This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills being tracked by the Council during the 2008 session. This is the twelfth of many updates, covering the first twelve weeks of the 2008 legislative session, which began on January 8 and continues until April 15. This list will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills.
With 4 legislative days left, we have removed those bills that have not yet been heard by the initial committee to which they were assigned. To review all of the bills that KRC tracked this session, click on the 13th update.
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!)
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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/legislation.htm
To find your legislators email, go to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.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.
THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS – IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER!
Did you know that 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 all legislators and all committee members.
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 mischievous amendments. Where KRC has taken a position concerning a bill it is indicated with a plus (+) or two minuses (to make searching easier!) (--). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.
SB 5 (Thayer) (H. Rules, Recommitted to H. Elections & Const Am.)
Would eliminate gubernatorial primary runoff elections.
SB 8 (Thayer)(H. Rules)
Comprehensive revisions to campaign finance laws.
SB 14 (Thayer) (H. Elections & Const Am)
Proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate office of Treasurer and assign duties elsewhere.
SB 16 (Seum) (H. Rules)
Bill responds to use of staff to promote ballot initiative in Metro Louisville, by restricting employees in the classified service in cities of the first class activities involving ballot initiatives during work hours and using public resources.
SB 22 (Tapp) (To Senate for Concurrence)
Would create a certification program for licensure of home inspectors.
SB 54 + (Winters) (H. Transp)
Initially, the bill creating a separate “limited” permit for sand and gravel mining operations under one acres in size concerned KRC because of the potential for abuse where one entity contracts with numerous landowners to have multiple less-than-one-acre operations, and in doing so, evade the more rigorous standards and permit obligations.
KRC proposed alternative language to more narrowly define a tiered small-operator permit for landowner excavation of surficial gravel for farmstead and personal use, and to strengthen the protections against abuse, which was accepted by the proponents of the bill and was adopted in the Senate Committee. KRC has withdrawn opposition to the bill. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 21-15, after being amended to prevent resale of excavated gravel.
SB 58 (Burford) (H. Rules)
Increases penalty for torture of cat or dog to Class D felony.
SB 69 (Harris) (H. Rules)
Original bill would reduce by half the Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund fee paid by Rohm and Haas and Safety Kleen on hazardous wastes used as fuel, and would reduce from 20% to 5% the amount of the fee transferred to the pollution prevention fund which is administered by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center for funding pollution prevention programs.
Senate Committee amendment reduced the funding cut to KPPC and actually increased its funding, while further weakening the capability of the state to fund emergency response, and state superfund site remediation.
KRC negotiated a House Committee Substitute that allows the ½ rate, but in return reauthorizes the program for 8 years and stabilizes the funding at a base of $1.8 million adjusted for inflation annually, and transferring an amount from the Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assurance Fund to offset the reduction.
SB 83 + (Harris)(To Senate for Concurrence with House Amendments)
The House amended this bill to incorporate the provisions of HB 313, a more comprehensive House net metering bill addressing these sources and providing for standardization of interconnection requirements, as well as removing caps on availability of net metering. The bill now goes to the Senate for concurrence with the House amendments.
SB 120 (Buford) (H. Rules)
Would require booster seats for children under 7 years old and between 40 and 50 inches in height and specify penalties.
SB 127 (Buford)(To Governor)
Would remove the Henry Clay Law Office from the list of state-owned historic properties managed by the Division of Historic Properties.
SB 145 + (Stine)(S. Rules, Recommitted to Senate A&R)
Would require full consideration be given to bicycle and pedestrian ways in state transportation planning and construction, and development of standards for design and construction in roadway projects.
SB 148 (Thayer) (H. Elections & Const Am.)
Would require reporting by political issues committees of funds spent advocating approval or defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment.
SB 156 -- (Leeper and Borders)(H. NR&Env)(posted)
Companion bill to HB 542, would revise state law to eliminate current prohibition against commencement of construction of a nuclear power facility in Kentucky until the PSC certifies that the US Government has identified and approved a demonstrable technology or means for permanent and terminal disposal of high level nuclear waste.
Proposed amendment to K.R.S. 278.600-610 would instead allow construction of such plants provided that the PSC certifies that the facilities’ plan for disposal of high level nuclear waste is in conformity with the “technology approved by the” US Government and that the cost of disposal can be calculated in order that an accurate economic assessment can be completed.
Public concern with the contribution of fossil fuel-generated electricity has breathed new life into the nuclear power industry, which accounts for some 20% of the national electricity generation but which has seen little licensing activity or new capital investment in decades. The issue has split the environmental community as well, with some rethinking nuclear energy as an alternative that in the generation of power releases no greenhouse gases.
