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

2012 GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION: Bills We’re Watching: The Final Edition  Posted: April 13, 2012


This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council tracked during the 2012 session. This year was a “long” session, and began on January 3, 2012 with sine die adjournment of April 12, 2012. Those bills and resolutions enacted into law will become effective on July 12, 2012.

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, visit the Legislature's 2012 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11RS/record.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 1-866-840-2835.

Please note that the Council did not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills were tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they did not become vehicles for mischievous amendments. We have formatted this update to highlight in the first section, those bills on which KRC took a position. 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. Absent an emergency clause in the bill, those bills with the notation “became law” will take effect in June of this year.

Committee Key:

H. State Govt = House State Government Committee
H. Ed = House Education Committee
H. Tourism Dev Energy= House Tourism, Development, and Energy Committee
H. Elections= House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
H. Veterans= House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee
H. Judiciary = House Judiciary Committee
H. A&R = House Appropriations and Revenue Committee
H. Eco. Dev. = House Economic Development Committee
H. Ag Sm Bus = House Agriculture and Small Business Committee
H. Local Govt = House Local Government Committee
H. Trans = House Transportation Committee
H. H&W = House Health and Welfare Committee
H. L&O = House Labor and Industry Committee
H. NR Env = House Natural Resources and Environment Committee
H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee

S. State Local Govt = Senate State and Local Government Committee
S. NR Energy = Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
S. Ag = Senate Agriculture Committee
S. Judiciary = Senate Judiciary Committee
S. Eco Dev = Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee
S. Ed = Senate Education Committee
S. H&W = Senate Health and Welfare Committee
S. LO = Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee
S. Veterans = Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee

Bills on which KRC took a position, and the final disposition of the bills and resolutions:

HB 30 (Mills) (S. Ed)(-)

Would allow school boards to approve billboards on school buses, except that political, alcohol and tobacco advertising would be prohibited. Quite possible that the attempted “content-based” restrictions on the advertising would be struck if challenged, and bill provides that program would end if the content-based restrictions are deemed unconstitutional.

HB 124 (Wayne) (S. Eco Dev)(+)

Would amend KRS Chapter 100 to allow a planning unit to incorporate airport noise overlay districts within its zoning texts and maps and to incorporate guidelines on building techniques and materials that are designed to provide acoustical insulation benefits to structures within the overlay.

HB 146 (Rollins)(S. A&R)(+)

Require the Kentucky Department of Education to consult with the Department for Environmental Protection and the Kentucky Chapter of the U. S. Green Building Council in promoting green cleaning programs in schools.

HB 148 (Combs)(Became Law)(+)

Would amend state pipeline safety law to delete the $25,000 / $500,000 maximum penalties for violations of federal gas pipeline laws and regulations, and replace with civil penalties contained in federal code, which allow imposition of individual penalties for violations of $100,000 for each day of the violation, up to an aggregate of $1,000,000 for related violations.

HB 226 (Bell)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)(-)

Would allow bill board owners to apply for a permit to “trim” public right of way trees in order to assure the motoring public would be exposed to billboard messages. KRC testified in opposition to the bill in committee, and has posted that testimony on the website.

HB 238 (Jenkins)(S. Rules)(Consent)(+)

Would create a prescription drug drop off and recycling program.

HB 246 (Adkins and others)(To Governor)

Original bill would have expanded the types of alternative and renewable energy qualifying for state incentives, and would exempt sales of some geothermal drilling supplies and tools from sales and use tax.

Senate committee substitute removed all original provisions and as enacted, bill simply extends a tax credit for employers who pay tuition for workers in Metropolitan College consortium.

HB 255 (Adkins and others)(To Governor)(+)

Original bill would have created a Kentucky Green Schools Authority to promote energy efficiency in school buildings through technical assistance, expertise, and financing to undertake guaranteed energy savings performance contract projects.

Senate changes gutted original bill and instead adopted provisions intended to provide assistance to tornado victims.

HB 352 (Jenkins and Thompson)(H. Tourism Dev & Energy)(-)

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 148 to define "metal detector" and "public area"; allow use of metal detectors in public areas; require registration of use of metal detector within state park or monument office; amend KRS 148.991 to provide a penalty for violation. House version of SB 105, which KRC opposed.

