2018 New Kentucky Legislation

2018 New Kentucky Legislation

The following is a summary of new legislation of interest to law enforcement enacted by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly. Unless otherwise indicated, new statutes are effective as of July 14, 2018. A full summary of all new legislation is available on the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training website.


Senate Bill 3: Crime Victim Rights
The following is a proposed Kentucky Constitutional Amendment question that will be on the ballot in November.

“Are you in favor of providing constitutional rights to victims of crime, including the right to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and the right to be informed and to have a voice in the judicial process?”

Senate Bill 30: Crime Victim Rights
This is a companion statute to Senate Bill 3 and will take effect only if Senate Bill 3 is ratified in November. It serves to make the Constitutional Amendment an operational law.


Senate Bill 19: Sex Offenses
This bill increases the penalty for sex crimes against a victim with an intellectual disability to second-degree rape/sodomy and to first-degree sexual abuse.

Senate Bill 57: Terrorism
This bill adds definitions to KRS 411 and civil liability for acts of terrorism. It establishes terrorism as a capital offense, and KRS 525 and allows for forfeiture of real and personal property to satisfy a civil judgment.

Senate Bill 109: Sex Offenses
This bill adds “any body part” to the definition of deviate sexual intercourse – in addition to a foreign object, and to the definition of sexual intercourse.

Senate Bill 210: Felon In Possession
This bill increases penalties for felon in possession under KRS 527.

House Bill 70: Sex Offenders
This bill defines Electronic Communications (KRS 17.546) and prohibits a sex-offender registrant from using electronic communication to communicate with, or gather information about, a minor (provided that is part of the sentence or the subjects are the parent of that minor).

House Bill 71: Private Erotic Matter
This bill creates a new crime of distributing sexually-explicit images without consent.

House Bill 120: Child Pornography
This bill adds provisions to KRS 531 that child pornography, or related evidence, shall remain in the custody of law enforcement or a prosecutor, rather than with the court, unless used as a trial exhibit. It denies the defense the right to make a copy of above material (although it must be made available for their use).

House Bill 169: Gangs
EMERGENCY - This bill adds new penalties for crimes committed by a person acting as a member of a criminal gang and for recruitment. It is titled the “Gang Violence Prevention Act.” It also encourages creation of a statewide gang-violence prevention database.

House Bill 193: Bodily Fluids
This bill adds all peace officers to third-degree assault regarding bodily-fluid exchange, under specific circumstances. It allows misdemeanor citations outside the officer’s presence, again under specific circumstances.

House Bill 101: Sexual Offenses
This bill adds to the Lack of Consent provision (KRS 510.020) and Defense (KRS 510.030) that a victim of 16 or 17 years old cannot consent to sex with an actor at least 10 years older. It further creates new charges for this conduct under rape (.060) and sodomy (.090).

House Bill 324: Trespass
This bill creates the new crime of trespass on key infrastructure assets.


Senate Bill 116: Motor Vehicles
This bill permits the use of a two-truck platoon, with pre-approved plan and markings.

Senate Bill 182: Motor Vehicles
This bill incorporates federal all-terrain vehicle standards into state law. It prohibits children younger than 6 from operating an ATV, even under supervision, and prohibits minors younger than 16 from having passengers on an ATV.

House Bill 33: Bicycles
This bill provides a process for passing bicycles and requires a three-foot buffer between vehicles and bicycles when possible. It also allows a vehicle to cross a no-passing zone line to pass a bicycle, if it can be done safely. It limits bicycles to two abreast on a single highway lane unless in a bicycle lane.

House Bill 530: Vanity Plates
This bill changes expiration dates for vanity vehicle plates to birth month, like regular plates.


Senate Bill 133: Pregnant Inmates
This bill limits handcuffing for pregnant inmates to solely being restrained in front of her body unless extenuating circumstances apply. It adds a provision for filing for protective orders at shelters.


House Bill 22: Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles
This bill creates a new chapter of KRS 500 relating to the use of UAVs. Among other issues, it limits the use of UAVs by law enforcement to do a search unless a warrant is obtained. However, they may be used for other legitimate governmental purposes. It denies the use of evidence collected under some circumstances. The bill also creates a crime under KRS 501 for offenses committed with a UAV, and under KRS 525 to interfere with the use of a UAV by an emergency responder.

Finally, it creates a definition under KRS 446 for a UAV. The bill is entitled the “Citizens’ Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”


House Bill 68: Law Enforcement Health And Wellness
EMERGENCY - This bill mandates the Department of Criminal Justice Training create a Law Enforcement Professional Development and Wellness Program, which includes the Post-Critical Incident Seminars.

House Bill 373: Body-Worn Cameras
This bill makes changes to open-records law concerning release (or non-release) of body-worn camera recordings.

House Bill 185: Death Benefits
This bill changes benefits for surviving spouses/children in a line-of-duty death occurrence and allows beneficiaries to maintain insurance benefits. It is retroactive, effective January 1, 2017. This bill is named in honor of officers Nick Rodman and Scotty Hamilton.

House Bill 140: Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund/ Police Officers Bill Of Rights
This bill amends the definition of peace officers in KRS 15.410 (KLEFPF) and increases the annual supplement to $4,000. It changes KRS 15.520 as well.


Senate Bill 144: Sheriff Audits
This bill allows for a change in the process for sheriff’s audits.

House Bill 275: Special Deputies
This bill allows some sheriffs to appoint more special deputies.

House Bill 84: Coroners
This bill provides guidance for coroners with respect to organ donation.

House Bill 96: Fire Investigators
Delayed Enactment 1/1/2019

This bill creates the positions of “certified fire investigator” and “fire investigator.” It authorizes some firefighters serving as fire investigators to attend training through DOCJT.


House Bill 148: Controlled Substances
This bill shifts control of controlled substances for patients to hospice providers rather than individuals.

House Bill 213: Kasper
This bill allows greater sharing of KASPER data with other jurisdictions.

House Bill 167: Newborn Safety
This bill adds staffed police stations (and other public safety locations) to the list of locations where a newborn may be safely surrendered.


Senate Bill 130: University
This bill brings campus crime reporting into line with current federal law (CLERY ACT).

Senate Bill 137: Rules Of Evidence
This bill creates a new rule of evidence to protect child witnesses (younger than 12) in testifying in court.

Senate Bill 142: Telephone Cpr
This bill institutes Telephone CPR as a requirement in basic training for telecommunicators and requires all Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to use it, or have an agreement with one that does use it.

Senate Bill 181: Sex Offender Registry
This bill changes information required from registrants.

House Bill  1: Child Welfare
This bill limits the use of parental testimony in some situations.

House Bill  74: Pawnbrokers
This bill mandates keeping an online log accessible to law enforcement. It mandates collection of certain identification from those pawning or selling articles and requires a photo (in some cases) and descriptive information of items pawned or sold, to be available to law enforcement. Finally, it requires law enforcement to provide a case report or documentation for stolen items before seizure of such property.

New Commissioner, Same Values at DOCJT

New Commissioner, Same Values at DOCJT

2017 Overdose Fatality Report Released

2017 Overdose Fatality Report Released