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2019 Committee Appointments

2019 Committee Appointments

Earlier today I was informed of my committee appointments, which are organized every other year along with caucus and Senate leadership. As we head toward the 2019 Regular Session, my committee obligations have not changed. I’ve enjoyed serving on each committee below and look forward to continuing that service in January.

  • Agriculture (S), Member

  • Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice (S), Liaison Member

  • Capital Planning Advisory Board, Member

  • Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee, Member

  • Judiciary (S), Chair

  • NR & Energy (S), Member

  • Program Review, Member

  • Tobacco Settlement, Member

  • Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection (S), Member

As always, if you have any questions or if I can be of service to you or your family, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee

Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee

Over the course of the 2017 interim period a bipartisan working group of House members met several times to hear from stakeholder groups about issues related to Kentucky’s adoption and foster care processes.  I was fortunate to “audit” some of those meetings as an interested member of the Senate.  When the 2018 session began the working group’s end product became House Bill 1, which ultimately passed one vote short of unanimously.

HB1 contained a number of critical changes to the child welfare process for foster care and adoption, including imposing new timelines and restrictions to prevent cases from lingering overlong on court dockets and getting stranded in the inboxes of the state’s bureaucracy.  The bill also creates a new Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee and I am honored to be named as a member by the Senate President:

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Office of Senator Whitney Westerfield

For Immediate ReleaseJune 8, 2018

Contact: John Cox


Senate President Stivers appoints Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield to the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 8, 2018) – Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers announced Thursday the appointment of Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville) to the  Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee. The newly-formed committee was created in statute with the recent passage of House Bill 1 from the 2018 Legislative Session.

House Bill (HB) 1 gives more rights to foster parents by cutting red tape and reducing regulatory burdens associated with adopting a child in Kentucky. The Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee was created by HB 1 to review, analyze, and provide oversight on child welfare, including but not limited to foster care, adoption, and child abuse, neglect, and dependency.

“As an adoptive parent, I understand the challenges and anxieties associated with Kentucky’s adoption process,” Senator Westerfield said. “I look forward to applying my experience in the courtroom and as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman to the child welfare process where too often children fall through the cracks. I was proud to carry House Bill 1 in the Senate, I am proud to serve on this committee, and I am anxious to get to work to further improve our adoption and foster care programs in the Commonwealth.”

A meeting schedule for the Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee is expected to be announced in the near future. For more information on the committee, please visit For the full text of HB 1, please visit


See How It Works

As I have written about before, the legislative process has two important components: in-session and interim periods. We learn a great deal about proposed legislation during session, and we hear various bills for passage and ultimate signature by the Governor. But we also learn an enormous amount during interim periods.

Interim Meeting 1

With the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex serving as host, the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary traveled to the region on Friday for its first meeting following this year’s legislative session.

February 21 - Agenda



February 21, 2013 - Meeting No. 3

  1. Call to order and roll call.
  2. Presentation by Dr. Nora Volkow – Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institutes of Health
  3. Senate Bill 67 – AN ACT relating to persons incompetent to stand trial. Sen. S. Gregory Amend KRS 186.560 to prohibit a person found incompetent to stand trial from operating a motor vehicle in Kentucky during the period of the person's incompetency.
  4. Senate Bill 78 – AN ACT relating to the Crime Victims Compensation Board. Sen. S. GregoryAmend KRS 216B.400 to require that a medical exam of a crime victim has to occur within twelve months of the medical provider's application to receive reimbursement; amend KRS 346.040 to permit the Crime Victims Compensation Board to negotiate a binding settlement for recoverable expenses with the provider after a claim has been filed; create a new section of KRS Chapter 346 to provide that debt collection actions against crime victims, where the debt incurred is related to a recoverable claim through the board, shall cease pending action by the board and establish procedures; amend KRS 346.130 to permit the use of court records to establish the occurrence and reporting of criminal conduct and permit an award for loss of earnings or support if due to the crime and provide that the award shall be equal to net earnings at the time of the crime; amend KRS 346.140 to add donations made on behalf of a victim to the listing of offsets to be made against awards; amend KRS 532.162 to provide that if a court orders a defendant to pay restitution for criminal conduct, that reimbursement may be directed to the Crime Victims Compensation Board as appropriate; repeal KRS 346.190, relating to reciprocal agreements with other states.
  5. Senate Bill 84 – AN ACT relating to persons transporting prisoners. Sen. J. Schickel Amend KRS 71.065 to authorize a county in which there in no jail and the jailer has been appointed as a transportation officer to employ additional persons with peace officer authority to assist the jailer.
  1. Senate Bill 122 – AN ACT relating to reorganization. Sen. R. Palmer II Amend KRS 196.026 to create the Division of Parole and Victim Services and the Division of Substance Abuse Programming within the Department of Corrections and abolish the Division of Frankfort Career Development Center; amend KRS 439.320 to abolish the position of executive director of the Parole Board; amend KRS 196.701 and 196.702 to conform; repeal and reenact KRS 439.562 to establish the Kentucky Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision and define its membership and duties; amend KRS 317.420 and 317A.020, relating to the practice of barbering and cosmetology, to exclude the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Corrections from those provisions; amend KRS 15.315 to add three members, ex officio, to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council; amend KRS 15A.020 to abolish the Office of Investigations within the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and transfer those functions to the Office of Legal Services; amend KRS 12.020 to conform; confirm Executive Order 2012-560.
  2. Senate Bill 124 – AN ACT relating to city police. Sen. C. Girdler Amend KRS 95.015 to extend the jurisdiction of police in cities of the sixth class to the entire county, the same as in cities of the other classes.
  3. Senate Bill 141 – AN ACT relating to domestic relations. Sen. B. Smith Create a new section of KRS Chapter 403 defining "safe child drop-off areas" and allowing the courts to require exchanges of child custody to take place in such areas.
  4. Senator Concurrent Resolution 123 - Sen. D. Seum Direct the staff of the Legislative Research Commission to study the current statutory, regulatory, and procedural barriers to immediate notification of the Division of Probation and Parole when supervisees are arrested; alternative methods for notification and the associated costs of each method, including start-up and recurring costs; the necessary participation and cooperation of other appropriate agencies and the Administrative Office of the Courts in developing and implementing the notification system; report findings to the appropriate committee or committees by November 1, 2013.

10. Adjournment.