KRC believes that the policy discussion should be joined in our Commonwealth concerning the role, if any, of nuclear power, and assessment of the comparative footprints and health and environmental risks associated of various energy sources for the life cycle of the fuels and energy generation (including extraction and beneficiation/enrichment of the ores, disposal of tailings, aqueous and rod wastes; mining, processing of coal, including emissions of radionuclides associated with combustion of pulverized coal from traditional coal-fired plants and from resulting ash, and other life-cycle impacts of the fuel choices).
KRC does not, however, support revision of state law that would remove the requirement that permanent disposal for spent aqueous wastes and core rods be in operation prior to construction of any nuclear facilities in the Commonwealth, since indefinite on-site storage in dry casks and pools of spent wastes at existing facilities is not a responsible surrogate for permanent disposal, and elevates risks of accidental or intentional releases.
Bill passed the Senate 23-12.
SB 165 + (Leeper)(H. A&R)
Would establish the “Kentucky Bluegrass Turns Green Program” concentrating on energy demand-side management. KRC will be talking with Senator Leeper on melding these concepts with HB 2.
SB 196 (Smith and others)(To Governor)
Would amend existing Kentucky Recreation Trails Authority to increase membership and expand powers to improve recreational facilities on lands with recreational land use agreements. The expanded membership is weighted towards ATV and motorcycle users and does not comparably increase representation by other types of recreational users.
KRC prepared a memo on liability issues associated with the bill, and in response, House Floor Amendment. 3 was adopted, clarifying that landowners receive limited immunity from liability for dangerous conditions but not blanket immunity as the initial bill had provided.
SB 213 + (Jones) (H. NR & Env)
Would modify mine safety laws to require posting of GPS locations for evacuation sites for air evacuation of injured miners from minesites.
SB 242 (Gibson) (To Governor)
Creates a state beekeeping fund within the Department of Agriculture to assist in promoting, improving and protecting the beekeeping industry in Kentucky.
SB 243 (Ridley and others)(To Governor)
Would include wastes from coal gasification into the category of “special wastes.”
KRC had concerns regarding the bill, which were addressed in a committee substitute that KRC negotiated with representatives of a gasification company and the Cabinet. The typical by-products of the gasification of coal or petcoke or a mixture of the two under conditions where the solid byproducts are vitrified, are a coarse fraction known as "FRIT" and a carbonaceous fines fraction or (CFF). The CFF fraction has a high heating value and is typically recycled through the gasifier as a fuel source to improve coal utilization.
Testing using ASTM Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure and TCLP conducted on CFF reflects leaching potential for a number of metals and compounds above water quality standards including boron, cadmium, lead, nickel, selenium, zinc and arsenic. CFF is typically recycled into the gasifier. Due probably to the higher surface area ratio, CFF leaches constituents of concern at greater amounts than larger particles of vitrified frit.
The committee substitute gives the Cabinet a gatekeeper role of reviewing appropriate testing data and then approving specific waste streams from a gasification facility based on a demonstration of low hazard. The approach is a sound one, since there is fairly little data on leaching characteristics of IGCC coal gasification wastes and some of the IGCC processes do not result in the same degree of vitrification of the wastes as others.
SJR 72 + (Jones)(H. NR&Env)
Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to require emergency action plans for all high and significant hazard impoundments. Senate counterpart to House Joint Resolution 60.
The committee substitute to the bill maintains the requirement for development of an emergency action plan but provides greater clarity in terms of the timeframes and requirements for the plans, and limits plan development to high hazard potential impoundments where failure could cause loss of human life. KRC appreciates the good faith work of both the Kentucky Coal Association and Farm Bureau in assisting in the development of this consensus bill.
SJR 76 + (Harper Angel)(To Governor)
Would require Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to submit a report to the LRC relating to electronic waste disposal and recycling.
HB 2 + + (Adkins)(S. A&R)
Comprehensive energy bill providing an array of incentives for installation of renewables and for energy efficiency, broadening Kentucky River Authority mandate to include hydro, providing tax incentives for construction of ENERGY STAR homes, creating a mandate for high performance buildings for state owned and leased buildings, and directing a study on renewable portfolio standards and public system benefit funds.
HB 3 (Marzian, Jenkins) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would require Governor to achieve all possible gender equity in board and commission appointments.
HB 18 (Owens, Cherry, Larry Clark) (To House For Concurrence)
Would eliminate gubernatorial primary runoff elections.
HB 31 (Wilkey) (S. Judiciary)
Would establish process for expungement of criminal records for Class D felonies.
