2016 Kentucky General Assembly In Regular Session: Bills We're Tracking - The Prefiled Edition Posted: December 22, 2015
2016 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We’ll Be Watching
This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council will be tracking during the 2016 General Assembly Regular Session. As bills and resolutions “pre-filed” (i.e. before the next session convenes), the bills are assigned a “Bill Request” or “BR” number. They will be assigned a House or Senate Bill or Resolution number once they are introduced after the session convenes in January.
This year is a “long” session, and will begin on January 5, 2015, with a scheduled adjournment of April 12, 2016.
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, visit the Legislature's 2016 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.
Bills And Resolutions On Which KRC Has Taken A Position
BR 408 (Gooch)(-)
Would prohibit Energy and Environment Cabinet from adopting regulations under any federal rule or federal plan for controlling carbon dioxide emissions unless authorized by the General Assembly or if Congress lists CO2 as a criteria pollutant.
The effect of this bill, if enacted, would likely be that the Environmental Protection Agency would adopt and implement a “Federal Implementation Plan” requiring reductions in carbon dioxide emissions for Kentucky, and that Kentucky would not be able to seek a 2-year extension for development of a state-specific strategy for meeting the carbon emission reductions called for from electric generating units under the federal Clean Power Plan. While a Federal Plan would likely include a requirement for more renewable capacity to be installed, the loss of flexibility in designing a state-lead plan could increase electricity rates more steeply and could require earlier retirement and replacement of generating capacity. Like HB 388, this bill could have unintended dramatic economic impacts on ratepayers – more so than a state-lead plan that seeks to meet emissions targets through efficiency on both side of the meter, and through increase incorporation of renewables into utility portfolios.
BR 442 (Wayne)(+)
Would create a refundable income tax credit for the costs of mitigating noise from a commercial airport.
BR 463 (Watkins)(-)
Would lift state prohibition on nuclear plant construction to allow construction of a nuclear power facility within 50 miles of a site previously used for the manufacture of nuclear products (i.e. Paducah and a 50-mile radius of the former facilities at Portsmouth and Fernald in Ohio). Would create a “special legislation” exemption for those areas that would likely not survive judicial challenge, exempting such facilities from the requirement that a permanent disposal or a storage strategy be in place for management of spent nuclear materials.
BR 805 (Smart)(+)
Bill amends current state law regarding destruction of chemical weapons stockpile at Blue Grass Army Depot. Language has been negotiated among U.S. Army, a local monitoring group, the state Division of Waste Management and KRC to allow residuals after chemical decomplexing of unitary nerve and blister agents, to be recoded in order to reflect reduced toxicity so as to facilitate proper storage and disposal of such waste treatment residuals. Impact is limited to the demilitarization of those stockpiled chemical weapons.
BR 810 (Wayne)(+)
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.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS WE’RE TRACKING FOR WHICH KRC HAS TAKEN NO POSITION
BR 18 (Owens)
Constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights for most felonies at end of probation or final discharge; exceptions for felonies with intentional killing and those involving sex crimes.
BR 20 (Thomas)
Would require witnesses appearing before a committee to take an oath prior to giving testimony.
BR 38 (Mills)
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.
BR 50 (Wayne)
Simple resolution supporting UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
BR 61 (Bowen)
Would impose annual $100 registration fee on plug-in electric vehicles as in-lieu contribution to road fund.
BR 73 (Humphries)
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.
BR 76 (DuPlessis)
Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on state House and Senate seats of 6 and 4 terms, respectively.
BR 77 (Donohue)
Would authorize Commissioner of Agriculture to develop regulations for safety and siting of ziplines.
BR 87 (Westrom)
Would amend current traffic law to require 3-foot distance for vehicles overtaking bicycles moving in same direction.
BR 102 (Wuchner)
One of several bills arising from Rowan County marriage license case, would modify current law regarding freedom of religion, would declare the requirement to solemnize a same-sex marriage to be a substantial burden on freedom of religion and would immunize person from liability for refusing to do so. Similar bills include BR 135 (Dossett), BR 154 (Hale), which would transfer marriage license issuance from county clerk to state registrar for vital statistics,
BR 109 (Neal)
Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole going forward and for inmates presently sentenced to death.
