The 2022 General Assembly has begun and we at the Kentucky Resources Council are once again tracking environmental, conservation, consumer, energy, and general government bills and resolutions. We will publish this notice on our website weekly throughout the Session with updates on the bills we are supporting, opposing, or tracking. This year is a “long” 60-legislative day session and began on January 4, 2022, with an anticipated final day on April 14, 2022.
The General Assembly will not be in session on these dates: February 21, March 14, 21, and 28th.
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!)
Find copies of bills, votes, and more at https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/22rs/record.html
To find out bill status by phone, call 1-866-840-2835.
Find your legislator at https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/findyourlegislator/findyourlegislator.html Find your legislators email at https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/findyourlegislator/findyourlegislator.html
Call 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for a legislator or an entire committee.
En Espanol, el nombre es 1-866-840-6574.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS FOR WHICH KRC HAS TAKEN A POSITION
HB 1 (Petrie)(To House for Concurrence)(+/-)
House majority version of the 2022- 2024 Executive Branch Budget Bill. Departing from tradition, the House majority introduced a proposed biennial budget prior to the Governor presenting his proposed budget for consideration by the General Assembly. HB 1 represents the House majority proposal for the biennial budget, and has been amended by the Senate, resulting in likely changes that will be resolved in conference and free conference committees comprised of appointed members of the House and Senate. KRC is working to have several issues affecting the environment and utilities addressed in the final bill.
HB 8 (Petrie and others)(S. A&R)(-)
Would make numerous changes in tax laws, including reducing the individual income tax rate to 4% starting in 2023, removing certain tax exemptions and imposing new service taxes, including car-sharing, historical site admissions, impose a tax on electric vehicle power distributed in this state by an electric vehicle power dealer; impose “battery reclamation and mitigation fees” on an electric vehicle or a hybrid vehicles. The bill would impose an initial and subsequent annual “battery reclamation and mitigation fee” of $140 per year for electric vehicles, which are defined to include plug-in hybrids, and an initial and subsequent annual registration fee of $70 per year for hybrid vehicles, which are defined as having a combined internal combustion engine and electric motor, but no plug-in capability. These fees would be deposited into the general fund, and not the road fund. The bill also imposes an excise tax with an initial base rate of three cents ($0.03) per kilowatt hour on electric vehicle power distributed by an electric vehicle power dealer for the purpose of charging electric vehicles in this state. Receipts for this tax will be deposited in the Road Fund. KRC opposes the bill because the proposed fees on electric and hybrid vehicles are punitive, and while having a negligible impact on Kentucky’s road fund, would discourage EV adoption and additional investment by EV manufacturers in the Commonwealth (see analysis of HB 568 below). Charging an annual fee to owners of EV and hybrid vehicles could discourage purchase of these vehicles at the same time that Ford is investing $5.8 billion to build two Kentucky electric battery plants that are projected to create 5,000 jobs in our state to support production of EVs. Kentucky should be supporting, rather than impeding, deployment of an all0-electric vehicle fleet, and should not 5 impose any fees above what is a “fair” contribution of EVs and hybrids to highway infrastructure.
HB 45 (Bowling, Johnson, Westrom)(To House for concurrence with Senate Committee Substitute)(+)
Would modify and include new definitions regarding the processing waste plastics in order to recycle chemicals and monomers in the plastics, sometimes referred to as “advanced” or “chemical” recycling. While the concept of recycling plastics through the decomplexing of polymers has attracted criticism and the economics of such processing through pyrolysis, gasification, depolymerization, and other processes has not been demonstrated on a commercial scale, KRC believes that adequate controls are in place to assure that those facilities engaged in the processing of waste plastics will remain as regulated “solid waste sites and facilities” and that, with only some 20% of post- consumer plastics being recovered through physical recycling (with the remainder being landfilled, incinerated, or dumped into the environment) that the legal framework for regulating waste management and use of recycled feedstock should remain open to increasing the diversion of post-consumer plastics to new uses with the resulting decrease in virgin plastic production that such use would allow. A House Committee Substitute adopted by the Committee contained two revisions sought by KRC, that will further strengthen the bill language and will exclude conversion of plastics for fuel as advanced recycling, as well as making sure that any facility processing and using the feedstock is subject to Cabinet regulation.
HB 77 (Bratcher)(to House for concurrence) (+)
Repeal and reenactment with amendments of Kentucky’s Radon Safety program, including revisions in board membership, and increase in cap on fines to $1,000 per occurrence.
