2001 REGULAR SESSION: 579 BILLS, 264 RESOLUTIONS, 3 DAYS LEFT IN WHICH TO PASS NEW BILLS
With three days left in which the House or Senate can pass a new bill, followed by two concurrence days and after a ten-day veto period, two veto days, four measures have passed by both bodies one resolution adjourning the legislature until February 6, a second resolution renaming a highway after Tom T. Hall, a bill confirming a reorganization of a Division within a state agency, and a fourth relating to HIV/AIDS education.
So just why was it we needed annual sessions?
Time is running out this session, and partisan rancor appears likely to kill a good brownfields bill as well as many other measures, including the Governor's solid waste bill and the bottle bill referendum.
LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
* HB 237, the Governor's solid waste bill, passes the House easily but will likely be weakened in the Senate.
* Two anti-VET bills, SB 48 and HB 27, are dead. The Supreme Court decision upholding the new stricter ozone air pollution standards, and the prospect of losing road money, convinced the House to bury the irresponsible anti-VET bills. Instead of the gamed study resolution offered by the Senate, Representatives Larry Clark and Perry Clark offered a serious study of the role of vehicle testing programs, as a committee substitute to HB 291. Its' prospects in the Senate are unclear.
* HB 104, a responsible "brownfields bill" was unanimously passed by the House but will likely die in the Senate at industry's hands.
BILLS NEEDING YOUR ACTION:
WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK, YOUR HELP WILL BE NEEDED ON THESE BILLS:
HOUSE RESOLUTION 133, introduced by Reps. Greg Stumbo and Johnny Turner, supports the designation of lands around Pine Mountain Settlement School as unsuitable for mining. PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND ASK HIM OR HER TO SUPPORT THIS RESOLUTION!
HOUSE BILL 104, THE "BROWNFIELDS BILL" needs your support. Call the Senate members and demand action on this responsible brownfields bill.
A compromise bill supported by KRC, the state Cabinet, the City of Louisville and the Kentucky League of Cities regarding a "voluntary remediation / brownfields" bill, based on SB 290 as negotiated during the 2000 session rather than SB 2, passed unanimously out of the House and is in the Senate.
Gone are the many troubling provisions of SB 2 such as the "scientific standards" board and confidentiality clauses and instead the bill provides for responsible remediation to level protective of public health and the environment.
Industry is opposing the bill, hoping instead for SB 2, which would allows them to create new brownfields in the future and would give them direct access to setting the cleanup standards for Kentucky.
Please call and fax your Senator TODAY to ask them to enact House Bill 104.
HB 237, THE GOVERNOR'S SOLID WASTE BILL, NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.
This bill that requires counties to impose end-of-curb garbage pickup and provides tax-bill based mechanisms to enforce the requirement. Prior language and flexibility problems have been largely corrected. The bill provides an "opt-out" for counties from curbside requirements provided that they eliminate open dumps in that county by 2004, and improves the collection of bills.
While KRC preferred HB 183 with its funding mechanism and broader scope, that bill was defeated last Friday, and HB 237 was passed to the Senate. HB 237 DESERVES AND NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT. PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY TO ENACT HB 237 with no weakening amendments.
** HB 9, A CONTAINER DEPOSIT REFERENDUM, passed committee and is pending before the full House of Representatives. It deserves your support! Contact your Representative and Senator and urge them to take up and pass this amendment also.
HOUSE BILL 305 would amend Public Service Commission powers to allow PSC approval of Demand-Side Management Programs proposed by regulated utilities, to provide energy bill assistance to low-income consumers. WITH YOUR HELP, THIS BILL EASILY CLEARED THE HOUSE AND NEEDS TO BE EXPEDITED IN THE SENATE. TIME IS THE ENEMY OF THIS BILL. CALL SENATE LEADERSHIP AND ASK THEM TO ENACT THIS BILL AND IN SO DOING, TO SHOW THE PUBLIC ONE SOLID REASON FOR THIS NEW ANNUAL SESSION. Senate Leadership is David Williams, Dan Kelly, Dick Roeding, Charlie Borders, Elizabeth Tori, David Karem, David Boswell and Marshall Long.
