2010 Regular Session: Bills We're Watching - the Third Edition Posted: January 22, 2010
2010 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We’re Watching: The Third Edition
This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that will be tracked by the Council during the 2009 session. This is the third of many updates, covering the 2010 legislative session, which began on January 5 and continues until April 13. This list will be updated at least weekly.
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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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).
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 starting is 1-866-840-2835.
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 current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.
We’ve changed the format, so that bills we are opposing or supporting appear in the first section, followed by those that we are tracking.
Bills of Interest or Concern
SB 3 (Smith and others)(-)(S. Rules)
Self-titled "21st Century Bill of Rights" is a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to prevent laws infringing in the right to bear arms, to sever coal from the ground, to post the Ten Commandments as part of an historical display (query, why doesn't anyone ever post the Beatitudes), and asserts sovereignty over all powers not enumerated in the Constitution (including presumably the rights to privacy found in the "penumbra" of the Constitution, which form the theoretical underpinnings of the Griswold and Roe v. Wade decisions.)
KRC opposes the bill specifically because the prohibition against laws directly or indirectly interfering with the severance of coal would, among other things, invalidate both severance and unmined mineral taxes, and mining safety, health and environmental laws.
SB 26 (Leeper)(To House) (-)
Would eliminate current prohibition on construction of new nuclear plants in the Commonwealth and allow the PSC to approve new nuclear plant construction with only an approved federal plan for storage of nuclear waste.
Administration officials and the sponsor have indicated that lifting the 25-year moratorium is necessary to “begin the conversation” about the role of nuclear energy in Kentucky’s energy future. KRC respectfully disagrees, and believes that allowing a new generation of nuclear power plants to be constructed without a permanent waste disposal strategy in place for wastes that include radionuclides with a half-life of 24,000 years, sends the wrong message to an industry that has seen no new plant construction since 1974, despite significant subsidies from the federal government.
The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 27-10 and now goes to the House for consideration.
SB 56 (Leeper) (S. Nat. Res.)(+)
EEC Bill would update the screening standards for remediation of contaminated properties to include the more recent Region 3 Regional Screening Level Table. KRC is working with the cabinet and industry on some technical language.
HB 101 (Horlander)(H. Local Govt)(Needs definition)
Would amend statute governing adoption of ordinances by counties to allow suspension of second reading in the case of emergencies. KRC has discussed with the sponsor and KACO the need to define what constitutes an “emergency” in order to avoid challenges that the use of the power was abusive.
HB 110 (Overly) (+/-)(H. Licensing & Occupations) (posting waived)
Would revise law governing professional engineers and land surveyors to allow any employee or subordinate of a professional engineer to do work as long as it is “verified” by that engineer and conducted under his or her direct supervision. Current law requires that the subordinate or employee be a pupil or engineer in training.
KRC has concerns with broadening that class of subordinates to include individual not in training to be an engineer, and also the use of “verified”, since most regulatory programs require that the engineer “certify” the would, not merely verify it. It is unclear whether some other standard of care is intended by using the term “verified.” KRC will talk to the Board of Professional Engineers and Surveyors, and the sponsor.
HB 124 (Yonts)(H. Nat Res.)(+)
Would extend the registration of tanks eligible for remediation under the Petroleum Storage Tank program until 2015 and allow reimbursement for remediation expenses up until 2018.
HB 173 (Nelson) (Needs significant revision) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)(-)
Would elevate the status of the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority to that of a separate state agency and empower it to develop a statewide recreational trail plan, and to establish a program titled “Gain Access Into Nature” that would decide which activities, including hiking, bicycling, skiing, horseback riding, camping and other nature-based tourism and recreation, would need access permits. The state agencies managing the lands would identify which lands are suitable for inclusion in the program, execute agreements with the KRTA, and split the permit fees 90-10% with the KRTA.
