PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845
Raw Power Politics At Its Ugliest: HB 8 To Be Heard Monday Posted: March 5, 2005
The Senate is in turmoil over how to handle House Bill 8, which would allow noncoal minerals and "natural resources" to be hauled on state roads in the "extended weight coal haul road system" at truck weights 23 tons heavier than the allowed limit of 40 tons gross weight. As more Senators become aware of the effects of the bill on urban areas that have roads which are in the system, and as the media shines bright light into the dark corners where campaign contributions and public policy meet, the juggernaut that is HB 8 has slowed.
The process and the product of HB 8 is raw power politics at its very worst. "Serving the people" is given a whole new meaning, and the only question is how many people in what part of the state get served up to the vested interests. No one disputes that expanding the extended weight system to allow trucks to haul noncoal minerals at 63 tons, will cause more deaths and injuries in accidents. No one disputes that expanding the system will cost the Road Fund millions more above the over $11 million each year that the current system costs the public in additional repavement and bridge repairs. Yet despite the opposition of cities and counties, and the lack of support from the trucking and coal associations, the insular interests of the highway contractors who heavily subsidize certain key legislative and gubernatorial campaigns, have trumped the public interest thus far.
There is no question that this bill would have already become law had it not been for your efforts as citizens, and the efforts of reporters and editorial writers. PLEASE CALL NEXT MONDAY MORNING AFTER 8 AM TO 1-800-372-7181 AND LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR YOUR SENATOR AND ALL SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO OPPOSE HOUSE BILL 8 IN ANY FORM. ALSO, TO GET YOUR SENATORS' EMAIL ADDRESS, GO TO http://lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/whoswho.htm.
KRC has posted an analysis below of the Senate Committee Substitute to HB 8.