SB 60 and SB 73, which both seek to prevent the Governor from adopting emergency regulations to protect public health and the environment unless harm is "imminent," remain in House State Government Committee but have been posted for consideration. Please call and fax Rep. Charles Geveden and ask him not to hold a committee hearing on SBs 60 and 73.
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This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation or consumer bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2001 session, as well as some general government bills of interest. It will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills.
DO YOU WANT OFF THE LIST? HERE'S HOW
If you do not wish to receive this list, please send an e-mail message to fitzKRC@aol.com and you will be removed from the distribution list. Feel free to forward this to anyone you feel might be interested, and to utilize the analysis with attribution as to the source.
WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?
For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at
The toll phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100.
The toll-free bill status line is 1-877-765-0447.
The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or a committee.
THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS
Did you know that for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach any legislators that you want to contact? You can send a letter, for example, to all Senators and Representatives by listing their individual names on a cover sheet and asking that each get a copy of your letter. The good folks at the LRC fax room will copy your fax and distribute it to all that you list (the recipients must be listed by name.) The LRC webpage has a list of all legislators and all committee members.
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Please note that the Council does not have recommendations on each bill. Some are tracked simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for industry-sponsored amendments. Recommendations are indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-).
WITH THE SHORT NUMBER OF DAYS REMAINING, WE HAVE REMOVED FROM THE LIST THOSE BILLS THAT HAVE NOT YET CLEARED THE FIRST COMMITTEE. THEY CAN BE VIEWED AT '
House Bill 9 (Stumbo) (House) (posted for passage) (+) would place on the next statewide ballot a referendum question on whether the General Assembly should adopt a statewide container deposit program.
House Bill 15 (Cornett) (Senate)(+) This bill would reform the right of eminent domain (condemnation) under KRS 278.502 for main natural gas transmission lines to improve the rights of persons against whom eminent domain is sought.
House Bill 20 (Belcher) (To Senate Floor) (Monitor)
Amends KRS Chapter 246, which is the general enabling statute for the Department of Agriculture, to define "agriculture," "horticulture," "aquaculture," "poultry" and "livestock." KRS Chapter 246 largely deals with the powers and functions of the Department of Agriculture. The immediate effect of these broad definitions would be to include aquaculture as an agricultural operation, and to include nursery operations as horticulture.
Rep. Belcher has committed that this bill will go through "cleanly" and will not be used to tack on amendments to protect corporate agriculture. KRC has changed its position to one of neutrality and monitoring on this bill.
House Bill 40 (Richards) (To Senate Eco. Dev. & Tourism) Creates a certification program for communities seeking to attract retirees to settle in Kentucky.
House Bill 50 (Geveden) (Senate Floor) (+) Creates mechanism for voters of counties to consolidate counties and their governments with one another.
House Bill 55 (Wayne, Riggs) (Senate Rules) (+) Would establish training requirements for planning commission and board of zoning adjustment members and planning and zoning officials and staff.
House Bill 87 (Stumbo) (Senate Floor) Confirms executive orders establishing the Tourism Development Finance Authority in the Tourism Development Cabinet.
House Bill 91(Stumbo) (Senate Eco. Dev.) Confirms executive orders reorganizing the Office of Coal County Development into a Department within the Cabinet for Economic Development.
House Bill 100 (Barrows, Thomas, P.Clark) (Senate Floor) Would create an industrial hemp research program.
House Bill 103 (Damron) (Senate) Would allow on-site sewage systems inspection and certification by a private civil engineer, with final inspection by health department.
House Bill 104 (Bather) (Senate) A House Committee Substitute for this bill was introduced in committee this week and passed unanimously to the House floor. It will establish a "voluntary clean-up program" based on last session's SB 290 with changes to clarify the "mistake" reopener. It has been agreed to by the cities, the state, the Council and Rep. Bather and is a responsible alternative to SB 2.
