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PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602  Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845

Update #7: Bills We're Tracking In The 2007 Kentucky Session  Posted: March 13, 2007

2007 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Tracking Update #7

This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2007 session. This is the seventh update. It will be updated once more, on Wednesday, March 28, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills.

Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel might be interested, and to utilize, reprint or quote from the bill analyses. We ask only that you attribute KRC as the source when you use our analytical material (so we can take all the blame for anything we’ve gotten wrong!)

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO RECEIVE THESE ALERTS?

Send this to a friend, and tell them to write us at FitzKRC@aol.com if they want to receive these e-alerts.

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.ky.gov/legislat/legislat.htm

The phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100 (this is not toll-free).

The toll-free meeting schedule 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 an entire committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305. En Espanol, el nombre es 1-866-840-6574. The toll-free bill status number is 1-877-257-5541.

REACHING LEGISLATORS – IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER!

Want to send one email all legislators? Simply address it to legislators2007@lrc.ky.gov. Also, for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach all of the legislators that you want to contact? You can send a faxed 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 web page has a list of each legislator, their email address, and all committee members. Legislator e-mail information can be found at www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm.

TWO DAYS LEFT: 795 BILLS AND 443 RESOLUTIONS FILED

On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "short" legislative session. The General Assembly reconvened for “Part II” of this short session, and is now on break until the veto days on March 26 and 27. While those days are set aside to consider overriding any vetos from the Governor, it is anticipated that the rules will be suspended and a number of bills may be adopted at that time.

Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for polluter-sponsored amendments. KRC's position concerning bills is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.

KRC has deleted those bills that have not been considered and approved by the originating committee, since it is unlikely that they will be voted on by both chambers in the remaining 2 days. To see a description of all bills that KRC tracked this session, visit Update #5.

Senate Bills

SB 10 (Tapp) (Passed both Houses, To Governor)

Creates uniform state permit and inspection process for installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

SB 25 (Angel) (Passed both Houses, To Governor)

Creates a Kentucky Farmers Market Nutrition Program to enhance nutrition by providing for introduction of locally-grown fresh produce in schools and in programs for low-income citizens.

SB 47 (Stivers) (To Governor)

Allows reciprocal certification of miners licensed in other states.

SB 55 (Kelly) (H. Rules)

Administration bill codifying the reorganization of the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

SB 56 (Kelly) (To Governor)

Administration bill codifying the reorganization of the Department of Parks Office of Project Administration.

SB 57 (Kelly) (H. Rules)

Administration bill codifying reorganization of the Department of Education.

SB 58 (Kelly) (H. Rules)

Administration bill codifying reorganization of the Personnel Cabinet.

SB 59 (Kelly) (H. Rules)

Administration bill codifying reorganization of the Transportation Cabinet.

SB 74 (Harris) (To Governor)

Bill directs Department for Local Government to track deployment and adoption of telecommunications and information technology in Kentucky, enable public-private partnerships among providers and governments to encourage deployment of advanced services. Bill also enables DLG to contract with a nonprofit organization to accomplish the objectives of the bill.

KRC has concerns that any nonprofit organization with whom the Department contracts to monitor and advocate deployment and adoption of telecommunications and information technology is free from conflicts of interest, that all meetings and records are open, and that the contract is competitively bid.

SB 75 (Williams) (H. Judiciary) (-)

Would move the venue for numerous actions involving appeals of administrative agency actions and enforcement by administrative agencies of orders and determinations from Franklin Circuit Court. Among the adverse impacts of the bill would be a loss of continuity and consistency among judicial decisions interpreting and applying agency statutes, and significant additional costs to agencies of traveling to 120 venues in order to defend appeals and to enforce agency orders.

SB 76 (Kelly) (To Governor)

Administration bill confirming Executive Order reorganizing Department for Local Government and abolishing several commissions, including the Kentucky Flood Control Advisory Commission.