BR 113 (Jenkins)
Would expand state civil rights law to require reasonable accommodation for women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and for related conditions.
BR 115 (Meeks)
Would create a Kentucky Historic Cemetery Preservation Program and Board, revise state law concerning cemetery access and maintenance and relocation, create new voluntary tax check off to fund program.
BR 122 (Denham)
Would limit the amount of reduction in severance taxes paid to a county due to refund for any quarter.
BR 150 (Crimm)
Would revise state law concerning the manner in which a Lieutenant Governor candidate is designated and replaced.
BR 156 (Wayne)
Would amend current zoning law affecting counties with consolidated governments.
BR 161 (P.Clark)
Would legalize possession of marijuana, license, regulate, and tax cannabis production and distribution.
BR 164 (C. Harris)
Would amend state open records law to limit a current exemption for funds paid for compensation for goods or services procured through competitive bid, so that funds paid by a public agency for utility and other public services would make the entity receiving at least 25% of its revenue from state or local government subject to state open records law.
BR 176 (Imes)
Would modify current law concerning when local option elections may be held.
BR 178 (Imes)
Constitutional amendment would move state constitutional office elections to even-numbered years starting in 2024.
BR 179 (Imes)
Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on state representatives and senators of 8 and 4 terms, respectively, requiring a lapse of two years before they could run after serving 16 consecutive years.
BR 197 (St.Onge)
Would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using drones in most cases.
BR 199 (Steele)
Would amend current law concerning unmined minerals tax to limit tax imposition to minerals under permit that would be mined within a year.
BR 200 (Steele)
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.
BR 201 (Steele)
Would create sales and use tax holidays for purchases of certain clothing items and school supplies.
BR 205 (Bechler)
Would revise criminal statutes regarding use of drones for harassment, voyeurism, theft by taking or forcible entry.
BR 209 (Meeks)
Would task the Historic Properties Advisory Commission and Tourism Cabinet to provide appropriate contextual information regarding the civil war and Confederate States of American statuary and other historical items.
BR 210 (Stumbo)
Would raise campaign contribution limits and amend campaign contribution reporting laws.
BR 214 (St. Onge)
Would modify current firearms laws regarding unlawful possession of firearms, and include legislative declarations regarding the right to bear arms.
BR 219 (St. Onge)
Would create a new crime of drone harassment.
BR 225 (Flood)
Would create “public benefit corporations” whose purposes could include public as well as shareholder benefit.
BR 228 (Gooch)
Would allow municipal utilities to allow two or more municipal utilities to combine to create a municipal electric authority in order to provide electricity, including bonding for new generation facilities. Such authority would be exempt from Public Service Commission jurisdiction as to rates and service, as are municipal utilities currently.
BR 255 (King)
Would require roll call votes on any appropriation or revenue-raising measure voted upon in the Senate or House or a committee thereof.
BR 256 (King)
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.
BR 258 (King)
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.
BR 271 (Meeks)
Would prohibit imposition of restrictions on free speech exercise at public postsecondary educational institutions subject to defined exceptions.
BR 300 (Marzian)
Simple resolution calling on Congress to propose Constitutional Amendment allowing Congress to impose restrictions on campaign spending.
BR 304 (Rowland)
Would amend current state energy efficiency tax credits to extend the credits to year 2020 only for poultry and livestock facilities. A more general extension of those tax credits is needed.
BR 341 (Jones and Turner)
Would amend severance tax statutes to return 100% of collected taxes to coal-producing and coal-impact counties.
BR 467 (Schickel)
Would amend currently law regarding revisions to judicial districts.
BR 476 (Nelson)
Would limit electric utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission to a basic service charge of no more than 10% of usage billed.
BR 801 (L. Clark)
Would include electronic cigarettes under cigarette tax.
BR 817 (Denham)
Would amend current law regarding posting of the Bill of Rights in schools to require a copy of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and of the Kentucky Constitution to be posted in each public elementary and secondary school classroom.
BR 822 (McDaniel)
Constitutional amendment would move state constitutional office elections to even-numbered years starting in 2024.