House Bill 139 (Senate Rules) (+) clarifies the reporting requirements for lobbying organizations to make them monthly during legislative sessions on odd and even years. KRC has already begun voluntarily reporting expenses to the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission on a voluntary basis and has urged other non-profits to do the same.
House Bill 143 (Yonts) (Senate AG&NR) (+) Amends Environmental Audit Privilege law to restrict its application, particularly in criminal cases. EPA has threatened to remove Kentucky's authority to implement the Clean Air Act because of the breadth of this "audit privilege" law, which allows companies to seek immunity from enforcement for self-discovered violations. The state law is overbroad and compromises citizen and state-based enforcement efforts. The proposed changes narrow the law to avoid federalization of air, water, and waste permits.
House Bill 165 (Senate Rules) (+) Requires public notice and hearings on certain state-authorized capital projects.
House Bill 193 (R. Adams) (Senate Rules) (+) Bill would clarify the Public Service Commission's obligation to provide public notice where any antenna tower for cellular or PCS communication is proposed.
House Bill 218 (J. Arnold) (Senate Rules) Bill amends Chapter 13A dealing with administrative regulations, to revise procedures for fiscal notes, and to extend the time during which the Administrative Regulation review committee has to review a proposed regulation.
House Bill 237(L. Clark and others) (Senate Ag NR) (+) This is the Governor's collection bill, which requires counties to impose end-of-curb garbage pickup and provides tax-bill based mechanisms to enforce the requirement. Prior language problems have been largely corrected. The bill provides an "opt-out" for counties provided that they eliminate open dumps in that county by 2004. It isn't perfect, and needs funding to help with illegal dump elimination, but HB 237 DESERVES AND NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.
House Bill 238 (Wilkey and others) (Senate A&R) (-) This bill would allow tax increment financing for local projects by air boards and local industrial development authorities, such as the controversial airpark in western Kentucky.
KRC opposes the use of tax-increment financing by local industrial development authorities and air boards absent full environmental impact analysis, alternatives analysis, necessity and economic feasibility analysis to justify the use of such financing for air board or local industrial development authority projects. Without accountability, this mechanism could be used to fund projects such as the airpark project even though the projects could not justify the need sufficient to attract federal funding or make a case for state funding.
House Bill 242 (Ballard and others) (House A&R) Bill relates to coal economic development and revitalization of coal mining and processing facilities, and allows tax breaks for coal processing facilities creating 10 jobs.
House Bill 246 (J. Adams) (Senate State & Local Govt) (+) addresses city/county codes of ethics, and would be amended by House Floor Amendment 1 to curtail political fundraising by planning commission and board of zoning adjustment officials.
House Bill 258(Yonts) (+) (Senate Eco. Dev.) Reorganizes the state Mining Board, which oversees mine safety violations, to become an independent agency.
House Bill 291 (P. Clark) (+) House Committee Substitute creates a study of the role of VET programs in achieving and maintaining air quality compliance.
House Bill 305 (Nunn and others) (House Floor) (+) would amend Public Service Commission powers to allow them to approve a Demand-Side Management Program proposes by regulated utilities, to include home energy assistance to low-income consumers.
House Bill 318 (J. Adams) (Senate) Would make the Area Development Districts the repository of all infrastructure development plans for the area, and create a process for resolving conflict among plans.
House Bill 325 (J. Arnold, Gooch) (Senate AG&NR) Allows tax credits for coal mining companies that employ over 500 and produce over 4 million tons of coal.
House Concurrent Resolution 23 (Thomas, Vincent and Adkins) (Senate Rules) A feasibility study for establishment of a Museum of Kentucky Agriculture. Unless the legislature takes action to curtail the potential for environmental problems and the economic problems facing the small and moderate-sized farms by the unchecked rise in contract agriculture in livestock and tobacco, the first exhibit for the new museum could be the Kentucky small farmer. Fair contracting legislation to protect producers, and integrator liability for corporate contracting entities is needed to prevent victimization of Kentucky farmers.
House Concurrent Resolution 34 (Bather) (Senate) creates Task Force on Home Energy Affordability.