SB 78 (Kelly) (H. Eco Dev. Tourism)

Reenacts Commission on Small Business Advocacy and confirms Economic Development Partnership Board Resolution 06-02.

SB 79 (Kelly) (To Governor)

Administration bill codifying Executive Order reorganizing several departments within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

SB 82 (Leeper) (Passed both Houses, To Governor)

Agency bill amends KRS Chapters 132 and 141 regarding financial incentives available for redevelopment of brownfields property. Bill updates definitions and qualifications for a three-year reduced ad valorem tax rate, and for a tax credit, for qualifying voluntary environmental remediation property.

SB 85 (Kelly) (H. Rules with committee sub)

Reorganization bill confirming executive Order 2006-1299 moving the Office of Energy policy from Commerce Cabinet to the Governor’s Office.

SB 91 (Pendleton) (To Governor)

Bill would broaden existing preemption of local government regulation of pesticides to preempt local government enactments regulating the registration, packaging, labeling, sale, storage, distribution, use or application of fertilizers.

KRC was initially concerned that the preemption language could be read as preempting local governments from adopting siting and operation ordinances regulating land application of manures from industrial-scale poultry and livestock operations.

KRC negotiated alternative language that resolved this issue and also clearly protects both any reporting obligations under state and federal law and local government powers under KRS Chapter 100.

SB 92 (Boswell) (To Governor)

Senate counterpart to HB 136, would amend law governing Soil and Water Conservation Districts to address the purchase or lease of buildings and equipment for districts with state funds.

SB 96 (McGaha) (H. Local Govt)(posted)

Substantial amendments to existing laws governing management and membership of water districts and allowing water districts greater authority over sewage disposal.

SB 125 (Jensen) (To Governor)(+)

The initial bill muddled the application of state law to waste tires eventually processed for fuel. A revision negotiated by proponents and KRC resolved these concerns, and provided a narrow exemption from local solid waste consistency determinations for end users of processed TDF but requiring that the air permit applications for use of such TDF is subject to public notice and comment. Use of whole tires or unprocessed TDF remains subject to air permitting and local solid waste board determinations.

SB 144 (Kelly)(To Governor)

Administration bill reorganizing Justice Cabinet.

SB 155 (Harris) (H. Rules with committee sub) (-)

Would reverse current state policy against cutting trees in rights-of-way in order to assure visibility of billboards, and would create permit system for destroying public trees in order to assure visibility of billboards from interstates and other highways and turnpikes.

Bill would also weaken existing prohibitions against extending the life of a nonconforming billboard by allowing the billboard to be damaged up to 60% of the value of the structure and repaired.

SB 187 (Jensen) (To Governor)(+)

Agency bill updating the state statutes concerning expenditures of monies under the abandoned mine land program.

SB 196 (Stivers) (To Governor)(-)

Committee Substitute for original bill that would exempt from siting board review and provide local circuit court venue rather than Franklin circuit Court for appeals of permitting actions, for “industrial energy facilities,” which would include any facility using coal gasification to produce transportation fuels, syngas, chemicals, electricity or other “useful products” costing over $750 million. KRC believes it inappropriate to seek to incentivize new industrial facilities by abridging citizen rights, and that such an approach will result in more, rather than less, controversy regarding such proposals.

Senate Resolutions

SR 1 (Kelly)

Senate Rules of Procedure for 2007 Session. Adopted.

SR 5 (Thayer) (Adopted)

Commends Toyota Hybrid Team for hybrid Camry assembly pilot production at the Georgetown, Kentucky facility.

SJR 16 (Became law)(+)

Names I-65 in Jefferson County as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Highway.

SJR 109 (Jensen) (Passed both Houses)

Administration bill creating task force on drought mitigation and response. Committee substitute transformed the “task force” to a “council.”

House Bills

HB 1 (Richards and others) (S. A&R)

Would reinstate appropriations and line-item measures vetoed by the Governor from the 2006 budget.

