Politics & Government

Senate plans its own Boni Bill

FRANKFORT - The Senate plans to offer its own version of a bill designed to improve social worker safety.

Budget committee chairman Charlie Borders, R-Grayson, said staff were working on a revised version of the bill that may be voted on as early as today.

"One of the key things will be from the security aspect," Borders said. "Is the security what it needs to be? Can we do more?"

The bill is named after Boni Frederick, a Henderson social worker aide who was killed while supervising a visit between a toddler and his biological mother.

The bill will be heard today or Friday, Borders said.

As it passed the House, the bill would allow the state to hire more than 100 social workers and staff, and create visitation centers around the state for foster children and their parents. It appropriates $4.8 million to allow the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to make those changes, among others.

Cervical cancer vaccine

While the Boni Bill appears likely to move forward in some form, a House bill dealing with vaccinations against cervical cancer is dead, and a bill requiring the use of booster seats has stalled because of opposition.

House Bill 345, which requires middle school girls to be vaccinated against a virus that causes cervical cancer, will not be heard in the Senate, Borders said. The bill, which passed the House two weeks ago, is assigned to his committee.

"This is something we need to take a long, hard look at because obviously we we need to prevent cancer anytime we can," Borders said.

Borders said he had concerns about making the vaccine, which prevents the human papilloma virus, mandatory and questions about how long the immunization would last. He said there wasn't time to address those issues during this session.

Booster-seat bill

House Bill 53, which requires children between the ages of 4 and 8 and less than 57 inches tall to ride in a booster seat, has not been heard by the Senate Transportation Committee because of disagreement over whether it should pass, said Sen. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, who chairs the committee.

Those who opposed the bill don't like the government telling parents what to do, Guthrie said. No decision has been made on the bill.

"Obviously, in the next day or two, we have to decide, but there's still opportunities for it to pass."

The bill has passed the Democratic-controlled House four times, but the measure has never gotten out of committee in the Republican-controlled Senate.