There has already been, within the state, conflict between the efforts of motorized and nonmotorized recreation enthusiasts to open and enlarge trails in ecologically sensitive areas that are managed for purposes other than recreation. This bill would give the KRTA, which is a board with representatives of private sector interests, such as bicyclists, equine enthusiasts, motorcyclists, ATV associations, farm bureau and coal interests, the status of a state agency, able to impose fees through regulations and determine the disposition of public monies, without the accountability of having those persons be state employees subject to the disclosure, conflict of interest and other provisions needed to assure that legislative dedication of state owned and managed lands to certain public trust purposes are respected, and that enthusiasm over opening such lands to recreational purposes does not compromise the values and purposes for which the lands are being owned or managed.
A proposed amendment to K.R.S. 56.500 is particularly troublesome, since it would deny the state Nature Preserves Commission, state parks, state scenic and recreational trails, the ability to restrict public access to those lands except in emergency situations, thus potentially forcing the opening of lands managed to protect endangered species and habitats to inappropriate levels of public recreational access.
KRC will speak to the sponsor and proponents of the bill to attempt to eliminate regulatory powers vested in what was established as an advisory body, and to assure that the KRTA authority does not trump that of agencies who manage and own public lands in public trust for defined purposes that may conflict with recreational use.
HB 197 (Pasley and others)(Rules) (+)
Would reauthorize the waste tire fee for six years. The Committee substitute reduced the reauthorization to four years.
HB 213 (Adkins)(H. NR & Env)(-)
Bill sought by Denbury Resources would allow a private transmission pipeline company to condemn private lands in order to construct a pipeline for transmission of carbon dioxide. KRC has spoken with the company's attorneys about constitutional concerns and has suggested that the company either submit to regulation as a "common carrier" or that it seek to use state highway rights of way. KRC believes that irrespective of a legislative declaration that transmission of CO2 by pipeline is a "public use," the reality remains that it is not, but is instead a private company being garbed with the power of eminent domain, and condemning the lands of one private landowner in order to transfer an easement or other estate in land to another, is unconstitutional under Kentucky's constitution.
HB 240 (Adkins) (H. Rules) (++)
Would repeal and reenact House Bill 2 from the 2008 Session, to address constitutional concerns raised by the enrolling of the bill after midnight of the last legislative day of that session.
HJR 20 (J. Fischer, J. Gooch Jr., M. Harmon)(H.NR & Env)(Posted)(-)
Prohibit enforcement and enactment of restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions by all agencies and political subdivisions of state and local government.
HR 24 (M. Marzian, J. DeCesare)(H. Rules) (Posted for passage) (+)
Endorses the creation of a General Assembly Green Schools Caucus in support of efforts to build more energy-efficient, water-efficient, and environmentally sustainable K-12 schools.
Senate Bills and Resolutions We’re Tracking
SB 2 (Williams) (Defeated on Senate Floor)
Proposed amendment to state constitution would have required a constitutional amendment to expand gambling.
SB 6 (Seum)(S. State Govt)
Would limit the use of metal detectors in unimproved areas of state parks.
SB 14 (Pendleton)(S. Ag)
Would allow growing of industrial hemp and create a licensure process.
SB 23 (Angel) (S. Judiciary)
Would prohibit texting and emails while operating a motor vehicle and impose fines for violations and for accidents where texting was a cause.
SB 34 (Alice Forgy Kerr)(S. Eco. Dev.)
Would amend K.R.S. Chapter 211 to require Cabinet for Family and Health Services to adopt regulations covering permitted types, sizes, supervision and safety, water disinfection and recirculation requirements, and materials and components of “interactive water features” that allow for recreational activities with minimal standing water.
SB 40 (Thayer) (S. State Govt)
Senate version of BR 224, would direct LRC to design a website allowing citizens internet access to financial data about claims on the treasury by each branch of state government and higher education institutions, including the amount, purpose, and recipient of each such expediture.
SB 46 (Boswell)(S. Licensing & Occupations)
Would amend existing law governing reinstatement and suspension of geologist licenses to allow penalty up to $1,000 per violation and to require proof of completion of education hours prior to reinstatement.
SB 50 (Higdon)(S. State Govt)
Would prohibit making prerecorded political announcements to phone numbers listed on the national Do Not Call registry.
SB 55 (Tori)(S. State Govt)
Would void any regulations adopted between March 27, 2002 and March 16, 2004 and from March 27, 2009 until the effective date of the act, despite a finding by a legislative committee of “deficiency”, and would prohibit agencies from publishing regulations the same or similar to those found to be deficient during that period of time.
