforcement from enforcing federal firearm regulations, such as a recent ATF rule on stabilization braces that convert pistols into rifles. The bill would declare Kentucky as a Second Amendment sanctuary state. A similar bill passed the House last year and was not taken up in the Senate.

Status: Became law without Beshear's signature.

More: Lawmakers pass bill to make Kentucky a '2nd Amendment Sanctuary'

Senate Bill 5 (parent complaints)

Sponsor: Sen. Jason Howell, R-Murray

What it does: SB 5 would require school districts to create a process to handle parent complaints about things like library books and educational materials.

Status: Became law without Beshear's signature.

More: 'Obscene' book bill passes Kentucky House unchanged despite plea for more 'parents' rights'


House Bill 17 (full-day kindergarten)

Sponsor: Rep. Timmy Truett, R-McKee

What it does: HB 17 would require the state to fund full-day kindergarten, rather than only paying for half-day.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 58 (conscience bill)

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Rawlings, R-Burlington

What it does: HB 58 is a "conscience bill" that would allow medical professionals, insurance companies and health care facilities to refuse to do or cover non-emergency services they believe violates their conscience. This could especially impact transgender individuals' requests for gender-affirming care.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 82 (dyslexia policy)

Sponsor: Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville.

What it does: Kentucky currently allows but does not require school districts to have policies on how to identify and teach students with dyslexia. HB 82 would start requiring such policies, along with having teacher prep programs at colleges teach future educators about dyslexia.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 118 (concealed carry age)

Sponsor: Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge

What it does: HB 118 would drop the age to carry a concealed weapon from 21 to 18.

Status: Dead.

More: Kentucky lawmaker wants to expand concealed carry laws, including guns at schools

House Bill 138 (gun-free zones)

Sponsor: Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge

What it does: HB 138 would roll back some gun-free zone provisions, allowing concealed weapons in local government buildings, college campuses and public K-12 schools.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 162 (conversion therapy ban)

Sponsor: Rep. Lisa Willner, D-Louisville

What it does: HB 162 would prohibit mental health professionals from trying to change a client's sexual orientation or gender identity - better known as conversion therapy.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 174 (school choice amendment)

Sponsor: Rep. Josh Calloway, R-Irvington

What it does: HB 174 would put a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot so voters can decide whether public funds should be allowed to follow students to private schools.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 300

Sponsor: Rep. Emily Callaway, R-Louisville

What it does: HB 300 would open people up to criminal charges for receiving an illegal abortion.

Status: Dead.

More: Abortion could be prosecuted as a homicide under a new Kentucky bill

House Bill 470 (omnibus anti-trans)

Sponsor: Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy

What it does: An amended version of HB 470 would essentially end all gender-affirming medical treatments for anyone under 18. Health care providers who provide gender transition services would risk losing their licenses.

Anyone under 18 couldn't legally change their name or birth certificate if it is tied to transitioning.

A Senate version of the bill added the language of Senate Bill 150, which allows teachers to misgender their students. It also prohibits conversation about sexual orientation or gender identity in school, requires districts to have bathroom policies and puts restrictions on human sexuality lessons.

Status: Dead.

House Bill 525 (gray machines)

Sponsor: Rep. Steven Doan, R-Erlanger

What it does: HB 525 would regulate and tax "gray machines" or "skill games," which are video games resembling slot machines that offer cash payouts and are proliferating in stores and clubs in Kentucky. The bill would enact a 6% tax on the gross profits of the games

Status: Dead.

House Bill 569 (abortion exceptions)

Sponsor: Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville

What it does: HB 569 would add exceptions to Kentucky's abortion law, allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest, in situations where the fetus couldn't survive outside the womb and up to 15 weeks.

Status: Dead.

Senate Bill 50 (partisan local races)

Sponsor: Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown

What it does: Some down-ballot, local races like for school board and city council are nonpartisan. SB 50, along with its twin bill in the House, would make such races partisan.

Status: Dead.

Senate Bill 91 (abortion exceptions)

Sponsor: Sen. Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville

What it does: SB 91 would change the state's abortion law to include exceptions for rape and incest.

Status: Dead.

Senate Bill 115 (anti-drag)

Sponsor: Sen. Lindsey Tichenor, R-Smithfield

What it does: An amended version of SB 115 prohibits drag shows from being held in publicly owned spaces or in the presence of children. Performers who violate the rules would be subject to criminal charges.

A previous version of the legislation sought to implement a series of restrictions as to where several adult-oriented businesses and any place offering drag shows can be. As initially written, virtually no drag shows would be able to exist in Louisville.

Status: Dead.

Senate Bill 118 (abortion amendment)

Sponsor: Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Fruit Hill

What it does: SB 118 would try again to put a constitutional amendment on abortion on Kentucky's ballot. This time, voters would say the Constitution doesn't guarantee a right to abortion but would allow lawmakers to consider legislation with exceptions for things like rape or incest.

Status: Dead.

Reach Olivia Krauth at and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth. Reach reporter Joe Sonka at and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky legislature: Key bills to watch from the General Assembly