Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
March 12, 2003
On February 4, the General Assembly began the second part of the 2003 Session, which will adjourn on March 25. With two legislative days remaining, there are many bills of interest and concern to the conservation and environmental community whose fate will be decided in the upcoming weeks.
This alert discusses only the fate of those bills that were included in the last update as still having the potential to pass. A final update identifying environment and general government bills as enacted will follow the March 24-25 veto days, when the General Assembly adjourns until January 2004.
The February 22 Update, available on the web at www.kyrc.org, profiles all bills that KRC tracked this session.
Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for industry-sponsored amendments. KRC's position concerning bills is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber. Where committee substitutes and floor amendments have occurred, this is noted. Where the bill is noted as being in "Rules" the reference is to the Rules Committee, which can refer a bill back to another committee or to the chamber floor for a vote.
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WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?
For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, to track which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us
The toll phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100. The toll-free bill status line is 1-877-215-0023. The toll-free meeting information line is 1-800-633-9650. The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or a committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305.
THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS
Did you know that for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach any legislators that you want to contact? You can send a letter, for example, to all Senators and Representatives by listing their individual names on a cover sheet and asking that each get a copy of your letter. The good folks at the LRC fax room will copy your fax and distribute it to all that you list (the recipients must be listed by name.) The LRC webpage has a list of all legislators and all committee members.
SB 2 (Williams) (To Governor)
Amends processes for submittal to and review by legislative of expenditure reduction plans where revenue estimates are reduced, and imposes conditions on use of budget reserve fund.
SB 53 (Buford) (H. Rules)
Provides for two specialized 5-year license plates – one for "Ducks Unlimited," and another for spay-neuter advocates. The bill repeals the existing law providing for a special Ducks Unlimited license plate, and outlines the process by which the Transportation Cabinet will issue the specialized plates. Additional contributions to Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife or to support spay and neuter education programs may be made when the specialized plates are purchased.
SB 64 (Harris) (Senate Rules, for concurrence)(+)
Original bill amended existing law to exclude county-run sewer systems from Public Service Commission control. House Committee Substitute included the first section of HB 473, and would require a state solid waste permit and local solid waste consistency finding for the use of any garbage-based fuel for a utility plant. Indications are that the Senate will not bring the bill up for concurrence so that it will not become law.
SB 71 (Roeding) (To Governor)
Amends existing law regarding administrative regulations. Eliminates "notice of intent" process for promulgating regulations.
KRC originally opposed because it prevented emergency regulations from being adopted where needed to protect human health and the environment unless there is an imminent danger. Sen. Blevins filed floor amendment to restore ability of Governor to adopt e-regs to protect human health and the environment, and the Senate approved the amendment. KRC has withdrawn opposition to the bill, and appreciates Sen. Blevins, Sen. Karem's and Sen. Worley's assistance in restoring the language. House version restored existing statutory language preserving Governor's emergency regulation powers.
SB 94 (Roeding) (Passed both Houses)
Creates new crime of abuse of public trust, allows for forfeiture of assets and disqualification from public office.
SB 137 (Guthrie) (To Governor)
This bill revises the existing law concerning challenges to county proposals to become obligated for bonds or notes. The bill eliminates the "County Debt Commission," and would subject all requests for approval of a county's proposed bond or note debt to a formal evidentiary hearing before a hearing officer and then to State Local Debt Officer. The bill also clarifies that the hearing proceedings will be in accordance with Kentucky's administrative hearings law, KRS Chapter 13B. The language of this bill was negotiated between the Department for Local Government and KRC during the 2002 session, and KRC appreciates the hard work of DLG attorney Steve Gregory in working out KRC's concerns in 2002.
SB 138 (Harris) (To Governor)
Allows the Public Service Commission to use video format to record proceedings rather than stenographic transcripts, and allowing a party to request stenographic transcripts prior to the hearing.
SB 146 (Harris) (To Governor)
Establishes standards for engineering practices for construction and maintenance of electric utility plants and facilities.
SB 162 (Worley and Jones) (To Governor)(+)
Companion bill to HB 474, this bill addresses chemical agent disposal at Bluegrass Army Depot, making several positive changes in existing law, including: creation of an Office of Liaison within the host community funded by the permit applicant to coordinate community oversight of the destruction of chemical weapons; provision assuring that no chemical agent destruction will occur under a "research, development and demonstration" permit except for pilot scale operations to prove-out the technology; and assuring that the local community emergency response plans including necessary infrastructure improvements are in place prior to operation of the chemical agent destruction facility.
SB 164 (Leeper) (Passed both Houses)(+)
Exempts controlled prescribed burns by state agencies on lands owned or managed by state agency from seasonal limits imposed on controlled burns.