House Concurrent Resolution 92 (Thomas) (Senate AG&NR) Authorizes the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture to hear testimony and to conduct a study concerning agricultural contracting, sets December 2001 deadline for report.
Senate Bill 1 (David Williams) (To House State Government Committee) (posted) Imposes limitations on campaign contributions by business entities seeking to do business with the Commonwealth. Also expands prohibitions on lobbyist contributions to include political parties.
Senate Bill 2 (Leeper, Karem) (To House A & R Committee) Senate Rules with committee amendment) (-) This "voluntary remediation" bill has numerous flaws which make it an unacceptable bill, including a lack of a clear obligation to identify and disclose, characterize the extent of, and to fully remediate all releases of hazardous substances to be protective of public health and the environment.
Senate Bill 8 (Seum) (House Transportation) Would create a "Motorcycle Safety Education Advisory Commission" to advise the Transportation Cabinet on motorcycle safety education. Also introduced in House by Perry Clark as House Bill 76.
Senate Bill 47 (Sanders) (House Floor) Extends existing priorities in KEDFA economic assistance to include the secondary wood products industry. The bill may need a cross reference to the Kentucky Forest Products Council legislation to assure that economic development assistance is not given to companies which would increase timber production to an unsustainable level.
Senate Bill 56 (House A&R) Creates a program for anti-litter education, and a 19-member "KY-CLEAN Board" (with representation from packing industries, manufacturers, Sierra Club, KFTC and government) in the Transportation Cabinet to oversee the funding and programs. Bill is premised on assumption that anti-litter education is most effective way to prevent highway litter. In response to KRC concerns, the bill was modified to work locally within the existing solid waste coordinator framework. The Council remains convinced that this is a piece of a larger comprehensive solid waste program and that this and other solid waste efforts must be funded by a source more predictable and robust than voluntary income tax refund checkoffs.
Senate Bill 60 (David Williams) (House State Government)(-) Bill seeks to place limits on form and content of Executive Orders, creating a referral process to the legislative leadership prior to such orders becoming effective, establishing sunset provisions for any administrative bodies created by executive order.
Bill also amends KRC Chapter 13A relating to administrative regulations to further curtail the issuance of emergency administrative regulations by eliminating the Governor's power to declare an emergency where the immediate adoption of a regulation is needed to "protect human health and the environment."
Instead, unless the emergency regulation is needed to prevent loss of federal funds or to respond to a federal deadline, no emergency regulations can be adopted unless there is an imminent danger to public health, safety, welfare or property, and even then only where the Governor could have foreseen the imminent danger within the three months prior to the filing of the regulation.
By eliminating the ability of the Executive Branch to adopt emergency regulations in order to protect human health and the environment, and instead limiting emergency regulations to cases of "imminent danger," the law discourages the administration from acting to prevent harm until the last minute, heightening the risk of harm occurring to life, limb or natural resources. The existing framework for administrative regulation adoption, and annual sessions, provide more than sufficient oversight of the regulation adoption process. The further restriction of the Governor's emergency powers goes too far in precluding prompt government action to protect the public and environment from harm.
Senate Bill 73(Roeding, Seum) (House State Govt)(-) The bill would, among other things, eliminate the Governor's authority to adopt emergency regulations needed to protect public health and the environment until the harm was imminent. It has one positive aspect, which is to clarify that the public comment period on regulations runs a full 30 days, rather than the confusing and much shorter period, which now occurs in the absence of a public, hearing on proposed regulations. Despite this provision, the bill should be opposed. It was amended in the Senate Committee in response to the Council's concerns but remains an unreasonable curtailment of the Governor's emergency powers.
Senate Bill 86 (Harris) (House Rules) This bill shifts the records, funds and equipment of the Kentucky Forest Resource Council to the state Division of Forestry.
Senate Bill 144 (Denton) (House State Govt) (-) would require a degree of precision in estimating costs for fee setting by agencies in their regulations that is unreasonable.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 (House Rules) calls for a study of ways to protect Blackacre Nature Preserve from development impacts.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 41 (House A&R) authorizes the Interim Joint Committee of A & R to study freight and passenger rail initiatives.