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

2009 Regular Session - Bills We're Watching: The Final Edition  Posted: March 28, 2009


2009 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We’re Watching: Final Edition


This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that were tracked by the Council during the last weeks of the 2009 Session. KRC will shortly release a final wrap up of the session.

The chambers have adjourned sine die (from the latin meaning “without a date fixed”), until the 2010 Regular Session in January 2010, or the call of the Governor. It is anticipated that there will be a special session beginning in early to mid-June to address the second budget year of the next biennium, and to take up several measures that were left unresolved in this session, including funding for the Ohio River Bridges in Louisville or other megatransportation projects, and financial incentive 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!)

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/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).

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 minus (-). The primary sponsor and final status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.

Senate Bills

SB 13 (Leeper)(Returned to and died in H NR & Env. Committee) -

Would eliminate current prohibition on granting of a construction permit for a nuclear power plant in Kentucky absent a federally approved disposal site for nuclear plant waste, and replace it with an obligation of the plant to have a plan for storage of high level nuclear waste instead. Allowing proliferation of the nuclear industry before they have in place a strategy for permanent disposal of wastes amounts to an unjustified subsidy to a mature industry that has had decades to come to terms with disposal needs. SB 13 was attached to House Bill 537 and the House refused to take up the bill as amended, so that it did not pass this session.

SB 20 (Leeper)(Became Law)

Would add a representative of Kentucky Municipal Utility Association to Kentucky Infrastructure Authority Board.

SB 27 (Leeper)(Became Law) (+)

Would create a brownfield redevelopment fund to allow for grants and loans to governmental agencies for brownfield assessments and restoration of properties. No dedicated funding source identified.

SB 47 (Givens)(Became Law)

Would amend road weight limits to allow vehicles transporting agricultural crop products and livestock to exceed the 80,000 pound gross weight limit by up to 10%, as is currently allowed for forest products.

SB 52 (Jones)(Died in H. NR & Env)

Would revise requirements for emergency plans for underground mines to require phone numbers of first responders and posting of GPS coordinates for medical evacuation sites.

SB 64 (Jensen) (H. Rules, recommitted to H. NR & Env.) (-)

Would amend existing law to allow operation of mine ventilation fans in a manner prescribed by MSHA.

SB 80 (Seum)(Died in H. Local Govt)

Would overhaul budget process for Metro Louisville, providing more legislative oversight and a budget revenue forecast.

SB 84 (Givens)(Became Law)

Would amend existing law to require reporting by agencies of agricultural and Kentucky-grown agricultural products.

SB 134 (Ridley) (Died in H. Rules) (+)

Would require the Division of Oil and Gas Conservation to develop regulations for reclamation of new and abandoned tank batteries, would allow forfeited bonds to be used for reclamation of abandoned tank batteries, and would require as part of reclamation plan that oil and gas operators discuss location of power line placement and minimize impact of location of lines.

SB 138 (Jensen, Stivers)(H. Rules, Died in H NR & Env) (-)

Would authorize the Finance and Administration Cabinet to lease oil and gas reserves under lands owned by the state and state universities, and would require Department for Natural Resources to develop a program of permitting oil and gas operations on state-owned lands, with proceeds being credited to the state agency of record on the property deed (to offset general fund appropriations). SJR 67 is a preferred alternative to this bill that would direct a study of the issue and would make recommendations concerning development of a regulatory program to minimize interference with the purposes for which the lands are owned and managed.

After the House indicated it would not vote on SB 138, the Senate tacked the bill onto HB 537, and sent it back to the House for concurrence or nonconcurrence. The House did not take up HB 537 again.

SB 170 (Stivers) (S. Rules, recommitted to S, NR & Energy) (-)

Bill on mine safety weakened existing inspection requirements for underground mining operations, also called for electronic mine permitting.

SB 187 (Kelly) (Died in H. State Govt)

Would create new oversight process for executive orders issued by the Governor, requiring legislative filing of orders and delaying effective date to allow for legislative committee review, sunsetting all executive orders that are not continued in effect beyond October 1, 2009 by the Governor; and sunsetting all administrative bodies created by executive order, at the end of a Governor’s term unless established by the General Assembly.