HB 55 (Burch) (S. Judiciary)
Would require booster seats for children under 8 years old and between 40 and 57 inches in height and specify penalties.
HB 70 (Owens, Crenshaw) (H. Rules)
Would amend state constitution to provide for automatic restoration of voting rights to felons on completion of sentence.
HB 83 (Yonts) (To Governor)
Would amend existing law on water districts to revise manner in which districts can extend services and composition and manner of selection of boards.
HB 88 (Simpson) (To Governor)
Would extend authority to eliminate public nuisances presently held by cities of the first, second classes and consolidated local governments, to third and fourth-class cities
HB 91 (Cherry) (House Refused To Concur In Senate Amendments)
Would define "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" and require school districts to adopt policies for assisting students who are engaging in disruptive and disorderly behavior, including harassment, intimidation, or bullying of another student. Senate modifications to the bill will be reviewed by the House – the sponsor has indicated that he does not oppose those changes.
HB 98 (Denham) (S. Ag & Nr)
Would create and define a crime of agroterrorism against an agricultural facility or product.
HB 106 (Denham) (S. Rules - Consent)
Would require junkyards and other purchasers of ferrous and nonferrous metals and objects containing ferrous and nonferrous metals to keep records of transactions and criminalize failure to maintain a register of purchases of metals and objects containing metal.
HB 119 (Simpson) (S. Judiciary)
Would amend code enforcement board statute to establish schedule for civil penalties for code violations.
HB 124 (Westrom) (S. Rules)
Amends existing laws on certification of landscape architects
HB 134 (Cherry) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would amend Executive Branch Ethics statutes to include unpaid executive officers under code, and make changes in personnel laws relating to merit employee protection.
HB 192 -- (Lee and others)
Senator David Boswell (D - Owensboro) has filed Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HB 192, adding the perennial "cut public trees for billboard visibility" bill to a House Bill relating to transportation. The floor amendment fails to distinguish permitted from nonconforming billboards (the latter are supposed to be removed), does not allow cities to control whether trees should or shouldnot be cut within their boundaries, would allow cutting down of trees that were planted as part of highway beautification efforts, and allows public property to be destroyed in order to give the billboard industry something they have no right to under law - the right to distract the motoring public with commercial messages.
HB 216 (Wayne) (S. Judiciary)
Would require that proceeds from donated easements that are part of the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) Program be paid to donor or donor's heirs after the easement is terminated.
HB 233 + (Simpson, Gooch & Santoro) (To Governor)
Original bill would have allowed a plastic container with a barrier layer to be coded as a “1” rather than a “7” if the resin layer “is compatible with or removed from the recycling stream,” and as a “7” if it is “not compatible for the purposes of recycling.
KRC was concerned that the coding of a multi-layer bottle containing a nylon barrier layer as a "1" will have a negative effect on the plastics recycling industry.
KRC proposed alternative language that allows the coding of containers with barrier layers with the predominant resin if the manufacturer demonstrated that it had conducted the studies required by the Association for Postconsumer Plastic Recycling (APR) and had received a “compatibility letter” indicating that the container would not adversely affect the existing recycling stream. The parties approved the proposal and it was approved by the Committee as House Committee Substitute to the bill. KRC’s approach recognizes that innovation in packaging is occurring yet assures that the existing recycling framework is not disrupted by packaging that is not designed with recyclability in mind.
HB 250 (Cherry, Vincent) (To Conference)
Comprehensive reform of executive branch ethics code to include new restrictions on acceptance of awards and use of state time for certain purposes, on acceptance of donations to defense funds, and extending scope of persons covered by code.
HB 251 (Yonts) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would revise government contract review and reporting requirements, particularly with respect to higher education institutions.
HB 292 (McKee) (S. Ag NR)
Amends statutes governing agricultural districts to tighten standards for creation of an agricultural district, to provide for periodic reviews of districts of 10 acres of less, and to require compliance with conservation plans in order to receive lower agricultural tax assessment.
HB 313 + (Moberly, Pasley, Pullin)(S. Ag&NR)
Would amend net metering law to broaden availability of net metering of renewable power onto the electric grid to include wind, biomass, biogas, and hydro, as well as solar, and would establish a statewide interconnection and net metering standard. Committee substitute was approved with no dissenting vote, and increases eligible generation to 50kW from 15, and increases cumulative cap from .1 to 1%.
HB 319 + (Edmonds and Rader) (S. Rules - Consent)
Would allow for voluntary agreements between property owners and local government for demolition of dilapidated buildings.
