2023 Legislative Session Ends with VICTORIES for Kids & Parents and DISSAPOINTMENTS on Gambling & Marijuana

The 2023 Kentucky Legislative Session came to an end a little past 10 PM last night…and to say it was an extremely busy and eventful last 2 days of the session, with several ups and downs, is an understatement! We are grateful to the Lord for a tremendous victory with SB 150 becoming law after the General Assembly overrode Governor Beshear’s veto of the bill.

With strong protections for parental rights, student privacy, and a ban on harmful “gender transition” interventions on children, SB 150 is one of the strongest bills in the nation protecting children from harmful LGBTQ indoctrination in schools and in medicine. SB 150 is making headlines across Kentucky and the entire nation, from coverage in the New York Times to the LA Times. Not surprisingly, the Leftist media is highly deceptive in how they are covering the bill and portraying the bill’s important protections. A more accurate report that we encourage you to read is from The Washington Stand, the news arm of our national ally at Family Research Council. 

The Family Foundation was proud to play an integral role in getting SB 150 passed, including hosting a rally and press conference at the Capitol before the veto override on Wednesday. 

But it was not all good news. Last night, in highly contested votes that divided the Republican majorities in both chambers, the Kentucky Senate gave final passage to a huge expansion of predatory gambling with the sports betting bill, HB 551, and the House gave final passage to a deeply-flawed bill to legalize “medical” marijuana, SB 47. Both bills were legislative priorities of Gov. Beshear, and the Governor enthusiastically signed both bills into law earlier today.  

Despite these very disappointing setbacks, we are thankful for the important policy victories that were achieved protecting children, empowering parents, and defending religious liberty. We are especially grateful for all the prayers, support, and engagement from our supporters that made a tremendous impact for God-honoring public policy this session!

Below we have put together a short recap of several notable bills. Please stay tuned in the coming month for more analysis, recaps, and other resources, including an updated Kentucky Family Legislative Scorecard. 

  • VICTORY: Passage of Senate Bill 150 — commonsense protections for KY’s children & parents, overriding Governor Beshear’s veto.
    • Protects minors from harmful and irreversible puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery for the purpose of gender “transitioning.” 
    • Protects school children from age-inappropriate LGBT indoctrination and discussions of human sexuality.
    • Protects school children’s privacy and safety by preventing students from using bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms of the opposite biological sex.
    • Upholds the First Amendment rights of teachers and students by preventing compelled use of pronouns that do not match an individual’s biological sex.
    • Requires parental consent prior to mental health surveys being administered to students or the school’s referral to an external health care provider.
    • Recognizes a parent’s right to access their child’s educational and health records, make decisions regarding their upbringing, and prohibits the enactment of policies to withhold student information from parents.

  • VICTORY: Passage of House Bill 547 — religious freedom protections for teachers and other school staff based on Coach Kennedy’s big victory at the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

  • SETBACK: Passage of House Bill 551 — the largest expansion of predatory gambling in the Commonwealth’s history, which turns every smartphone into a mini-casino.

  • SETBACK: Passage of Senate Bill 47 — a deeply flawed bill that legalizes so-called “medical” marijuana and legalizes its use for children & requires schools to allow use on campus!