HB 450 (Combs, Lee, Bell)(H. State Govt)(-)

Would declare public policy that the costs of administrative regulations shouldn’t exceed the public benefit, and amend KRS Chapter 13A relating to administrative regulations to clarify the review authority and duties of the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and authorize a nonbinding determination that an administrative regulation is deficient if the administrative regulation appears to be against public policy; amend KRS 13A.240 to change the regulatory impact analysis by deleting questions regarding the costs and benefits to regulated entities; amend KRS 13A.280 to require administrative bodies to file an in-depth costs-benefit analysis with each statement of consideration and authorize a person or entity to submit an alternative costs-benefit analysis to the regulations compiler.

The Council expressed concern that a traditional cost-benefit analysis undervalues or ignores benefits that are not easily monetized, such as ecological functions, environmental quality, and public health.

HB 465 (Nesler, Gooch)(Became Law)(+)

Would create a new section of Subchapter 1 of KRS Chapter 224 to establish a Brownfields Redevelopment Program to be administered by the Energy and Environment Cabinet, and would extend nonliability to property owners where a release of petroleum, pollutants, or contaminants has occurred to the extent of performing characterization or corrective action for the release. Would also establish criteria for the protection from liability for property owners and allow the cabinet to promulgate administrative regulations to establish standard and procedures for implementing the Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Would also amend KRS 224.60-135 to provide that property owners are not require to take corrective action where a release from a petroleum storage tank occurred if the property owner is not the tank owner or operator, and amend KRS 224.60-138 to remove from general cabinet authority residual contamination on property where a release has occurred from a petroleum storage tank if the contamination is below standards established by the cabinet under the Brownfields Redevelopment Program.

KRC offered some proposed revisions, which were made by House Floor Amendment.

HCR 29 (Graham) (Became Law)(+)

Establish a Kentucky Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights and declare it to be the public policy of the Commonwealth. Senate Committee Substitute softened the language into an expression of sentiment for “promoting, as a public policy goa, enhanced opportunities for outdoor activity for Kentucky’s children.”

HCR 64 (Combs)(S. Judiciary)(+)

Would establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force to study issues regarding timber theft and trespass and to develop consensus recommendations to address those issues; and name the membership of the task force.

SB 4 (Carpenter)(H. State Govt)(-)

Would place a moratorium of one year on any new regulations other than emergency regs and those required by 2012 session. Would sunset all regulations within two years unless they are repromulgated within that time (between 1 and 2 years). Would require an “economic impact analysis” and a ”small business and consumer impact analysis” . Would prohibit state regulations from imposing stricter requirements on regulated entities than “those required by the federal mandate” unless specifically authorized by statute.

KRC has vigorously opposed different versions of “no more stringent than” legislation, which makes the federal minimum standards for environmental protection and public health the state maximum standards. The Commonwealth has already undertaken this exercise in summary repromulgation of all regulations, and it is a waste of agency time and resources, since all of the existing regulations have already been through the process at least once.


SB 10 (Bowen)(H. Elections)(-)

Proposed constitutional amendment that would alter the current balance of power among the branches of government by reversing the LRC v. Brown decision and empowering the General Assembly to authorize interim committees to reject proposed administrative regulations when the General Assembly is not in session.

SB 12 (Hornback)(S. Rules, recommitted to Sen. Eco. Dev.)(-)

Would complete the deregulation of telecommunications service in Kentucky, undercutting the 2006 legislative decision that basic telephone service would remain regulated by the Public Service Commission. Would exempt electing utilities from prohibitions on discrimination in rates and service, and eliminate the requirement to file and display rates and conditions of service. Would also eliminate obligation to provide service where any other voice service was available. Would also curtail significantly PSC jurisdiction over complaints. The bill is dead for this session, according to the sponsor.

SB 47 (Schickel) (H. Ag SB)(needs revision)(+)

Original bill would allow the sale of raw milk at a farm site. Committee substitute removed original provisions and provide for “shared ownership” arrangements for livestock and poultry without permits. While not intended, the effect would be to remove any environmental permitting requirement from an industrial livestock or poultry operation provided that there was “shared ownership” of the animals. KRC will work to clarify the language, since the intent of the bill, which is to facilitate production contracts between farm producers and consumers, is positive.

SB 62 (Thayer)(H. State Govt)(-)

Would lower percentage of voter signatures needed on petition to dissolve an area planning commission from 25% of voters in last presidential election to 10% of registered voters who voted in most recent election. Senate Committee Substitute Floor amendment filed by sponsor would increase percentage to 15% of registered voters.

SB 105 (Seum and Hornback)(H. Tourism Dev & Energy)(-)

Would allow use of metal detectors in state parks and monuments, with no ability of the land manager to prohibit or restrict their use. Only protection is that they cannot be used in areas restricted as a “primitive trail or ecologically sensitive area.”