SB 63 (Rhoads)(S. Nat Res)
Would amend existing law on mine subsidence insurance to increase reinsurance limit from $100,000 to $300,000.
SB 64 (Tapp, Pendleton and Tori)(S. Nat Res)
Comprehensive revision of statutes governing Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, would subject appointment of Commissioners to Senate confirmation.
SB 95 (Seum) (Introduced to Senate)
Constitutional amendment to limit the scope of odd-year legislative sessions.
SR 9 (Angel, Clark) (S. A&R)
Resolution urging Governor Steve Beshear to include funding for Medicaid-approved smoking cessation services in his 2010-2012 Executive Branch budget proposal.
SCR 22 (Smith) (S. State Govt)
Would reauthorize the Poverty Task Force.
SR 70 (Rhoads)
A resolution adjourning the Senate in loving honor and memory of Sue Anne Salmon.
House Bills and Resolutions We’re Tracking
HB 13 (Wayne)(H. A&R)
Bill would reform tax code to increase tax rate on incomes over $75,000 and establish state earned income credit at 15% of the federal rate.
HB 14 (Siler)(to Senate)
Would allow up to three free nights stay annually for permanently and totally disabled veterans at Kentucky State Parks.
HB 24 (Richards)(H. Trans) (posted)
Would permit an applicant approved for a limited supplemental guide sign to amortize the permit cost over 10 years.
HB 27 (Nelson) (H. Trans)
Would prohibit texting on a personal communication device while operating a motor vehicle, and would after January 1, 2010, impose a fine of $50 for each offense.
HB 28 (Coursey) (H. Trans)
Would create a Water Transportation Advisory Board to advise the legislative and executive branches concerning industrial water transportation and riverports, and a trust fund for improvement of riverport facilities and infrastructure.
HB 43 (Richards) (H. Trans) (posted)
Would prohibit texting on a personal communication device while operating a motor vehicle, and would after January 1, 2011, impose a fine of $20 to $100 for each offense.
HB 44 (Damron) (H. Mil. Affairs & Public Safety)
Would authorize the Department of Public Health to create standards for mold remediation and allow prosecution for providers of mold remediation services that fail to comply with those standards.
HB 45 (Burch) (H. Judiciary)
Would abolish the death penalty and would commute all death row inmates to life imprisonment without benefit of probation or parole. Former capital cases in the future would be subject to life imprisonment without benefit of probation or parole for the first 25 years of the sentence.
HB 52 (Wuchner, Burch) (H. Ed)
Would require the Kentucky Department of Education to identify and disseminate model resources for integrating physical activity during the school day; encourage schools to utilize certified physical education teachers in the development of physical activity plans; develop a reporting mechanism for schools containing grades K-5 to report physical activity, aggregate body mass index, and wellness program data, and require at least 30 minutes of structured moderate to vigorous physical activity, 150 minutes per week, or the equivalent per month; and would prohibit exclusion from structured physical activity as a form of discipline.
HB 66 (Burch) (H. State Govt)
Would declare that any regulation found deficient by a legislative committee since March 27, 2009 to be void, and would prohibit later adoption of an identical or substantially similar regulation.
HB 69 (Edmonds)(H. Local Govt) (posted)
Bill creates a process for county consolidation and provides preference for community development block grants for consolidated counties.
HB 70 (Crenshaw)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment would provide for automatic restoration of voting rights for felons after expiration of sentence or discharge from parole.
HB 78 (Farmer) (H. A&R)
Bill would extend sales tax to include admissions, accommodations and services and lower the rate to 5.5% from 6%.
HB 89 (Meeks)(to Senate)
Would define who is an “American Indian” for purposes of state statutes.
HB 90 (Meeks)(to Senate)
Would create a process for applying to be formally recognized as an American Indian tribe by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
HB 91 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)
Would prohibit excavation of an archaeological site on private property without obtaining a permit issued by the Kentucky Heritage Council, and would make a violation a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and Class D felony for each subsequent offense. Would also codify a right to visit gravesites n private property for family members.