HB 3 (Wilkey and others) (S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed state constitutional amendment limiting governor’s pardon power.

HB 5 (Adkins and others) (Passed both houses, to House for concurrence with Senate committee substitute and amendments)

Originally an energy bill creating various tax incentives and credits for coal-to-liquids through gasification, and for renewable energy used for electricity generation.

KRC worked with the sponsor to broaden availability of incentives for renewables by lowering the eligibility for renewables from 10 mW down to 1 mW for all renewables other than solar, which would be eligible for the financial incentives at 50 kW of generating capacity.

In the Senate, HB 5 morphed into an “act relating to the sciences” – more specifically, alchemy, since it emerged from the Senate with SB 1 and 2, the enabling legislation for the new Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky to be located at WKU, an “Energy Development Authority” whose purpose is to assist in financing, locating and constructing alternative fuel or renewable energy facilities, a new ethanol production credit, a new fund and strategies to increase offerings of AP math and sciences,

HB 8 (Yonts)(S. A&R)

Amends various statutes relating to personal service and other government contracts.

HB 46 (Thompson) (To Governor)

Creates requirement for continuing education for engineers of 15 hours per year; exempts those licensed before 1972.

HB 53 (Burch) (S. Transp) (+)

Mandates use of booster seats for children under 8 years of age; provides that failure to do so is not evidence of negligence nor admissible at trial.

HB 62 (Cherry) (S. State & Local Govt) (+)

Reforms several provision of state merit laws, including increasing by 2 the classified employee representation on the state Personnel Board.

HB 64 (Cherry & others) (S. Judiciary)

Would require each school to adopt policies and staff training programs to address harassment, intimidation and bullying.

HB 67 (Owens) (H. Rules)(+)

Requires state Department of Corrections to inform eligible offenders of the process for restoration of civil rights and to initiate that process for them unless instructed otherwise.

HB 69 (Arnold) (To Governor)(-)

Would include among economic revitalization projects entitled to tax credits, those existing coal mining operations that resume after temporary closure and which have raw production of at least 3 million tons of coal and employ over 500 persons. With a boom market for coal, public subsidies for opening or reopening mines are not needed or justified.

HB 70 (Crenshaw)(S. A&R)(+)

Proposed constitutional amendment would automatically reinstate the civil rights of those convicted of a felony once the period of probation or final discharge from parole or maximum expiration of a sentence occurred.

HB 89 (Edmonds) (S. A&R) (-)

Originally a bill dealing with illumination of car headlights, the Senate Transportation Committee amended the bill to include language that would allow construction of a new bridge across a portion of the Rockcastle River that has been designated as a state wild river.

There appears to be some confusion as to the effect of the language included by the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Guthrie has responded to several emails received from individuals by stating that the language in the Senate Committee Substitute "is not intended to approve a new crossing, merely to name the KY -80 the I-66 Crossing." Yet the language does more than rename the existing KY 80 crossing - it allows construction of new I-66 bridges "near" the KY-80 bridge. The current state wild rivers law contains language that exempted a crossing built years ago for the rerouting of KY-80. That bridge was built and the former KY-80 bridge and roadway was renamed KY 1956. The HB 89 SCS language allows relocation and construction of KY 80 "or the proposed Interstate 66" including "the construction of bridges at a point near the existing Ky. 80 bridge." The plain meaning of the language in the bill is to authorize new bridges near the KY-80 bridge, not a renaming of the existing KY-80 Bridge. Leaving aside the more fundamental policy issue, which is that the proposed I-66 segment from London to Somerset is not needed, the environmental impact statement process for I-66 has not yet been completed and the question of whether it is ecologically and economically appropriate to construct new bridge(s) near the KY-80 bridge through a protected river corridor, deserves reasoned study and discussion by the legislature that has not yet occurred.

HB 94 (Pullin & Denham) (To Governor)

Bill would create standards and procedures for remediation of properties contaminated from methamphetamine labs.