It is a problematic bill that could result in significant damage to our Commonwealth's historic and cultural heritage. Individuals who work with civil war site preservation who are very concerned that SB 105 will increase the incidences of collectors damaging battlefield sites in search of buckles, bullets, and other metal objects. Others are concerned that archaeological sites from historic and prehistoric times might be damaged, and that allowing metal detectors on public lands will encourage collectors to excavate sites in order to recover metals in a way that violates the Kentucky Antiquities Act of 1962, which prohibits the willful damage or destruction of archaeological sites on lands owned or leased by the state, state agencies, counties, or municipalities, and requires a permit from the University of Kentucky's Department of Anthropology to explore or excavate archaeological sites on these lands.

SB 135 (Hornback, Kerr, Carpenter)(S. Eco Dev)(-)

Would complete the deregulation of telecommunications service in Kentucky, undercutting the 2006 bill that the basic telephone service would remain regulated by the Public Service Commission. Would exempt electing utilities from prohibitions on discrimination in rates and service, and eliminate the requirement to file and display rates and conditions of service. Would also eliminate obligation to provide service where any other voice service was available, and would eliminate any obligation to serve after June, 2013. Would also curtail significantly PSC jurisdiction over complaints.

House Bills

HB 1 (Became Law)

Redistricting plan for state House of Representatives and State Senate.

HB 2 (Cherry)(Became Law)

The chambers couldn’t agree on the Congressional Redistricting Plan; as enacted this bill simply moved the filing deadline to February 7.

HB 70 (Crenshaw) (S. Judiciary)

Proposed constitutional amendment to allow persons convicted of a felony other than treason, intentional killing, a sex crime, or bribery the right to vote after expiration of probation, final discharge from parole, or maximum expiration of sentence; submit to the voters for ratification or rejection.

HB 83 (Koenig) (S. A&R)

Would eliminate the Kentucky Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation and transfer its functions to the Cabinet for Economic Development. Committee substitute includes provision authorizing cost recovery for purchase power agreements by a regulated utility for electricity generated by a merchant biomass facility provided that the Commission finds that the rates are fair, just, and reasonable over the term of the agreement.

HB 115 (Nesler)(S. Ag)

Would require retail food establishments to notify consumers of the country of origin of catfish sold in their establishments by means of a label, menu, or other sign and allow sampling by state to verify species.

HB 122 (Rollins and others)(Became Law)

Would prevent local governments from imposing additional licensing or other requirements on private agencies that provide group home services for the disabled, while allowing regulation through ordinances of general application (such as zoning).

HB 123 (Riggs) (Became Law)

Would allow a city of the second class in Metro Louisville to establish an independent board of zoning adjustment with exclusive jurisdiction within the city's territorial jurisdiction.

HB 165 (Denham)(S. A&R)

Would require headlights be on during any period of precipitation that necessitates the use of windshield wipers by motorists. Committee substitute limits obligation to vehicles of model year 2000 or more recent.

HB 181 (Meeks)(S. Judiciary)

Would amend KRS 446.010 to define "American Indian" to mean a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America, including Central America, and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment to the tribe of origin or to the community of original peoples.

HB 182 (Meeks)(S. Judiciary)

Would create process for formally recognition as an American Indian tribe by the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission.

HB 204 (Koenig and others)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)

Would create procedure new procedure for the optional consolidation of counties.

HB 230 (Wayne and others)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)

Would create a mechanism for public financing of judicial elections, funded with voluntary designations of income taxes and bar dues.

HB 233(Jenkins)(S. Judiciary)

Would allow a Judge issuing an order in a domestic violence case to address the care and custody of family pets.

HB 240(Jenkins) (H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)

Proposed constitutional amendment would abolish the office of constable.

HB 245 (Hall and Henderson)(H. Rules)

Would advance the use of compressed or liquefied natural gas by allowing Division of Air Quality to mandate some portion of vehicle fleets to be converted to “alternative transportation fuels,” which is defined to include CNG and LNG. Would also create tax credits for converting vehicles to natural gas or purchasing new vehicles that do so.

HB 252 (Short and others) (S. Veterans)

Would require Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to hold a postseason elk quota hunt.

HB 253 (McKee and Denman)(S. Ag)

Would amend law governing agricultural districts to include agricultural land of five acres of more when used to form an agricultural district and to add the local comprehensive plan and the 401 facilities plan to the county development patterns considered by the board of supervisors as one of the factors when considering the formation of an agricultural district.