HB 92 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)
Would amend existing law to require that prior to alteration of real property, any agency issuing a building permit verify that the property contains no known human remains and that the Kentucky Heritage Council has issued a confirmation that no human remains or archaeological sites exist on the site. If a property confirmation or inspection verifies that human remains exist on the property, the state historic preservation officer is obligated to conduct a human remains outcome review. Civil and criminal penalties are provided for knowing violations of the Act.
HB 93 (Meeks)(H. Nat. Res.)
Would encourage state agencies to seek local recycling options, such as drop-off recycling centers; subject all agencies to requirement to annually report to the Energy and Environment Cabinet on the estimated amount of waste materials recycled during the previous year.
HB 94 (Meeks)(H. Ed)
Would raise compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years of age over a two-year period.
HB 98 (Miller)(H. Licensing & Occupations)(posting waived)
Would require inspection of installations of new manufactured homes.
HB 113 (Denham)(H. Trans)
Would require headlights to be lit during any precipitation period when windshield wipers are used.
HB 114 (Combs)(to Senate)
Would rename Pine Mountain Trail State Park to Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail.
HB 117 (Marzian)(H. Judiciary)
Would include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected status for purposes of state anti-discrimination laws.
HB 128 (DeCesare and others)(Reassigned to H. State Govt)
Would direct LRC to design a website allowing citizens internet access to financial data about claims on the treasury by each branch of state government and higher education institutions, including the amount, purpose, and recipient of each such expenditure.
HB 133 (Riner)(H. Labor & Industry) (Posting waived)
Would prohibit sex-based wage discrimination comparable worth jobs.
HB 134 (Riner)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment would automatically reinstate voting rights for felons who have completed sentence or probation terms, except for treason and certain violent and sexual crimes.
HB 140 (Yonts) (H. Education)
Bill would gradually raise compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years of age.
HB 141 (Nelson) (H. Nat. Res. & Env)
Would authorize any person to kill a black bear that was within 30 yards of an occupied dwelling if the landowner or tenant believes the killing necessary to protect anyone within 30 yards of the dwelling from imminent peril of death or serious physical injury. Such a taking would be required to be reported to a conservation officer and the landowner or tenant could not move the carcass or use it.
HB 147 (Cherry)(Recommitted to H. State Govt)
Would amend governmental ethics laws to extend ethics code and candidate financial disclosure requirements to charter, unified local governments, and specifically to property valuation administrators.
HB 148 (Cherry)(H. State Govt)
Reorganization of Office of Attorney General.
HB 158 (Rollins)(Rules)(Recommitted to H. Judiciary with committee substitute)
Would create training program for city officers and encourage the adoption of such programs by cities; would create a retirement incentive to encourage training of city officers.
HB 175 (Steele)(H. Nat Res)(posted)
Bill seeks to encourage post mining development of pollinator habitats and would request the interim Natural Resources Committee to explore ways to support beekeeping on mine reclamation sites.
HB 183 (Wayne)(H. A&R)
Would create tax credits for noise insulation installed in houses located within designated airport noise contours.
HB 185 (Wayne)(H. State Govt)(posted)
Would require posting by public employers of whistleblower statutes and restrict reprisal against employees who refuse to participate in employer practices that may violate a law or regulation.
HB 187 (Wayne and Riggs)(H. Rules)(posted)
Would amend planning and zoning statutes to extend ethics code to planning commissions and boards of zoning adjustment; would require each commissioner’s vote to be recoded, would extend plan element research and forecasts to 20-year horizon.
HB 201 (Ballard)(Rules)
Revision to statutes governing water district commissioners, allowing PSC to fill vacancies on water district commissions.
HB 215 (Gooch)(Rules, Consent)
Would amend KRS 146.415 to correct a technical error in a definition.
HB 221 (Belcher, Clark)(Under review)(H. Local Govt)(posted)
Would authorize formation of a regional wastewater commission and allow existing wastewater utilities to form such a commission, and would exempt the commission from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.
HB 232 (Burch & Meeks) (H. Trans) (posted)
Would prohibit the use of personal communication devices for texting and cellphone use while operating a vehicle and would provide for penalties randing from $20 - $100 per violation.