The original bill would have allowed the property owner and county to agree on who would bear responsibility and liability for any potential environmental contamination.
Language was included at KRC’s request removing that language and replacing it with language clarifying that the parties can contract as to who would bear responsibility for disposal of the demolition wastes, asbestos and other materials, and that the disposition would be consistent with K.R.S. Chapter 224.
HB 322 (Simpson) (S. Rules - Consent)
Amends Chapter 100 regarding land use planning to provide that legislative bodies must act on proposed comprehensive plan goals and objectives within 90 days of transmittal from a planning commission or those goals and objectives are deemed adopted.
HB 330 (Horlander and others) (To Governor)
Amends open meetings law to allow notices of special meetings to be sent by email to agency members and media organizations that have requested such a method of notice rather than by fax or regular mail. Posting of written notice of special meetings is still required 24-hours before the meeting.
Bill would be improved by requiring posting of electronic notice of special meetings on the websites of those agencies in addition to posting written notice in the building, and KRC will be talking with the interested parties and the sponsor about an amendment to do so next session.
HB 406 (Moberly and others)(To Conference Committee)
KRC has provided a range of suggested revisions to the House-passed budget in order to more fully capture the costs of processing permits and authorizations, to restore general fund cuts proposed by the Governor, and other changes, and will be working to have those changes included.
HB 434 + (Damron)(S. Ag NR)
Would direct the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to establish standards for remediation of mold in private and public settings.
HB 484 + (Butler & Hoffman) (To House For Concurrence)
Would require governing board of higher education institutions to purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products if available. Extends a purchasing preference already in effect for state agencies under Chapter 45A.
HB 486 (Simpson) (S. State & Local Govt)
Defines which entity is the “Executive Authority” for purposes of code enforcement boards.
HB 491 (Rasche and others) (S. A&R)
Would create a Water Transportation Advisory Board to advise state government on matters relating to water transportation and marketing of riverports.
HB 506 (Wilkey)(S. State & Local Govt)
Establishes rules governing annexation by a city of areas including city-owned utility infrastructure.
HB 520 + (Stumbo) (H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)
Counterpart of SB 166, would provide a cash payment and educational scholarship from the general fund portion of coal severance taxes, for the surviving spouse and children of any coal miner who dies as a result of a occupational accident.
HB 532 (Nesler and others)(H. Rules, Recommitted to H.A&R)
Would provide corporate income tax credits of up to $4,500 per track mile for maintenance and improvement of railroad tracks, bridges for short-line railroads, capped at 50%, and capped in any year at $1 million in the aggregate, and up to 25% for grade crossing improvements; and 1 25% credit for expenditures for expansion or upgrading of track to accommodate transportation of fossil energy resources and biomass.
Ground freight transportation accounts for a significant amount of fuel use and pollution from carbon dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. With 85 percent of the total value and 66 percent of the total weight of US cargo carried by heavy-duty diesel freight trucking, trucks annually emit 32% of transportation NOx, 27% of transportation PM, and 18% of transportation carbon dioxide. With railroad carrying 4% of the value and 16% of the total weight of US cargo, railroad freight locomotives account for 8% of the transportation NOx, 4% of the transportation PM and 2% of the transportation CO2.
KRC will be talking with the advocates for the bill regarding the possibility of focusing tax credits instead on those investments that are not part of routine maintenance and which are of direct environmental benefit, such as investments made in new generation diesel locomotives, reductions of emissions from switch yard equipment, and other investments that could accelerate retrofitting and remanufacturing of engines to reduce PM and other pollutants, utilization of cleaner fuels, and other strategies to reduce idling and improve efficiency.
HB 576 (Collins and others)(S. Ag&NR)
Amends process for random selection of applications for permits to take wild elk.
HB 592 + (Hall and others)(H. Rules, Recommitted to H.A&R)
Bill would create a “Kentucky Worker Opportunity Credit” creating a tax credit for employers hiring regular and long-term welfare recipients; and a Kentucky Earned Income Tax Credit seeking to allow the poorest workers in the state an additional credit of 5% of the federal EITC, providing a return of $30 million to Kentucky’s poorest workers.
Bill is supported by a broad coalition of business and nonprofit organizations, and KRC is proud to support the bill.
HB 603 (Edmonds)(S. State & Local Govt)
Bill encouraging county consolidation, outlining process and providing incentives to do so.
HB 604 (Meeks)(To Senate)
Would require state agencies to report on amount of waste materials recycled.