HB 108 (Donohue)(H. CC)(+, needs significant revision)
Would authorize the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to implement a program that internalizes the cost of packaging wastes, to set waste reduction targets and minimum recyclable content standards under an extended producer responsibility designation made by the cabinet, to impose producer responsibility fees to pay for the disposal, recycling, or additional treatment of packaging wastes contributed to the solid waste stream by the producer; emphasize plastic wastes; prioritizing the top ten packaging wastes as under an extended producer responsibility designation; and make other conforming changes. The concept of producer responsibility is a sound one, but framework is problematic.
HB 165 (Tackett Laferty)(H. CC)(+)
Would remove the requirement that an affected employee previously diagnosed with occupational pneumoconiosis resulting from exposure to coal dust must have an additional two years of employment in the Commonwealth wherein the employee was continuously exposed to the hazards of the disease in order to reopen a claim.
HB 166 (Tackett Laferty)(H. CC)(+)
Would eliminate the requirement that physicians contracting with the commissioner of the Department of Workers' Claims to perform evaluations in occupational disease claims be "B" readers who are licensed in Kentucky and are board-certified pulmonary specialists.
HB 189 (Marzian)(H. CC)(+, needs revisions)
Would prohibit the intentional release of more than 25 plastic balloons and phase-in bans on plastic, single-use carryout bags by July 1, 2027 and single-use plastic straws and Styrofoam food and beverage containers by retail food and beverage establishments. The bill imposes penalties in KRS Chapter 224, and while it does not require compliance inspections by the Energy and Environment Cabinet, it is presumed that the agency would enforce the law. It would make more sense for an agency that is already inspecting these establishments on a regular basis to do compliance monitoring and enforcement.
HB 195 (Johnson)(S. Rules)(+)
Would create a notification requirement for communities with planning and zoning regarding developments within 660 feet of natural gas transmission pipelines; require a notified pipeline operator to provide pipeline location information to the developer; and require the developer to 7 include language on the final plat filed with the planning commission stating that the developer has utilized reasonable means to notify the pipeline operator and verify the pipeline location. Recommendations largely track those of the consensus group advising the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. KRC requested that the sponsor consider broadening the application to include “hazardous liquids pipelines” as well, and House Floor Amendment 1 includes that broadening of the bill’s scope to cover anhydrous ammonia, oil, and natural gas liquids pipelines. The Floor Amendment was adopted, and the “GA” Version of the bill includes the broadening amendment sought by KRC.
HB 222 (Kulkarni, Nemes)(S. Rules)(+)
Would protect freedom of expression against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP suits) by establishing procedures for dismissing legal actions filed in response to a party's exercise of free speech, right to petition, or right to association; allow for an immediate appeal as a matter of right; allow for costs to be awarded to the moving party if dismissal is granted; allow for costs to be awarded to responding party if the motion was found to be frivolous or filed with the intent to delay.
HB 235 (Kulkarni and Scott)(H. CC)(+)
Would establish a Healthy Soils Program and a Healthy Soils Program fund in the Department for Natural Resources, Division of Conservation to provide technical advice and assistance and to assist with soil health assessments and soil health plans; approve applications for grants and other types of financial assistance under the Healthy Soils Program; and require Agriculture Water Quality Authority to promote soil restoration and include an organic agriculture organization among appointments to the authority and add healthy soil practices as a committee and add restoration, biological diversity, watershed health, and healthy soil practices to the purpose of soil and water conservation districts. Bill is too prescriptive in terms of qualifications of Division Director.
HB 295 (Willner)(H. CC)(+)
“Bottle bill” legislation would establish the framework for a beverage container refundable deposit fee program with beverage containers sold or offered for sale in the Commonwealth to have minimum refundable values of 10 cents; and would direct the Energy and Environment Cabinet to submit a study of the feasibility of implementing a minimum recycled content requirement for certain single-use plastic products. KRC has long supported bottle bill legislation, remembering the words of the Estill County high- schooler who testified to the House Committee that in his years he’d seen plenty of cans and bottles thrown out of cars and trucks along the road but had never seen anyone tossing “nickels and dimes.”