HB 263 (Cherry)(S. Licensing)

Would revise existing licensing standards for licensing of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professionals.

HB 265 (Rand and others)(Became Law)

Executive Branch Budget for FY 2012-2014. Governor line-item vetoed a number of appropriations; General Assembly overrode none of those vetoes.

HB 266 (Rand and others)(S. Transp)

Transportation Cabinet Budget.

HB 267 (Rand and others)(To Governor)

The fiscal year 2012-2014 Biennial Highway Construction Plan.

HB 268 (Rand and others)(Became Law)

Legislative Branch Budget for FY 2012-2014.

HB 269 (Rand and others)(Became Law)

Judicial Branch Budget for FY 2012-2014.

HB 281 (Jenkins)(Became Law)

Would require coaches to complete training on recognizing and treating concussions and head injuries and identify actions required before an athlete with a suspected concussion or head injury may return to play.

HB 289 (Westrom and Adams)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)

Would prohibit indoor smoking in businesses, places of employment, and other listed public places.

HB 302 (Cherry)(Became Law)

Would extend the filing deadline for congressional candidates to February 7, 2012 for the 2012 primary and adopt congressional district map.

HB 315 (Osborne and Housman)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)

Would amend eminent domain statute to allow separately deeded tracts of land owned by the same person to be considered as a single parcel for valuation purposes.

HB 321 (Marzian)(S. State Local Govt)

Would allow the Governor to achieve as much gender equity as possible when making appointments to boards and commissions.

HB 344 (Rudy and Nesler)(Became Law)

Would prohibit releasing a feral or wild hog into the wild.

HB 356 (Sinnette) (S. A&R)

Would establish standards for marinas and boat docks owners and operators to prevent electrical shocks to persons in boats, in water, and on docks around the marina and would prohibit swimming within 100 yards of a boat dock or marina, except for reasons of search and rescue.

HB 357 (Rader)(H. Rules)(Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to annually inspect local school buildings for mold and roofs for leaks and to report findings.

HB 385 (Gooch and Steele)(Became Law)

Would amend mine safety laws regarding drug and alcohol testing requirements and appeals of disciplinary actions for violations.

HB 390 (Pullin)(Became Law)

Would establish a registration system for secondary metal recyclers to be administered by the Public Protection Cabinet.

HB 399 (Thompson)(Became Law)

Would amend existing law to require the Public Service Commission to determine interest rates paid by utilities on an annual basis.

HB 411 (Short and others)(Became Law)

Would amend existing law to designate the Monday of the fourth week of August each year as Coal Truck Driver Appreciation Day.

HB 418 (Ford)(S. Judiciary)

Would require a notice of methamphetamine contamination to be filed by the county attorney with the county clerk who attaches the notice to the deed of the property when properties are declared to be contaminated with chemicals used in methamphetamine manufacturing; require a notice of decontamination to be filed when the property is properly cleaned.

HB 427 (Hall)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would allow Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Board to adopt regulations with procedures for providing grants to nonprofit conservation organizations as well as agencies.

HB 440 (Denham)(Became Law)

Would clarify common law liability provisions and protections for those providing agrotourism activities to the public.

HB 496 (Bell and Coursey)(Became Law)

Would exempt from open records law those bodies that receive at least 25% of funds from state or local government if those funds are awarded through a competitive bidding process. KRC believes that where public monies are supporting an entity at 25% or greater, the public has a right to access records irrespective of whether the contract was publicly bid.

HB 500 (Damron and 30 others)(Became Law)

Would amend existing law regarding the prohibition against local government regulation of firearms to require repeal of any such ordinances relating to the manufacture, sale, purchase, taxation, transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, storage or transportation of firearms and firearms components, and exempts from sovereign immunity any person in local government, a special district, public or semi-public agency, board, commission or public corporation, making them liable for any ordinance, administrative regulation, executive order, policy, rule or procedure that has the effect of regulating firearms or components, directing that the court “shall” award any party attorneys and expert witness fees. Also makes any public servant who violates the law subject to criminal penalties.

HB 518 (McKee) (Became Law)

Would add to the membership of the Waste Tire Working Group one member who is a magistrate or commissioner and one member who is a county judge/executive. Senate floor amendment would add retailer as well, and second Senate floor amendment addresses overdimension farm equipment.

HB 521 (Thompson)(H. Rules, Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would allow agencies to use any form of notification – governmental, commercial, or electronic, to provide notice except for notice relating to legal rights, for which certified or registered mail must be used.

