FRANKFORT — Legislation supported by Lincoln County's elected representatives in this year's general session covers a wide variety of topics, from drugs to miscarriages to telephones to funeral directors.
Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, has already had one bill he co-sponsors signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear.
House Bill 7 gave permission to state universities to move forward with funding for millions in capital expansion projects.
Meade said the bill's creators were looking for "as much support as they could get" and he decided it was important for him to support it because so many of his constituents attend Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky.
"That was a pretty easy one (to get passed)," Meade said. "Because everyone was going to be for it."
At the signing of House Bill 7 on Feb. 21, Beshear said the state universities have already identified existing sources of funding for their expansion projects, meaning the bill won't cost taxpayers anything directly.
Meade is also co-sponsoring a bill with personal meaning to him.
House Bill 127, known as the Early Fetal Death Certificate Bill, would create the ability to apply for and receive a death certificate from the state in cases where a fetus has not reached 20 weeks of gestation.
Currently, Meade said no such certificate is even an option for women who miscarry early in their pregnancies.
Meade said his family has experienced first-hand dealing with a miscarriage.
"It's kind of a personal thing for people and it's a very emotional time," he said. "Really, this is just a way to give closure to these types of things."
Another bill Meade is co-sponsoring attempts to prevent government burdening a person's freedom of religion.
Meade said House Bill 279 was drafted in response to concerns that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, would require employers to pay for health insurance premiums that cover abortions.
While the bill intends to allow organizations like the Catholic Church to opt out of health insurance requirements, the wording is much broader and addresses freedom of religion in general, Meade said.
A bill that would protect child custody arrangements when one of the parents is deployed by the military is another bill Meade has on his plate.
House Bill 69 would require that when someone who has been deployed returns home, the custody arrangement in place when they left would be reinstated.
"The judges shouldn't be awarding custody when somebody's not there to defend themselves, anyway," Meade said.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, said one of the bills he supports is Senate Bill 43, which would remove or reduce an 18-month waiting period on physician assistants.
The specifics of the law are complex and technical, but under current law, Carpenter said doctors like Stanford's Dr. Naren James are having a hard time keeping physician assistants because the waiting period prevents them from earning more money.
Physician assistants can currently earn potentially twice as much money if they leave Kentucky instead of abiding the waiting period, Carpenter said.