HB 337 (Hale)(S. State Local Govt)(-)
What would a legislative session be without a bill proposing changes in the administrative regulation process to address regulations found by an interim legislative committee to be “deficient?” Bill would grant an administrative body 10 days to appeal a legislative committee's deficiency finding to the Attorney General; allow the Attorney General 20 days after receipt of the appeal to uphold or overrule the deficiency finding; and would deem a regulation withdrawn or nullified automatically if the appeal is not filed or the deficiency finding is upheld by the Attorney General; authorize the Governor to act on the regulation if the deficiency finding is overruled; prohibit an administrative body from promulgating an identical or substantially similar regulation for at least one year after a deficiency finding was upheld. Further revisions to the process in this area are unwarranted. The number of regulations found deficient and put into effect by the Governor under current law notwithstanding a finding of deficiency by a legislative committee is negligible on an annual basis, and in many years, there are none. Any effort by the General Assembly to cause an automatic nullification of a regulation during the legislative interim, whether directly or by referral to the Attorney General, as in this case, would run afoul of the LRC v. Brown decision. The General Assembly can make findings of deficiency and can act on those findings during the next legislative session, but it cannot delegate to a committee or in this case to another constitutional officer, the power to nullify a regulation.
HB 338 (Kulkarni)(H. CC)(+, needs revision)
Would require the Energy and Environment Cabinet to promulgate administrative regulations establishing maximum PFAS chemical limits and monitoring requirements for drinking water provided by public and semi-public water systems and maximum PFAS chemical limits and monitoring requirements for discharges into the waters of the Commonwealth; require that maximum PFAS chemical limits be designed to protect public health and be updated; provide that nothing in the section interferes with the Energy and Environment Cabinet's responsibilities under the federal Water Pollution Control Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Council appreciates Rep. Kulkarni’s effort to focus legislative attention on the problem of discharges of these “forever chemicals.” As noted by EPA Administrator Regan, “[h]armful per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an urgent public health and environmental issue facing communities across the United States. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries in the United States and around the globe since the 1940s, and they are still being used today. Because of the duration and breadth of use, PFAS can be found in surface water, groundwater, soil, and air—from remote rural areas to densely- populated urban centers. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that exposure at certain levels to specific PFAS can adversely impact human health and other living things. Despite these concerns, PFAS are still used in a wide range of consumer products and industrial applications.” The Council appreciates the approach outlined in the bill but believes that the timeframe is not reasonable for establishing effluent (discharge) guidelines, given that data on many classes of industrial facilities regarding PFA discharge is lacking. KRC would recommend that the bill be rewritten to incorporate the recommendations of EPA’s PFA’s Strategic Roadmap: 2021-2024, including establishing monitoring requirements for all direct and indirect discharges that are known or suspected to be discharging such compounds. 10 Also, given that “a relatively modest number of industrial facilities produce PFAS feedstock, and a relatively narrow set of industries directly discharge PFAS into water or soil or generate air emissions in large quantities,” the focus should be on pollution prevention – with a goal of requiring eliminating of any use of the public’s air and water resources for discharges and emissions of PFA and PFOA compounds into the environment unless the facility demonstrates the absence of harm.
HB 341 (Gooch)(H. CC)(-)
Would amend existing law to allow PSC-regulated utilities to file “streamlined” procedures for rate cases if a full rate case had been filed within the preceding 5 years. Bill would severely curtail utility accountability in such ways as (1) eliminating evidentiary hearings unless requested by the utility (which would seldom happen), (2) imposing unreasonable limits on intervention timing, as well as on discovery by parties directed to the utility, and (3) allowing a number of utility capital investments to be done by “rider” rather than in a rate case or through a certificate of public convenience and necessity, thus allowing the utility to avoid more rigorous scrutiny of such proposed investments. KRC will be talking with the sponsor about the adverse effect of many of these changes. At a time of significant increases in utility rates for electricity, natural gas, water, and wastewater, more rather than less scrutiny and accountability is needed.
HB 342 (Hatton)(H.CC)(+)
Would include affordability when determining fair, just, and reasonable utility rates; require affordable, fair, just, and reasonable rates to balance the interests of the utility, its investors, and the ratepayer.