HB 550 (Stumbo, Riner)(Became Law)

Would create a new section of KRS Chapter 246 to implement a pilot project for healthy nutrition that addresses needy population areas, and provide for program expansion statewide.

HB 559 (Adkins and several others)(Became Law)

Would clarify that the moratorium on construction of new nuclear fission power plants does not preclude several nuclear-related technologies, including closed loop fuel cycle plants designed to assist in conversion of coal and gas to fuel. KRC drafted the language in the bill at the request of House Leadership.

HB 561 (Combs and Stumbo)(H. Rules, Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would allow the Energy and Environment Cabinet to develop regulations under the Water Well Certification Program to establish standards for drilling geothermal boreholes and installing geothermal systems; require the administrative regulations to include annually recurring certification requirements for geothermal borehole drillers.

House Resolutions

HJR 11 (Steele) (Became Law)

Joint resolution that would encourage incorporation of improvements to sewer infrastructure and elimination of straight pipes into mitigation under the Section 404 program, and would require the Energy and Environment Cabinet to work with the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville to develop a method of evaluating the value of straight pipes and sewer projects to the overall mitigation requirement.

HR 58 (Jenkins and others) (Adopted)

Simple resolution encouraging parents, coaches, and sports officials involved in non-scholastic sports to complete training materials on recognition of the symptoms of a concussion and the protocols for return to play.

HCR 76 (McKee and others)(S. Ag)

Resolution would urge a study of the growth of wild pig populations in Kentucky, addressing in particular the dangers and problems that wild swine present for the state's environment, farmers, landowners, and citizens.

HJR 88 (Denham)(S. Eco Dev.)

Resolution directing Cabinet for Economic Development to conduct a study of the economic development potential of Kentucky's rural areas and a strategy for business growth.

HR 90 (Meeks)(Adopted)

Simple resolution honoring Doug Magee for his years of service with Louisville Legal Aid and Metro Housing Coalition.

HR 99 (Stone and McKee)(Adopted)

Simple resolution urging the Corps of Engineers to consider changing its policy on farmers' access and use of lake water for emergency crop irrigation during drought conditions.

HR 105 (Combs)(adopted)

Would recognize the Kentucky Division of Forestry on the occasion of its 100th anniversary and adjourn in its honor.

HCR 112 (Meeks and McKee) (S. Ag)

Would urge the formation of a task force to study and offer recommendations on establishing an urban agriculture segment in the state.

Senate Bills

SB 8 (Hornback)(H. State Govt)

Would dissolve administrative bodies created by executive or administrative order 180 days after the Governor’s term expires, unless the body is established by statute prior to that time.

SB 18 (Stivers)(H. Elections)

Would amend Kentucky Constitution Section 33 regarding redistricting and when and how counties may be divided.

SB 30 (Denton) (S. Rules, Recommitted to S. State Local Govt)

Would propose constitutional amendment to eliminate office of the Constable.

SB 51(Thayer) (S. Rules, recommitted to S. State Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment to abolish the office of Treasurer.

SB 83 (Palmer) (S. Rules, consent, recommitted to S. Trans.)

Would create a water vessel removal assistance fund to be administered by the Kentucky River Authority.

SB 120 (Higdon)(S. L&O)

Would amend existing law relating to the Kentucky Housing Corporation and expenditures from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

SB 123 (Thayer)(Became Law)

Would establish standards for referendum petitions under various statutes authorizing referendums.

SB 150 (Buford)(Became Law)

Would extend to independent sewer entities the power to discontinue sewer service for nonpayment of water bills.

SB 151 (Thayer and others)(Defeated on Senate Floor)

Proposed constitutional amendment would create a new section of the Kentucky Constitution authorizing casino gambling.

SB 157 (Bowen and Givens)(Became Law)

Would revise current law on administrative regulation development by agencies to address electronic formatting, and make other changes to existing procedures.

SB 158 (Higdon)(H. Elections)

Proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit any authority from burdening actions based on religious beliefs absent a compelling governmental interest using the least restrictive means to further that interest. Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, an opponent of the proposed amendment, provided an eloquent and interesting perspective on the measure, which can be viewed at www.ket.org, coverage for March 15, 2012.

SB 162 (Bowen)(Became Law)

Comprehensive revision of statutes governing registration of geologists, including conferring additional investigative powers on registration board.

SB 178 (McGaha)(Became Law)

Would amend the Kentucky Constitution to require that a candidate for Office of County Surveyor possess a Kentucky professional land surveyor license.

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