HB 268 (Gooch)(Under review)
Would reduce by half the number of annual training hours for a renewal of a Kentucky blaster's license and allow that no more than 4 of those hours be attributed to attending a conference.
After a year in which there was a significant uptick in flyrock violations related to strip mnine blasting, reducing hours for blaster training seems on its face to be imprudent. KRC will discuss the bill with the cabinet, OSMRE and miner advocates.
HB 273 (Moore)(H. A&R)
Would require equivalent cuts in the legislative branch budget for those made in the executive branch budget.
HB 274 (Moore)
Would require fiscal notes for all bills including an appropriation unless a 2/3 majority waived the requirement.
HB 277 (Kerr)
Would preclude planning commissions and boards of adjustment from prohibiting replacement of mobile and manufactured homes where the area has been rezoned to make those structures nonconforming.
HB 279 (Green and others)
Would phase in an increase to age 18 for compulsory attendance in high school.
HB 281 (Henderson and Stone)(H. Judiciary)
Would extend civil immunity from damages to persons administering emergency care at the scene of an emergency outside a hospital, to include persons completing wilderness rescue training that has a first aid component.
HB 283 (Gooch) (H. NR Env)
Would raise permittting fees for new, amended, and revised surface coal mining operation permits. The bill is intended to codify fee increases unlawfully adopted in a "emergency regulation" last year that raised permit fees in order to fund permit review positions within the Department for Natural Resources.
While KRC supports the increase in fees in order to capture from the permit applicants a higher percentage of the actual costs of permitting and inspecting the mine operations, it appears that the fee increases fall short of capturing 100% of those costs, leaving taxpayers to subsidize mining companies by paying a portion of the costs of the implementation of the surface mining regulatory program.
HB 290 (Rand) (H. A&R)(Under review)
The Governor's proposed FY 2010-2012 Executive Branch budget.
Administration's budget assumes over $800 million dollars in revenue from expanded gambling - a measure with little chance of success given Senate leadership opposition.
HB 291 (Rand) (H. A&R)
The Transportation Cabinet appropriations bill for the 2010-2012 biennium.
HB 292 (Rand) (H. A&R)
The biennial highway construction project bill.
HB 293 (Rand) (H. A&R)
The 2010-2012 Judicial Branch Budget.
HB 299 (Stumbo, Clark, Keene)(H. Licensing & Occupations)
Bill authorizing expansion of gaming to include Video Lottery Terminals at horse racetracks. Bill passed the House in 2009 but failed in the Senate, whose leadership wants to put the issue of expanded gaming to the voters through a constitutional amendment.
HB 308 (McKee and Denham)
Would establish a Forest Health Board.
HB 309 (Koenig)
Would abolish the Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation and vest responsibilities in the Economic Development Cabinet.
HB 310 (Marzian)
Would raise sales tax by 3/8 of a percent until 2034 to create series of funds for parks, trails, outdoor and cultural heritage, and drinking water and clean water. Proposal is the product of the Land Conservation Task Force, which has been investigating durable funding mechanisms for increasing the amount of public lands available for a range of recreational uses.
HCR 10 (Lee and others)(H. Elections)
Declares state sovereignty over power not given the federal government by Constitution and demand that the federal government case unconstitutional mandates.
HCR 11 (Crimm)(H. Elections)
Purports to restate Jeffersonian “principles of government” and to conclude that any federal court or presidential order that assumes a power not delegated to the federal government constitutes a “nullification” of the constitution, resulting in reversion of all delegated powers to the states.
HCR 13 (Floyd & Farmer)(H. Elections)
Resolution in support of second amendment and urging Congress not to enact any laws infringing on the right to bear arms.
HJR 16 (Nelson) (H. State Govt)
Resolution honoring the Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe for their efforts to preserve Shawnee culture and language.
HCR 23 (Stumbo)(H. State Govt)(posted)
Would reauthorize the Poverty Task Force and require a report by December 31, 2010.
HJR 69 (Rand)
Would give force of law to the Executive Branch Budget Memorandum that accompanies the final budget bill.
HJR 70 (Rand)
Would give force and effect of law to the Transportation Cabinet budget memorandum.
HJR 71 (Rand)
Would give force and effect of law to the Judicial Branch budget memorandum.