HB 361 (Hart)(H CC)(-)
Would make water fluoridation programs optional; and allow the governing bodies of water systems subject to regulation by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to decide whether they participate in water fluoridation programs. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element commonly found in water sources that is effective in preventing or controlling dental cavities, especially in children. Studies show that water fluoridation reduces the rate of dental cavities by about 25% over a person’s lifetime. We have reviewed the current literature and believe that the benefits associated with fluoridation at levels within the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, exceed the risks associated. However, EPA will be reviewing new analysis on the safety of fluoridation from the National Academy of Science and the National Toxicology Program in the coming months and we are following this issue. In November 2016, the Fluoride Action Network, the Food & Water Watch, the Organic Consumers Association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine, Moms Against Fluoridation, and five individuals petitioned the EPA to ban fluoridation due to the chemical’s alleged neurotoxicity. They sought a rulemaking under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit the addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water supplies. A trial was held in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June 2020, following EPA’s denial of the petition. The judge ultimately delayed his ruling, noting that the National Academy of Science is expected to publish a study later this year and the National Toxicology Program is working on a review of the literature on fluoride, Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects. NTP’s systematic review is expected to be published by the end of March 2022. We will be following the outcome of this case and reviewing the findings of these studies. Until then, we will continue to oppose this bill based on the current scientific research.
HB 392 (Branscum and others)(Senate Version To House for concurrence)(+/-)
Original bill Would have amended and updated statutes governing Kentucky State 12 Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting to include decommissioning requirements and bond. KRC has a number of serious concerns with the bill as written and has communicated those to the sponsor. Among the most serious is that there is no Board oversight of the sufficiency of the amount or form of the decommissioning bond, and the developer is allowed to leave equipment in and on the ground rather than removing it all on decommissioning. The original bill is insufficiently protective of landowners’ and farmers’ interests and fails to provide sufficient assurances that the decommissioning will be complete and the bonds will be adequate. The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee replaced the text of the House-passed bill with a version of Senate Bill 69, which is an improvement over the house bill but continues to have several significant problems that should be addressed before final passage of the bill.
HB 395 (Massey and others)(-) Withdrawn HB 421 (Hatton)(H. CC)(+)
Would revise law to improve protections for coal miners regarding wage performance bonds associated with coal mining operations.
HB 422 (Hatton)(H. CC)(+)
Would require that KentuckyWired contracts between the Kentucky Communications Network Authority and public or private Internet service providers contain certain provisions to ensure open and fair access to the network by customers.
HB 437 (Smith)(H. CC)(+/-)
Would require the commission to require utilities, except electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, under its jurisdiction to maintain an up-to-date database of utility easements and rights of way for its customers. KRC supports the requirement and believes it should be extended to include co-ops as well and will discuss that with the sponsor.
HB 453 (Dixon)(S. Rules)(+)
Would revise open meetings laws to address video teleconferencing and to require information regarding where any member of the media or public may view the meeting electronically, including a primary physical location of the video teleconference where all members of the public agency who are participating may be seen and heard, if the public agency provides a physical location for the meeting, or where two or more members of the public agency are attending a video teleconference meeting from the same physical location, and require all public agency members who participate in a video teleconference to remain on camera all the time business is being discussed.
HB 455 (Bray and others)(H. CC)(-)
Proposed constitutional amendment to allow the General Assembly the power to limit noneconomic damages for injuries resulting in death or for injuries to persons or property. KRC has long opposed this proposed amendment, which has been introduced in several prior sessions. The right to redress for injury is among the bedrock rights in Kentucky’s constitution and cannot lawfully and should not be infringed upon by constitutional amendments such as this seeking to limit the recovery of pain and suffering and for exemplary and punitive damages. Access to the courts for redress of injuries is a legitimate tool for redress of environmental and workplace safety and health-related injuries, and for deterrence from future wanton disregard and gross negligence.
HB 470 (Gooch)(H. CC)(-)
A Kentucky version of the “model” legislation found on ALEC’s website, the bill appears to be written more for states where there has been a deregulation of electricity generation rather than states like Kentucky where the rates, service, reliability, and resiliency of electric generation, transmission, and distribution are already regulated. While purporting to be about reliability and affordability the bill does nothing to enhance reliability that isn’t already regular practice and will do nothing but increase the cost of and amount of regulation that will ultimately borne by ratepayers. Parts of the bill are very vague and unwieldy, even for the fossil generating units apparently favored by ALEC and which the bill seeks to benefit.
HB 477 (Prunty, Sheldon)(H. CC)(+/-)
Companion bill to SB 157 would require that all waste disposal facilities, including contained, residual, and hazardous waste landfills, obtain a license from local government under KRS 68.178, which allows licensing and fees for “off-site waste management facilities.” While KRC appreciates that local governments should have the authority to license and impose reasonable fees on all types of waste management facilities, the linkage in the bill creates conflict between the types of facilities required to be licensed under KRS Chapter 224 and those the local government authorized to license in KRS 68.178.
