Every new year brings a new start for many Kentuckians, including lawmakers. 2022 will give Kentucky lawmakers new opportunities to change and improve our state’s laws and make living and working in Kentucky better and safer for all residents.
The first legislative session for 2022 begins on January 4th, 2022. 2021’s legislative sessions were somewhat shorter than normal due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, so it’s anticipated that legislators will come into the new year with strong proposals and plenty of ideas for improvement.
While we do not know all the amendments and laws that will be proposed and may come into effect in 2022 at this time, we know of some Kentucky law changes that we will see, as well as many proposals that will likely see discussion during the first session. Below we have listed just some of the law and bill changes that are currently set to take effect in early 2022 as well as some that we are likely to see proposed and filed, along with notes regarding each.
Extending the Legislative Session
This amendment is currently set to appear on the November 2022 voting ballot. It will eliminate the current legislation adjournment dates and extend the length of legislative sessions by 12 days upon the vote of 3/5 of the membership of each House. If ratified by voters, the specific session end dates will be removed and limit sessions in odd years to 30 days and even years to 60 days. It would also allow the House speaker and Senate president to call on a special legislative session for up to 12 days if the session is called jointly.
Child Support Law Calculations
Effective March 2022, new child support amount guidelines are being put into place. These changes are part of an amendment that went into effect in 2021 and raised the maximum combined monthly adjusted parental gross income used for calculating child support, to keep up with inflation and rising incomes.
The new maximum combined monthly adjusted parental income (defined as the combined monthly gross incomes of both parents) is $30,000 monthly and $360,000 yearly. Previously, the maximums were $15,000 monthly and $180,000 yearly.
Additionally, new adjustments were made to child support obligations based upon parenting time (also taking effect March 2022). The adjustments create a way to calculate child support taking into consideration the proportion of nights each parent or custodian exercises with the minor child or children.
Effective January 1st, 2022, a new act will create a new section in KRS Chapter 99 which allows counties to seek a conservatorship for vacant or abandoned buildings—including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings—which have met certain requirements. To meet this requirement, the building must have remained vacant for at least one year and have had numerous code violations written against it.
Substance Use Diversion Program
Senate Joint Resolution 59, passed in 2021, required the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to create an advisory committee to establish a pilot program to investigate how to fund a diversion program for Kentucky residents with a substance use disorder and have been arrested for substance use disorder-related offenses. The pilot program was named Second Change Pathways to Recovery. It is supposed to start by July 1st, 2022.
Nima Kulkarni, a Kentucky lawmaker, has announced that she is pre-filing a bill to legalize possession, limited sales, and home cultivation of marijuana in Kentucky for the 2022 session. A dual-track approach is being taken with the reform. One bill will ask legislature to adopt the policy as a statutory measure and the other will enact legalization through a constitutional amendment that voters will be able to vote upon.
Looking Ahead in 2022
In addition to the amendments and bills listed above, we will undoubtedly see other amendments and bill proposals as the year gets underway. Some lawmakers are anticipating that this will be a large year in legislation.
At Thomas Law Offices, we pride ourselves on staying current with law changes that affect our clients, potential clients, and local communities. If you have any questions about law or amendment changes that may affect a personal injury case you have filed or are thinking about filing, we encourage you to get in touch with our attorneys today. We can answer any questions you may have about a potential claim.