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Kentucky Resources Council, PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone [502] 875-2428

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

2015 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We’re Watching  Posted: January 9, 2015


This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council will be tracking during the 2015 session.

This year is a short session, and began on January 6, 2015, and has recessed until February 3, 2015 with a scheduled adjournment of March 24, 2015.

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

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO RECEIVE THESE NOTICES OF THE POSTING OF THESE UPDATES?

Send this to a friend, and tell them to write us at FitzKRC@aol.com if they want to receive notice when these postings are updated.

WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?

For a copy of any bill, visit the Legislature's 2015 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov

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 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. We have formatted this update to highlight in the first section, those bills on which KRC has taken a position. 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.

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 Licensing and Occupations Committee
H. NR Env = House Natural Resources and Environment Committee
H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee
H L&I = House Labor and Industry 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 And Resolutions On Which KRC Has Taken A Position

HB 43 (Westrom)(H H&W)(+)

Would implement statewide smoking ban in public places and businesses.

HB 84 (Watkins)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(-)

Would lift state prohibition on nuclear plant construction to allow construction of a nuclear power facility on a site previously used for the manufacture of nuclear products (i.e. Paducah). Would create a “special legislation” exemption for Paducah, without requiring that a disposal or a storage strategy be in place for management of spent nuclear materials.

HB 93 (Kay)(H. Ag Sm Bus)(+)

Would create state endangered and threatened plant species list and allow regulation of sale and taking of such species.

HB 100 (Kay)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(+)

Would allow local governments to establish energy project assessment district (EPAD) programs in order to advance the efficient use of energy and water resources by allowing for energy projects to be financed by assessments imposed on only those properties participating in a program.

HB 103 (Floyd)(H. Judiciary)(+/-)(Needs Work)

Bill seeks to exclude natural gas liquids pipelines from condemnation power under state law, but inadvertently weakens current standard that condemnation be for in “public service” by substituting “public use.” KRC will work with sponsor to retain current language excluding non-utility condemnations for pipelines.

HB 119 (Wuchner and Fischer)(H. State Govt)(-)

Would delay the effective date of ordinary administrative regulations with a major economic impact until the effective date of legislation ratifying the administrative regulation. Effect of statute could be loss of delegated status for air quality and other regulatory programs, as well as delegated federal benefit programs where changes to federal regulations must be adopted by state in order to retain authority to implement those programs.

HB 131 (Wayne and others)(H. NR Env)(+)

So-called “streamsaver bill” would amend surface coal mining laws to require on-bench disposal of excess spoil where feasible and to require valley fills to be constructed above rather than in waters of the commonwealth.

HB 145 (Westrom)(H. H&W)(+)

Would enact a statewide smoking ban for public places and businesses.

HB 152(Rand and others)(H. Eco Dev)(-)

AT&T’s effort to complete deregulation of telephone services, and to end the obligation to provide basic, reliable, stand-alone telephone service to all customers. This year’s version of the AT&T bill is the same as House Committee Sub to SB 99 from last session, and would end the obligation to offer basic local exchange phone service for exchanges with 15,000 or more housing units, and for all other exchanges, would allow AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell to substitute internet protocol or less functional and reliable wireless service in some situations. Would end PSC jurisdiction over consumer cellphone and broadband complaints.

SB 2 (Bowen and others)(To House)(-)

Proposed constitutional amendment would allow General Assembly to delegate to a committee the power to stop implementation of a regulation found to be “deficient.” Would alter the current separation of powers in the Kentucky Constitution in order to address an extremely small number of regulations to which the legislative committees have objected during last 14 years.

SB 3(Hornback and others)(S. Eco Dev)(-)

AT&T’s effort to complete deregulation of telephone services, and to end the obligation to provide basic, reliable, stand-alone telephone service to all customers. This year’s version of the AT&T bill is the same as House Committee Sub to SB 99 from last session, and would end the obligation to offer basic local exchange phone service for exchanges with 15,000 or more housing units, and for all other exchanges, would allow AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell to substitute internet protocol or less functional and reliable wireless service in some situations. Would end PSC jurisdiction over consumer cellphone and broadband complaints.

SB 57 (Webb)(-)

Would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot creating a “right to farm” prohibiting the General Assembly from passing a law that “unreasonably abridges the right” to engage in the practice of farming, which is defined broadly enough to include factory farms raising livestock under industrial conditions. Could be read to prohibit all local ordinances, whether zoning, nuisance, health or otherwise, addressing problems from such operations. Could also limit future regulation of wastes and wastewaters, and odors from CAFO operations.

SB 80 (Harris)(+)

Would extend collection of fee under Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund from 2016 to 2024.

House Bills

HB 1 (Stumbo and others)

Would propose constitutional amendment allowing each community to adopt a local sales and use tax to fund local projects.

HB 2 (Stumbo)

Would raise the state minimum wage incrementally to $10.10 in 2017.

HB 3 (Stumbo)

Would legalize and regulate medical cannabis.

HB 11 (Flood)(H. Judiciary)

Would create “public benefit corporations” whose purposes could include public as well as shareholder benefit.

HB 12 (St. Onge) (H. Judiciary)

Would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using drones in most cases.

