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Bill Limiting Drone Use Already Filed for Kentucky General Assembly's 2014 Session



A bill has already been pre-filed for the Kentucky General Assembly's 2014 session—and it deals with the use of drones in the state.

Republican state Rep. Diane St. Onge bill limits how unmanned aircraft can be used. It allows U.S. military personnel to use drones in Kentucky for practice purposes. And it also allows drones to be used by law enforcement agencies if they have a specific warrant to do so.

Under St. Onge's bill, all other drone usage would be banned into Kentucky, including general use by law enforcement and corporations. 

The freshman lawmaker from Lakeside Park says she's filing the bill because she's concerned about the threat to civil liberties with frequent drone use. 

"The potential use of this technology as an ever present eye in the sky poses an extreme threat to the privacy of Kentuckians and our rights as Americans," St. Onge says. "We will not tolerate this further invasion by government into the affairs of the people of the Commonwealth. I stand today to fight on behalf of all Kentuckians to protect the intent and integrity of our constitutional rights."

St. Onge is not the first Kentuckian to draw attention to drone use, either domestically or abroad. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul notably filibustered the Obama administration's use of drones and questioned said use in the U.S. weeks ago. 

The 2013 legislative session ended in late March. The 2014 session will likely begin in January.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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