SJR 67 (Jensen)(Became Law)

Would direct the Department of Energy Development and Independence to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Kentucky Geological Survey to study the value and potential oil and gas operations on state-owned and university-owned lands and would direct the Department to develop the conditions and guidelines for assuring that oil and gas operations would be conducted in a manner that would minimize interference with the purposes for which the lands are owned and managed.

House Bills

HB 21 (Riggs) (Became Law)

House counterpart to SB 7, would allow low-speed electric vehicles to use public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

HB 37 (Marzian)(Died In S. State & Local Govt)

Would allow Governor to appoint members of boards and commissions to as to achieve gender equity.

HB 44 (Yonts)(Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend existing laws governing the bidding and awarding of personal services contracts, and legislative oversight of same.

HB 52 (Wayne)(Died in S. Rules)

Would allow a designated caretaker to vote on behalf of a voters scheduled to have surgery on election day, broadening existing law which is limited to the spouse.

HB 53 (Edmonds)(Became Law)

Would create a system for titling and registration of all terrain vehicles.

HB 62 (Meeks)(Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Would define “American Indian” for purposes of Kentucky statutes.

HB 63 (Meeks)(Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Would create a process by which an applicant could request formal recognition as an American Indian tribe by the Commonwealth’s Native American Heritage Commission, based on satisfaction of at lease five of the eligibility criteria in the statute.

HB 70 (Crenshaw)(Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend state constitution to allow for restoration of voting rights of convicted felons upon final discharge from parole, expiration of probation, or expiration of sentence.

HB 84 (Glenn)(Died in H. Rules)

Would allow lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for all citizens 65 years of age or older.

HB 102 (Pasley)(Died In Senate After Conference Committees Appointed But Did Not Meet And Report)

Would create process for establishing a public infrastructure authority for major highway and bridge projects, allowing the authority to issue bonds for financing a project and to place tolls on a project and set out procedures for collection and distribution of tolls.

HB 119 (Hall and Edmonds)(Died in H. Rules)

Would lower number of underground mine emergency technicians on production shifts for mines with less than 18 employees from two to one.

HB 127 (Rollins)(Died in S. Judiciary)

Would amend existing law to allow conservation easements encumbering air board property to run for 20 or more years rather than a minimum of 30 years.

HB 131 (Simpson)(Recommitted to and Died in H. Local Govt)

Would amend existing law concerning the establishment of a commission to develop and propose for adoption by residents, of a comprehensive plan for creation of a charter county government.

HB 133 (Owens)(Died in H. Elections & Const Amendments)

Would amend state constitution to allow qualified voters to vote by absentee ballot in person.

HB 148 (Cherry)(Died in S. Rules, Consent)

Would ratify the reorganization of the Attorney General’s Department of Law.

HB 149 (Cherry) (Died in S. Rules, Consent)

Would ratify the reorganization of the Office of Auditor of Public Accounts.

HB 160 (Meeks and Butler)(Died in S. Nat Res & Energy)

Would amend existing law to require annual state agencies and all higher-ed institutions to report on wastes recycled during previous year.

HB 162 (Pullin)(Died in S. Natural Resources & Energy)

Would reduce property taxes on qualifying voluntary environmental remediation property where the land is used for agricultural production of energy feedstocks.

HB 172 (McKee, Osborne)(Died in S. Agriculture)

Would amend existing law concerning agricultural districts to require the Soil and Water conservation Commission to consider local comprehensive plans and 401 facilities plans when considering whether to approve formation of an agricultural district; and clarify that compliance with K.R.S. Chapter 132 is required in order to obtain an agricultural assessment.

HB 178 (Adkins) (S. Rules, recommitted to and died in Senate NR & Energy)(+)

This bill would reenact House Bill 2, in response to the Franklin Circuit Court decision voiding a road bill that was passed after the expiration of the 60th legislative day in the 2008 Session. While HB 2 was passed by both chambers prior to midnight, it was not engrossed and enrolled until after that time, making HB 2 potentially vulnerable to judicial challenge.

Senate recommitted the bill to Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, either to hold the bill in order to pressure Rep. Adkins and House leadership to pass a Senate Bill, or to attach other provisions that the House has not taken up for a vote.

