News briefs from around Kentucky at 1:58 a.m. EST

Friday, February 21, 2014

Senate OKs bill to form adult protection registry

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill aimed at creating an adult protection registry in Kentucky to give more assurances that the elderly and disabled are receiving compassionate care was passed by the state Senate on Thursday.

The registry would list people found to have abused, neglected or exploited vulnerable adults.

Care providers for those adults would have to check the registry to make sure potential employees, contractors and volunteers don’t have a history of abusing the elderly or disabled.

The checks would be with the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, the bill’s lead sponsor, cited the case of a woman in Somerset who said she was beaten routinely by an employee while living in an institution for disabled people. The employee was eventually fired but found another job at a facility caring for vulnerable people, Gregory said.

“It is extremely important that this legislation move forward so we can protect our seniors and our disabled citizens who are most vulnerable from those who would seek to do them harm,” said Gregory, R-Monticello.

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Kentucky Senate OKs concealed guns in bars

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky residents could carry concealed deadly weapons in bars - as long as they don’t drink - under a bill passed by the Kentucky Senate Thursday. The measure still needs approval from the House.

Current state law prohibits concealed firearms from being carried into bars, and opponents of the measure cautioned that the state could see a rise in gun-related violence if it becomes law.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, compared those concerns to similar worries that were expressed before Kentucky passed its concealed-weapons law in 1998.

“Many folks were against it and predicted there would be a lot of problems with all kinds of things,” Schickel said. “Literally, blood running in the streets.”

Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, said that because it would require gun-safety training, “there is a lot to like about this bill.” But he said he would vote against the measure “because we know the danger of guns.”

Of the current law that prohibits loaded guns in bars, Thomas added, “There was a reason that this was the law. Because, as common-sense adults, we know that guns and alcohol don’t mix. It is a prescription for disaster any time you put the two together.”

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