SB 165 (Harris) (To Governor)(+)
Important bill for landowners in coal field regions, this bill will make public the mine maps on mined-out areas that are in the possession of the Revenue Cabinet and the final or abandoned mine maps submitted to the Department of Mines and Minerals. There is no logical basis for preventing public access to maps depicting mined-out areas. Access to these maps will assist communities in scrutinizing new mining and waste impoundment proposals, and assist landowners whose property has suffered damage to determine whether damage to land and water resources is related to past underground mining.
SB 221 (Williams)(House Rules, with House Committee Sub)
Bill makes several changes to composition of legislative committees, amends process for legislative oversight of executive orders, and proposes a legislative oversight of administrative regulations to replace current unconstitutional approach in KRS Chapter 13A. new approach would provide that regulations found deficient by legislative committees during interim period will be sunset by enacting a statute terminating the regulation during the subsequent legislative session.
HB 18 (Marcotte) (Became Law)
House counterpart of SB 6, conforms frequency of vehicle emissions testing for state or official registration vehicles from yearly to the same frequency as privately-owned vehicles (on a 2-year cycle currently in northern Kentucky).
HB 27 (Stacy) (S. State Local Govt) (+)
Proposed constitutional amendment on the budget would prevent adjournment of even-year sessions absent appropriations bills, allow legislators to remain in session indefinitely until appropriations bill(s) are passed, but removes any incentive for delay by preventing consideration of any other bill or resolution having the force of law after the 60th legislative day. House Committee Substitute provides for gubernatorial review and veto right and provides that no compensation will be paid to General Assembly members after 60th legislative day.
HB 84 (Meeks) (S. Rules)
Creates a Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission to advise state agencies concerning matters relating to Native American heritage.
HB 108 (Palumbo) (S. Rules)
Bill originally required each agency to develop a policy to allow reductions or waivers of civil penalties for businesses with up to 100 employees. KRC opposed, believing that imposition of civil penalties should be based on factors related to the severity of the violation, harm or potential harm to the public or environment, violation history, and other case-specific factors, not merely based on the size of the violator.
Rep. Palumbo agreed to hold the bill in response to concerns, and agreed to a committee substitute calling for a "study". KRC has withdrawn opposition and is neutral on the committee substitute.
Against the wishes of the sponsor, there has been an effort to ask the Senate to restore the original language of the bill. The sponsor has committed that the bill will not be taken up in the House if that change is made.
HB 154 (Ballard) (To Governor)
Prohibits cities or counties from imposing restrictions on mobile phone use in motor vehicles.
HB 185 (Ford) (Passed both houses)
Amends state law on highway signage to require Transportation Cabinet to allow specific highway service signs for bed and breakfast establishments.
HB 239 (Riggs and others) (Senate Rules)
Allows for special license plate for "Friends of the Zoo."
HB 269 (Stumbo and others) (Passed Both Houses, To Governor)
The Executive Branch Budget. The final budget memorandum restores funding to the Environmental Quality Commission, but requires that the funding come from the appropriation to the Natural Resources Cabinet rather than as a line item appropriation; restores the funding for the West (Jefferson) County Task Force; maintains the language allowing the Cabinet to block new mining permits for companies owned or controlled by those with unabated violations.
Most troubling for the environment is not the budget cut of 2.6%, but the cumulative effect of this cut atop the serial cuts ordered by the Governor, amounting to some 10% loss over the past year and seriously threatening the agency's ability to protect the environment while continuing existing initiatives.
HB 281 (Pasley and Butler) (To Governor)
Creates Motorcycle Advisory Commission for Highway Safety as advisory body to Transportation Cabinet.
HB 296 (Wayne, Marcotte) (To Governor)
Provides for alternative project delivery method for procuring services for capital projects.
HB 298 (Riner) (Buried in Senate A&R)(+)
Requires all local governments to comply with laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on disability, and requires reasonable modifications to accommodate testing and interviewing needs of persons with disabilities.
HB 306 (Crenshaw) (Senate Rules)
Allows use of videotape rather than stenographic transcripts for Public Service Commission hearings.
HB 343 (Riner and Stumbo) (Senate Rules)
Increases penalties and allows for forfeiture of equipment for trespassing while engaged in fish or wildlife activities.
HB 357 (Lee and Weaver) (To House for concurrence with Senate Amendment)(-)
House counterpart to Senate Bill 142 regarding federal agency participation in water commissions. Senate amendment included SB 47, a military zoning bill that KRC opposed.
HB 377 (Callahan & Fischer) (S. Rules)
Modifies existing law on code enforcement boards to provide for service by posting and by mail where alleged offender cannot be personally served a citation regarding violations of local ordinances.