KRC suggested language clarifying the purpose of the bond or financial assurance and the process for forfeiture of the contractor’s bond, and or requiring a liability insurance policy for personal or property damage associated with the decontamination of inhabitable properties by a certified contractor. A floor amendment incorporated a number of KRC’s recommended changes and was approved.

HB 102 (Pullin) (To Governor)

Expands existing law on Kentucky Gas Pipeline Authority to include oil and refined petroleum products within the definition of “gas” whose pipelines can be financed under the current law. Committee substitute adds carbon dioxide to eligible gases, in order to allow pipelines transporting sequestered CO2 to oil fields for secondary recovery.

HB 108 (Hoffman) (S. Eco Dev, Tourism)

Creates an account to provide funding for preservation of historic rock fences and construction of new rock fences.

HB 109 (Brinkman & others) (S. A&R)

Comprehensive legislation on autism spectrum disorders.

HB 116 (Meeks) (recommitted to H. A&R)

Amends existing laws to encourage interlocal agreements between counties for essential services.

HB 117 (Meeks) (Recommitted H. A&R)

Bill creates a permitting process for an excavation of archaeological sites on private properties; increases penalties for desecration of human remains; provides right of access to private cemeteries for family members; provides procedures for notification and disposition of accidental disturbances or disinterment cases.

HB 120 (Wayne) (Passed both Houses, to Governor)

Creates a new category of health department permits for sales of food associated with farmers’ markets.

HB 123 (Pullin) (S. Ag & NR)

Mandates that the Public Service Commission initiate a 3-year pilot program for installation of “next-generation” electric meters in residences, with interior readouts and remote reporting to utilities of energy use; provides for compilation and reporting of study results. Committee amendment includes TED devices which convert usage to dollars and cents.

HB 127 (Meeks) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would create a new standing committee of the legislature for International Business Relations, to oversee and assist the state economic development efforts overseas and to attract foreign businesses.

HB 136 (Pasley & Moberly) (S. Ag & NR)

Amends law governing Soil and Water Conservation Districts to address the purchase or lease of buildings and equipment for districts with state funds.

HB 137 (Yonts) (To Governor) (+)

Would extend currently-expired deadline for registration of old underground storage tanks, allowing the removal of those tanks to be reimbursed by the state petroleum storage tank account.

Floor amendment drafted by KRC for Rep. Yonts at his request extended deadlines for eligibility for reimbursement for tank removals and remediation of contaminated properties, thus assuring that as properties continue to be discovered, they will be eligible for remediation under the publicly-funded program.

HB 186 (B. Smith)(S. Ag & NR)

Would amend KRS Chapter 351 to allow the state mining board to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to allow miners certified in other states to perform similar duties here without needing recertification.

HB 190 (Adkins) (S. Judiciary)

Confirms reorganization of various division and branches within the Office of Attorney General.

HB 202 (McKee) (Recommitted to S. A & R)

Would amend various definitions to allow lands of five or more acres used for agriculture to be included in agricultural districts.

HB 207 (Yonts) (Passed both Houses, to Governor)

Amends existing KRS Chapter 351 regarding mine safety prosecutions, to guarantee right of full intervention for spouses and miners in hearings on violations of mine safety laws; increases frequency of mine inspections, and makes other changes.

HB 219 (Jenkins)(H. Rules) (+)

This bill would amend existing KRS 337.423 to prohibit sex-based wage discrimination on jobs of comparable worth.

HB 226 (Wilkey and Hoover) (recommitted to H. A&R) (+)

Would create a program to defray student loan debt for persons employed as staff attorneys for the Attorney General’s office, Department for Public Advocacy, nonprofit legal services organizations and county or commonwealth attorneys offices.

Legal services advocates have asked supporters of this bill to contact House leadership and A&R Chair Harry Moberly to ask that this bill be heard and sent to the House floor for a vote.

HB 227 (Wilkey) (Recommitted to H. A&R)

Bill would eliminate the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership as the governing body of the Cabinet for Economic Development.