It is a sad commentary that, in the waning hours of the last day of the 2009 session, the Senate had the time to take up and pass HB 358 with senate amendments, knowing full well that the vote would mean nothing and was nothing more than paying homage to the NRA, yet the Senate could not find time to reenact HB 2 from the 2008 session as HB 178. As a result, what has now become a model piece of energy legislation endorsed by the Council of State Governments for adoption by other states remains at risk in Kentucky since it was passed by both houses but not engrossed and enrolled until after midnight on the last legislative day.

HB 185 (R. Webb)(Became Law)

Would amend mine safety law to allow electrical work to be performed by an electrical trainee under the direct supervision of a certified electrician, rather than by the certified electrician.

HB 187 (Horlander) (Died in S. Rules) (-)

Bill would amend adoption and publication requirements for county ordinances, including allowing a county ordinance to be adopted without two readings on separate days where 2/3 of the fiscal court claims an “emergency” exists. No definition is given of what would constitute such an emergency. Such a broad power to suspend the requirement for two separate readings needs to be narrowed and bounded by a measurable and reviewable standard; otherwise the ability of the public or courts to police the exercise of legislative power by a county could be compromised.
KRC has offered some language to the Kentucky Association of Counties to define what would constitute an emergency. KRC will discuss this matter with KACO, the Kentucky League of Cities, and legislative leadership during the interim.

HB 199 (Burch) (Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Statute would allow issuance of identification cards for persons experiencing homelessness and establish a $2 fee for the identification cards.

HB 203 (Riggs)(Died in House awaiting concurrence with Senate changes)

Bill amending local government economic development statutes to conform to reorganization provided in Executive Order 2008-602.

HB 208 (Denham) (Became Law)

Would require regulations of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to be available on the website rather than requiring newspaper notification and would make various other changes to fish and wildlife laws relating to press notifications, trapping, and waiving of licenses and fees for special events.

HB 215 (K. Flood) (Died in S. Rules)

Would amend environmental trust fund to allow expenditures for “environmentally beneficial projects” which are projects “that benefit the environment and the Commonwealth.” The trust fund is currently limited to supporting scientific, technical and environmental research, and to finance R&D projects promoting innovative solutions to environmental problems. Committee substitute provided a definition of what projects would be eligible, addressing KRC’s concern with the bill as introduced.

HB 235 (McKee and Denham)(Died in S. Rules)

Would create a Forest Health Board for purposes of identifying and prioritizing threats to health of Kentucky’s forests, and reporting to the General Assembly annually.

HB 240 (Adams)(Died in S. Agriculture)

Would require spaying or neutering of dogs and cats as prerequisite to release from a releasing agency.

HB 242 (McKee and Adams)(Died in H. Rules)

Would increase penalties for second and subsequent violations of prohibiting on hunting on lands of another without permission.

HB 285 (Adkins)(Died in H. Rules)

Intent of bill is to amend existing law regarding tax incentives to make them available to advanced coal-fired power plants or modification of existing plants that capture and sequester carbon emissions and that have received federal energy incentives. As written, the original bill required only that the plant include “carbon capture or storage.” At KRC’s suggestion, the language was modified to require carbon capture and sequestration.

HB 299 (Webb and others)(Died in S. Rules)

Would amend existing law to clarify that a taxpayer eligible to claim a “clean coal incentive credit” must do so before March 15 of each year.

HB 301 (Turner and others)(Became Law)

Would prohibit removal of animal identification or tracking devices without permission.

HB 310 (Damron)(Died in S. Rules)

Consumer protection bill that would direct the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to develop standards for remediation of mold in private and public buildings and empower Attorney General to investigate complaints about mold remediation companies and to enforce the standards.

HB 345 (Stewart)(Died in H. A&R)

Would exempt from sales and use taxes the costs of an installed geothermal heat pump.

HB 351 (Adkins and Pullin)(Died in H. NR&Env) (-)

Intended to provide a mechanism for state assumption of liability for the KGS research projects on geologic carbon sequestration, the bill is drafted in an overbroad manner that creates a state policy of underwriting the liabilities for non-performance of carbon injection. The bill is a placeholder for a much more narrowly-tailored measure that addresses liability for the research project alone and does not establish a state policy of assuming liability for failed geologic sequestration.
Bill will not be heard.

HB 358 (Damron) (Passed Senate With S. Committee Substitute and S. Committee Title Amendment after House has adjourned, did not become law) (-)

Bill was amended in Senate to include provisions allowing carrying of concealed weapons by hunters.