HB 435 (Thomas)(S. Rules)
Bill includes numerous reforms in animal cruelty and welfare laws.
HB 458 (Collins) (To House For Concurrence In Senate Amendment)(-)
This bill includes changes to oil and gas laws sought by the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. A number of the proposed changes raise questions, but the most problematic is a provision that would prohibit local communities from adopting ordinances that would in any manner regulate oil and gas exploration, production, development, gathering and transmission, unless the local community did so through planning and zoning.
KRS 67.083 recognizes the broad authority of counties to act to prevent nuisance and to advance conservation of natural resources, while requiring that in those areas where the state has acted, the locality must be consistent. This broad preemption of local government police powers is inappropriate and unnecessary, particularly since the state Department of Mines and Minerals lacks a comprehensive program that addresses siting and which is adequate to fully address public health and nuisance issues. A Senate Amendment vaguely requires the state to act to protect property, and public health and safety, but sets no timeframe for state action and immediately seeks to preempt local governments.
On Monday, March 11, the Senate amended HB 524 to include a version of HB 458 that contains the same preemption language but requires state regulation on gathering lines within six months after enactment (nine months after it is enacted). KRC opposed the bill, and the House passed the amended HB 524 by a 54-30 vote with 16 not voting.
HB 458 will likely not be acted on before the legislature adjourns sine die.
HB 496 (Riggs) (S. Rules)
Bill adjusts size and terms of airport boards in Louisville and other counties with city of the first class.
HCR 20 (Buckingham) (Senate Rules)
Resolution supporting creation of an "Energy Education Foundation" to produce a "highly skilled energy workforce" and directing Interim Joint Committee on Education to study energy education for students and consumers.
HJR 83 (Moberly) (Passed both Houses)
Gives mandates, directives and initiatives contained in 2002-4 budget memorandum force and effect of law.
These bills were still "alive" as of March 1 but have since been recommitted to committee [presumably to die] or are stalled in committee and are likely not to become law:
SB 6 (Roeding) – VET bill. Recommitted to House A&R. The House version of this bill will become law.
SB 11 (Seum) – VET bill. Recommitted to House A&R
SB 44 (Seum / Tapp) Motorcycle Safety Commission. H. Transportation.
SB 47 (Tori) Military Zoning Bill. (-) Recommitted to House A&R. Ended up as a senate amendment to HB 357.
SB 70 (Roeding) Expands legislative oversight over executive branch. House State Govt.
SB 142 (Tori) Allowing federal participation in water commissions. H. Local Govt.
SB 147 (Harris) Revisions to electric power plant siting bill. House NREnv.
SB 159 (Harris) Pro-polluter "Takings" bill. (-) Recommitted to S. A&R
SB 170 (Jones & Williams) Bill to name Pine Mountain Trail Park. House Tourism
SCR 71 (Roeding and others) Directs a study of areas of growth. S. Rules.
HB 8 (Nunn) medical malpractice insurance. Recommitted To H.A&R
HB 28 (Callahan) Limits inducements available from the state for tourism development. S. A&R
HB 66 Allows joint city-county departments to manage park systems. S. State & Local Govt.
HB 77 (Burch and Feeley) (+) Seeks to improve child health in schools through controls on sale of junk foods and soft drinks in vending machines. S. Veterans Committee.
HB 81 (Meeks) (+) Modifies state laws on cemeteries. S. A&R
HB 98 (Wayne) Mandatory referral to mediation. S. Judiciary
HB 159 (Gooch) Petcoke study. S. Ag NR.
HB 238 (Geveden) Creates process for consolidation of counties. Recommitted to H. A&R
HB 272 (Burch) assessment of Commonwealth preparedness. Senate Veterans.
HB 286 (Gooch) Creates a "Coal Development Fund". S. A&R
HB 304 (Stumbo) road right-of-way encroachments. recommitted to H. A&R
HB 408 (Pasley) public nuisance. .(+) S. State & Local Govt
HB 449 (Denham) Limits liability of owner of agritourism facilities. Recommitted to H.A&R
HB 473 (Pasley) Use of garbage as utility fuel. .(+) S. AgNR. Ended up as a House Committee Substitute to SB 64, which is likely to die in the Senate.
HCR 85 (Thomas and Pullin) Creates Kentucky Rural Issues Task Force S.AgNR
HCR 99 (Buckingham and others) coalbed methane. (+) S. AgNR
HJR 104 (Denham) Resolution relating to agritourism signage. S.Transp
HCR 137 (McKee and others) Study of farmland conversion. S. AgNR
HJR 140 (Yonts) Mandating reversal of coal general permit. (-) H.Rules