HB 613 -- (Hall)(S. Eco Dev. Tourism & Labor)
Would establish a system to permit off-road and ATVs on public lands, including state wildlife management areas, using Fishtrap Lake as a pilot project. Motorized ORV use in wildlife management areas and certain other public lands could compromise the use of those lands for other recreation or wildlife purposes. Public and resource agency input is needed in identification of which lands would be appropriate. Additionally, when coupled with the proposed change in Senate Bill 196 to increase disproportionately the representation of motorcycle and motorized ORV users on the Recreational Trails Authority, KRC is concerned that the advocacy of use of public lands for that limited class of users will be advanced without adequate consideration of the range of other less intrusive uses.
HB 618 (Adams & McKee)(To Governor)
Would amend existing law relating to out of season killing or trapping by landowners of damage-causing wildlife.
HB 626 (Denham and others)(S. Rules - Consent)
Would amend current law relating to the Kentucky Proud agricultural promotion program.
HB 630 (Henderson)(S. Ag&NR)
Would allow conservation officers and other peace officers to assist in enforcement of ginseng laws and create licensing process for ginseng.
HB 637 (Denham & Webb)(S. AgNR)
Would restrict drug use on noncaptive wildlife and make several other changes in fish and wildlife laws addressing issuance of short-term hunting and complimentary licenses.
HB 649 (Webb-Edgington and others) (Senate - Consent)
Revises existing law concerning the notification system for prevention of damage to underground pipelines and cables from excavation
HB 675 (McKee and R. Adams) (Senate - Consent)
Would revise functions and membership of the Kentucky Agriculture Resources Development Authority.
HB 689 (Pasley and others)(S. Transp)
Would create a Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority empowered to facilitate financing of major transportation projects and to own those projects, with the power to issue revenue bonds and impose tolls.
HB 690 (Rand) (Senate - Consent)
Would authorize creation of “natural gas acquisition authorities” to acquire supplies of natural gas for municipal utilities and contract for their sale.
HB 698 (Coursey)(S. Rules)
Would exempt from definition of coal processing, for purposes of imposition of the coal severance tax, the use of electromagnetic energy on coal to reduce moisture, ash, sulfur or mercury in the coal.
HB 717 + (Adkins, Webb)(Senate - Consent)
Would amend existing laws concerning implementation of mitigation projects using in-lieu fees paid under the Section 404 program to create local stream restoration and mitigation authorities. KRC worked with other stakeholders to revise concept and produced a committee substitute that provides for greater local input on water resource restoration and mitigation projects.
HB 765 + (Pullin) (S. Rules - Consent)
Revises current law on remediation of methamphetamine contaminated properties to provide for development of regulations on decontamination standards, sample collection, response responsibility, to clarify the types of financial assurance available; and to provide for disclosure to purchasers or lessees of the status of any property that has been used as a meth lab but not remediated under the standards of the law.
HB 767 (Adkins and others) (S. Eco Dev, Tourism & Labor)
Authorizes Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to award tax incentives for one pilot project involving construction of an IGCC plant with advanced carbon capture and storage with a rated capacity of 300 mW proposed by a partnership of investor-owned utilities and with funding from DOE under the FutureGen or FutureGen replacement funding program.
HJR 6 (Marzian) (S. Education)
Would create study group to develop Holocaust curriculum guidance for schools.
HJR 54 + (Pasley, Moberly, and others)(S.AgNR)
Resolution encouraging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to promote private investment in the installation of hydroelectric generating units on all existing dams within and abutting the Commonwealth of Kentucky under its jurisdiction, by developing a memorandum of agreement with other federal and state agencies for prioritization of review and action on applications to install hydroelectric generating units.
HJR 68 (McKee and others)(Senate - Consent)
Resolution would reauthorize the Kentucky Aquaculture Task Force and require an updated state plan by November 1, 2008.
HJR 81 (Moberly and others)(S. A&R)
Would provide that the mandates and directives of the 2008-10 Executive Branch Budget have the effect of law.
HR 91 (Wayne and Clark)(To Floor)
Would urge Congress to encourage EPA to establish standards for certification of conversion kits to allow use of vegetable oil for diesel engines.
HCR 93 (Webb & Osborne)(Senate - Consent)
Would reauthorize the Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force.
HR 125 + (Pullin & Vincent) (S. Transp)
Resolution urging Congress to fund the upgrade and maintenance of locks and dams on the Ohio River.
KRC would recommend broadening the resolution to urge Congress to fully fund repair and replacement on Dam 10 on the Kentucky River and the Rochester Dam on the Green River.
HJR 153 (Overly, Pullin)(S. AgNR)
Directs the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority to study ways to increase adventure ATV ridership and reduce ATV trespass.