It is a sad commentary that, in the waning hours of the last day of the 2009 session, the Senate had the time to take up and pass HB 358 with senate amendments, knowing full well that the vote would mean nothing and was nothing more than paying homage to the NRA, yet the Senate could not find time to reenact HB 2 from the 2008 session as HB 178. As a result, what has now become a model piece of energy legislation endorsed by the Council of State Governments for adoption by other states remains at risk in Kentucky since it was passed by both houses but not engrossed and enrolled until after midnight on the last legislative day.

HB 362 (Adkins and Yonts) (Died in House awaiting concurrence)

Would amend existing state law to remove references to Kentucky’s ratification of the Southern States Energy Compact, which never took effect. Committee substitute placed the Center for Renewable Energy and Environmental Stewardship at the University of Louisville. Senate amended the bill to include Senator Boswell’s bill expanding alternative fuels subsidies to include tar sands, and House did not take the bill back up for concurrence.

The relationship between the new Center and the Cabinet was originally to be codified in a memorand of agreement, and in the absence of this legislation, that will likely follow.

HB 367 (Jenkins and Graham)(Died in S. Judiciary)

Would amend the definition of “party” under K.R.S. 13B, the administrative hearings chapter, to include a union representative.

HB 383 (Jenkins and Embry)(Became Law)

House committee substitute incorporated KRC proposal to require that the Kentucky Medical Association review and revise the guidelines for when to curtail or cancel practices, to include, in addition to consideration of temperature and humidity, ambient air quality and ozone and particulate levels. Senate committee substitute gutted the bill and turned it into a “study.” The bill, as enacted, makes a small step forward by requiring safety training for coaches, but fails to specifically address the lack of connection between air quality alert conditions and athletic practices during ozone and particulate health alert days.

HB 399 (Osborne)(Died in S. Rules)

Would limit drug usage on noncaptive wildlife.

HB 447 (Webb)(Died in H. Rules)

Would provide that under Chapter 100, the existence of a driveway, easement or other access road in a parcel of land being subdivided is not to be considered a new street.

HB 452 (Gooch)(Became Law)

Would update laws concerning mining around oil and gas wells and drilling of wells through workable coal seams to incorporate new technologies for mapping; and would lessen setbacks from 500 to 300 feet for mining near wells.

HB 537 (Adkins)(Died In House awaiting concurrence) (-)

The Beshear Administration’s energy bill, HB 537 is an anemic measure at a time when bold initiative is needed. It contains an extremely weak provision for further study concerning a utility renewable and energy efficiency portfolio standard rather than creating such a standard. The bill lacks any language that would require electric utilities to begin to diversify their portfolio mix of energy sources.

KRC has offered language to revise both the timeframe and the subjects to be reviewed by the carbon management workgroup, and has indicated to the Administration that it will not seek to amend the bill to include a mandatory renewable and energy efficiency portfolio standard.
Senate tacked on two bills that KRC has opposed this session – Senate Bill 138, which put in place a framework for leasing oil and gas rights on state and university-owned lands, and SB 13, which lifts a 25-year ban on nuclear power plants.

HR 19 (Pullin)(Adopted)

Resolution urging the President-Elect and Congress to fully fund the Greenup Lock and Dams Projects.

HJR 116 (Combs and Hall)(Died in S. Nat Res & Energy)

Would grant infrastructure projects that support a coal to liquid facility priority over other projects.

HJR 119 (Webb)(Died in S. Rules) (-)

Would direct the Energy and Environment Cabinet to promulgate regulations requiring the development of emergency action plans for all high hazard dams in the Commonwealth. Committee substitute made a sham of the bill, requiring that the coal industry file a plan but precluding the Cabinet from reviewing the adequacy of the plan.
KRC has asked the Senate leadership not to call the weakened resolution.

HJR 126 (Adkins)(Died in S. Rules)

Expresses support for research and funding for Kentucky Geological Survey work on geologic carbon sequestration

HCR 141 (Thompson)(Died in S. Nat Res & Energy) (-)

Would establish a “natural resources caucus” within the legislature representing oil, coal and natural gas interests. Somewhat stilted view of what constitute the natural resources of the state.

HCR 171 (Sims)(Died in S. State & Local Govt)

Would encourage state and local governments to review and adopt policies to minimize radon exposure.

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