HB 231 (Adams) (H. Rules) (-)

Bill would allow coyotes to be live-trapped and sold, presumably to businesses for “fox” hunting. Bill is opposed by Department for Fish and Wildlife Resources.

HB 240 (Denham) (S. Rules)

Would amend Chapter 109 to allow local governments to enact ordinances allowing for collection of outstanding solid waste taxes and fees through motor vehicle liens.

HB 261 (Belcher and Ballard) (Recommitted to H. A&R) (+)

Original bill would have modified laws governing rate cases for natural gas utilities to allow gas utilities to avoid rate cases by electing to operate within a certain bandwidth of .5% above or below of an approved return on equity and to report and adjust earnings annually where they fall above or below the approved range. Would eliminate the scrutiny of revenue and expenses that would otherwise occur during traditional rate cases before the PSC, and potentially result in overearnings.

Bill was heard on two separate occasions in committee and was opposed by KRC and the Attorney General’s Office. The sponsor converted the bill to a study resolution to study the matter during the interim, and KRC is part of that study group.

HB 281 (Damron) (S. Rules)(consent)

Would broaden obligation of local governments to notify the State Local Debt Officer before entering into any financing obligations

HB 284 (Damron) (Passed both Houses, to House for concurrence in Senate amendment) (-)

Original bill provided exceptions to requirement for use of seat belts.

In Senate Transportation Committee, bill was amended to include an exception to the Kentucky Wild Rivers law protection of the Rockcastle River corridor, in order to allow construction of new bridges for proposed London to Somerset leg of I-66.

This is the second bill that the Senate Committee amended to include language that would allow construction of a new bridge across a portion of the Rockcastle River that has been designated as a state wild river. The other is House Bill 89, which was sent to Senate Appropriations. Unlike HB 89, HB 284 was passed by the Senate with the I-66 amendment and is back in the House for concurrence. There appears to be some confusion as to the effect of the language included by the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Guthrie has responded to several emails received from individuals by stating that the language in the Senate Committee Substitute "is not intended to approve a new crossing, merely to name the KY -80 the I-66 Crossing." Yet the language does more than rename the existing KY 80 crossing - it allows construction of new bridges "near" the KY-80 bridge. The current state wild rivers law contains language that exempted a crossing built years ago for the rerouting of KY-80. That bridge was built and the former KY-80 bridge and roadway was renamed KY 1956. The HB 89 SCS and this HB 284 language allows relocation and construction of KY 80 "or the proposed Interstate 66" including "the construction of bridges at a point near the existing Ky. 80 bridge." The plain meaning of the language in the bill is to authorize new bridges near the KY-80 bridge, not a renaming of the existing KY-80 Bridge. Leaving aside the more fundamental policy issue, which is that the proposed I-66 segment from London to Somerset is not needed, the environmental impact statement process for I-66 has not yet been completed and the question of whether it is ecologically and economically appropriate to construct new bridge(s) near the KY-80 bridge through a protected river corridor, deserves reasoned study and discussion by the legislature that has not yet occurred.

HB 289 (Graham and Rollins) (S. Ag. & Nat Res)

Adds Kentucky State University president to Agricultural Development Board.

HB 305 (Gray and others) (Passed both Houses, to Governor) (+)

Bill would increase state minimum wage to $7.00 an hour and provide for annual adjustment keyed to consumer price index increases.

HB 354 (Webb and others) (S. A&R)(Needs clarifying amendment)

Creates a credit against income taxes for donation of easements for conservation purposes; authorizes Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to oversee program.

HB 355 (Simpson) (Passed both Houses, to Governor) (+)

Authorizes planning commissions to enter into agreements with public or private entities for administration of zoning and planning statutes, code enforcement, and urban renewal programs.