HB 23 (Steele)(H. A&R)

Would distribute 100% of coal severance revenues among the coal producing counties on the basis of the tax collected on coal severed or processed in each respective county.

HB 26 (Hoover)(H. Elections)

Would amend constitution to provide for automatic restoration of voting rights under certain conditions. One of several bills on restoration of voting rights.

HB 28 (King)(H. A&R)

Would require roll call votes on any appropriation or revenue-raising measure voted upon in the Senate or House or a committee thereof.

HB 29 (King)(H. Judiciary)

Would establish legislative intent that the rights of an individual afforded under the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States take precedence over the application of any foreign law in any judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding; define specific terms; strictly construe waivers of constitutional rights.

HB 31 (King)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment would prohibit members of the General Assembly from receiving legislative pay for a special session that has been called by the Governor because the General Assembly adjourned without passing a state budget.

HB 33 (Kerr)(H. Education)

Would prohibit implementation of language arts and mathematics academic content standards developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative and the science academic content standards developed by the Next Generation Science Standards Initiative.

HB 45 (Stone)(H. A&R)

Would transfer a portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in-lieu-of-tax payment to the regional development agency assistance fund to be distributed among fiscal court-designated local industrial development authorities for economic development and job creation activities.

HB 46 (Imes)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment would hold the elections of statewide constitutional officers in even-numbered years, every four years, beginning in 2022.

HB 48 (Wayne)(H. A&R)

Would create a refundable income tax credit for the costs of mitigating noise from a commercial airport.

HB 56 (Crimm)(H. Judiciary)

Would forfeit ownership of animals involved in cruelty and torture cases and prohibit ownership or possession of animals of the same species for two years.

HB 63 (Wayne)(H. Judiciary)

Would establish fund and rules for public financing of judicial campaigns.

HB 70 (Owens)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment to restructure the voting restrictions contained therein relating to felons and persons with mental disabilities.

HB 82 (Floyd)(H. Judiciary)

Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole.

HB 96 (Meeks)(H. Local Govt)

Would amend minimum wage laws to include anti-preemption language permitting local governments to establish minimum wage laws in excess of the state minimum wage.

HB 118 (Keene)(H. A&R)

Would make changes in tax credits available for rehabilitation of certified historic structures.

HB 125 (Tilley)(H. Ag Sm Bus)

Would amend the beekeeping fund law to allow monies to be spent to help improve commerce of products derived from beekeeping.

HB 130 (Short and others)(H. A&R)(Under Review)

Would amend current law concerning unmined minerals tax.

HB 154 (Stumbo, Jenkins)(H. Jud)

Amend existing law to include the owning, possessing, keeping, breeding, training, selling, or transferring of four-legged animals for fighting purposes within the offense of cruelty to animals in the first degree.

HB 155 (Meredith and others)(H. A&R)

Amend KRS 139.480 to exempt bees used in a commercial enterprise for the production of honey or wax for sale and certain items used in that pursuit.

House Resolutions

HR 1 (Stumbo)(adopted)

Establishes rules for the House during the 2015 Regular Session.

HJR 19 (Meeks)

Resolution urging Congress to authorize and fund construction of a national museum recognizing atrocities committed against native americans.

Senate Bills

SB 11 (Thomas)

Would require witnesses appearing before a committee to take an oath prior to giving testimony.

SB 15 (Neal)

Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole for inmates presently sentenced to death.

SB 17 (Neal)

Constitutional amendment would restore voting rights to persons convicted of a felony, other than felonies designated by the General Assembly, under certain conditions.

SB 24 (Schickel)

Would exempt from sport fishing license, the taking of fish from private waters on lands owned by a person or family.

SB 26 (Buford)

Constitutional amendment would restore the right to vote to persons convicted of a felony after service of their sentence, expiration of probation, or final discharge from parole, unless the offense was treason, intentional murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse of a child, bribery in an election, or another crime specified by the General Assembly.

SB 27 (Robinson)

Constitutional amendment to clarify standards relating to redistricting and to require the General Assembly to remain in continuous session, without pay to the members, for the sole purpose of redistricting if the General Assembly fails to redistrict the state by April 15 of the first even-numbered year session following receipt of the decennial census data.

SB 38 (Webb)

Would prohibit the use of a drones to disrupt lawful hunting, trapping, or fishing.

SB 40 (Clark)

Would allow and regulate medical marijuana.

SB 43 (Higdon)

Would create a new section of KRS Chapter 411 to provide civil immunity for damaging a vehicle to a person who enters a vehicle with the good faith belief that a minor is in imminent danger of harm if not removed from the vehicle.

SB 55 (Webb)

Would amend existing law concerning donation of game meat to and from non-profit organizations.

SB 70 (Neal)

Constitutional amendment would 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.

SB 79 (Clark)

Would make the possession of two ounces of marijuana or less a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $75; and make cultivation of five marijuana plants or less a Class B misdemeanor.

Senate Resolutions

SR 2 (Adopted)

Rules of Procedure for the Senate for the 2015 Regular Session.

SCR 11 (Neal)

Would establish a task force to study the costs of administering the death penalty in Kentucky.

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