This week in Frankfort, the Senate passed key pieces of legislation that help our students and school districts, provide economic development and give law enforcement time-saving investigation procedures.
Senate Bill 16 allows computer programming to meet foreign language requirements in public school. Currently, Kentucky high school students must complete two courses in a foreign language. Giving the option to treat computer language as a foreign language allows students the flexibility to learn a very marketable skill, and work toward graduation at the same time. With this measure, universities and community colleges could accept these courses as fulfilling entrance requirements.
Computer programming is a growing field as technology continues to expand in all areas of life. Also, the salaries in this field are very competitive. Opening the requirements to computer programming will give more control to our students, open opportunities for teachers and school districts and create a more career-ready and college-ready student.
Affecting school districts in another way, Senate Bill 55 ensures that Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding cannot be withheld as a punitive measure.
Another measure that passed, Senate Bill 45, gives law enforcement a more efficient way to work during criminal investigation. This legislation allows search warrants to be processed electronically saving time and man power during an investigation.
I also want to reiterate an important piece of legislation that is a top priority of our caucus. Senate Bill 1 addresses a need for checks and balances when it comes to legislation and regulations. Currently, if the General Assembly passes a law, the intent of that law can be changed with regulations enacted by a sitting governor and the legislature has no power to review or stop them. So Senate Bill 1 is a constitutional amendment that gives legislature power to stop such regulations. The legislature makes the laws; the executive branch carries them out. This is an important separation of powers.
I invite you to come to Frankfort for hearings of interest to you. Citizens are always welcome in our committee meetings. You can also view live-streaming and archived coverage of legislative proceedings at www.ket.org.