The inclusion of “private agencies” and “organizations” in this bill was troublesome, since it appeared to authorize the privatizing of governmental planning and zoning and code enforcement functions; where previously interlocal agreements have been limited to public agencies. KRC discussed with the sponsor an amendment to remove that private agency reference, and House Floor Amendment 1 was adopted to remove the word “private.”

HB 399 (McKee and Pasley) (Recommitted to S. A&R)

House counterpart to SB 91. Bill would broaden existing preemption of local government regulation of pesticides to preempt local government enactments regulating the registration, packaging, labeling, sale, storage, distribution, use or application of fertilizers.

KRC was initially concerned that the preemption language could be read as preempting local governments from adopting siting and operation ordinances regulating land application of manures from industrial-scale poultry and livestock operations.

KRC negotiated alternative language that resolved this issue and also clearly protects both any reporting obligations under state and federal law and local government powers under KRS Chapter 100.

HB 444 (Weston and others) (H. Rules)

Broadens the Binding Elements Enforcement Act to allow fines for violations of other land use provisions, including zoning regulations, and to delegate enforcement of these conditions to Boards of Zoning Adjustment.

HB 472 (Miller and others) (H. Rules)

Would allow local governments to adopt and enforce ordinances and regulations more stringent than state provisions for regulating junked cars.

HB 496 (Jenkins) (H. Rules)

Would allow first class mail instead of certified mail for planning and zoning notices.

HB 543 (Collins) (H. Rules) (-)

In an apparent effort to avoid a civil judgment similar to that awarded by a West Virginia Court over the manner in which gas royalties were calculated and paid to lessors, this bill would in a constitutionally-suspect manner abridge existing natural gas leases by limiting the royalty payments for lessors to the actual sale price of the natural gas rather than the market value of the gas. Presently and historically, most such leases require payment6 of an amount equal to 1/8 of the market price of the gas produced, and that volume of gas is metered at the well. HB 543 would change existing law by specifying that the royalty is paid on the volume of has at the point of first sale, so that the line losses during transmission would be subtracted from what the lessor is paid. Additionally, the bill would allow the gas company to charge post-production marketing expenses against the lessor.

Additionally, the original bill attempted to shorten from 15 to 5 years the opportunity for a lessor to sue for any violations of lease terms; KRC and several committee members voiced opposition to this provision and it is proposed to be removed by a floor amendment.

House Resolutions

HR 2 (Richards) (Adopted)

House Rules of Procedure for the 2007 Session.

HJR 11 (Marzian) (Adopted)

Provides for development by a work group of recommendations for changes in core content of public school curriculum relating to the Holocaust.

HCR 12 (Gray) (S. Eco Dev.)

Resolution encouraging Congress to extend the maintenance of “summer water level” at Lake Barkley through the first week in September.

HJR 14 (Pullin) (S. Ag &NR)

Would direct the Kentucky Recreational Trail Authority to study illegal use of ATV’s on public and private property.

HCR 16 (Meeks) (H. Rules)

Resolution urging Congress to press for strong measures to end the violence in the Sudan and to urge the SEC to provide guidance to fund managers to avoid investments in nations that support terrorism or human rights violations.

HCR 18 (Pullin) (H. Rules)

Resolution encouraging the Transportation and Economic Development Cabinets to promote and market the availability of Amtrak stations in Ashland, Fulton, Maysville and South Shore.

HCR 47 (Denham) (H. Rules)

Resolution directing interim committee on Agriculture and Small Business to review necessity for creation of a State Rural Development Council.

HJR 130 (Webb)(Recommitted to H. A&R)

Resolution directs Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to require development and implementation of Emergency Action Plans by all significant and high hazard impoundments regulated by the state.

HCR 131 (Webb) (Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would establish a task force examining ways to increase e-scrap recycling in the state.

HR 146 (Weston and others) (Adopted)

Would commend LGE, KU and E.oN for their investment in the FutureGen project.

HCR 155 (Wayne) (H. Rules)

Would direct LRC staff to study the suitability of using public broadcast publication as an alternative to newspaper publication to meeting advertising requirements.


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