HB 478 (Willner)(H. CC)(+)
Would revise standards for disconnection and reconnection of service by PSC-regulated utilities.
HB 484 (Raymond)(H. CC)(+)
Would require licensed child-care centers to be tested for radon at least once every five years as part of their initial licensure and license renewal, and to post results.
HB 485 (Timoney and Westrom)(H. Local Govt)(+)
Would require electric utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission to have a vegetation management plan in conformance with ANSI and approved by the commission; require different notice requirements to the public and property owners; impose penalty for failure of a utility to comply with vegetation maintenance plan requirements; require public hearings; establish homeowner rights with respect to vegetation maintenance; require the utility develop a brochure for homeowner rights and have the information available on its Web site; allow for civil action for unauthorized tree pruning or removal; allow for damages for unauthorized tree removal or pruning; require written consent to remove more than 25 percent of tree canopy; allow for a temporary cessation of work if property owner objects to vegetation maintenance; and prescribe time frames for notice and response.
HB 492 (Meade)(H. CC)(-)
Would create a rural infrastructure improvement fund allowing the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to reimburse qualified applicants for eligible utility pole replacement costs necessary for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Bill would allow up to 50% of pole replacement costs to be reimbursed for “eligible applicants,” but does not define “eligible applicants.” KRC opposes the use of such a fund to subsidize for-profit broadband providers seeking to complete projects for which they competitively won federal funds under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and which they have an obligation to finish, particularly when opposing bidders for federal funds may have been non- profit co-ops.
HB 513 (Miller, Massey)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. A&R)(+)
Bill would make changes in manner in which Kentucky Department for Fish and Wildlife acquires and contracts for compensatory mitigation projects under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
HB 555 (Freeland)(H. CC)(+)
Would create a new decontamination tax credit for amount of expenditures made by the taxpayer for the remediation of the contaminated property but not to exceed $30,000,000 and create a new section of Subchapter 1 of KRS Chapter 224 to provide establishment of the application and approval process through the Energy and Environment Cabinet.
HB 556 (Nemes)(H. CC)(+)
Would expand the voluntary environmental remediation tax credit for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, but before January 1, 2026.
HB 568 (DuPlessis)(H. CC)(-)
Would establish excise and use taxes on electric and hybrid vehicles, including: an initial and subsequent annual registration fee of $140 per year for electric vehicles, which are defined to include plug-in hybrids; an initial and subsequent annual registration fee of $70 per year for hybrid vehicles, which are defined as having a combined internal combustion engine and 16 electric motor, but no plug-in capability; and an additional tax of three cents ($0.03) per kilowatt hour (kWh) on any publicly accessible electric vehicle charging station that supplies power to electric vehicles. The bill requires the charging station to either add the tax to the price charged to the customer or “if there is no selling price at the charging station” the provider must pay the tax on the electric power distributed by the charging station. This rate for charging stations will be adjusted annually, beginning on or after July 1, 2023. All revenue generated from this bill shall be deposited into the road fund. KRC believes that the proposed fees on electric vehicles are excessive, and while having a negligible impact on Kentucky’s road fund, could discourage EV adoption and additional investment by EV manufactures in the State. Instead of having EV and hybrid drivers pay their “fair share” of their taxes for the road fund, which KRC supports, the proposed annual fees in this bill are more a penalty, as they are more than what an average driver pays in gas taxes. A 2019 report from Consumer Reports analyzed data on the amount that owners of new gas-powered vehicles pay in gas taxes and determined that the maximum justifiable fee for EV drivers in Kentucky is $85, far less than $140/year. Since hybrid vehicles use gas to power their vehicles just like conventional vehicles, they already pay fuel taxes that are in some cases equivalent to non-hybrid vehicles. For example, the most popular hybrid vehicle in America, the Toyota Rav4 hybrid, gets approximately 40 mpg while some popular non-hybrid vehicles get similar fuel economy at approximately 35 mpg, including the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. Kentucky drivers should not be penalized for driving more fuel efficient cars or choosing a larger hybrid model over a smaller non-hybrid one. Further study is needed on the economic impact of any charging station taxes, particularly since these taxes would be negligible and may only serve to discourage building charging stations when building out our nationwide EV charging network should be a priority. Ford is investing $5.8 billion to build two Kentucky electric battery plants that are projected to create 5,000 jobs in our state. Toyota is likewise incorporating more E and hybrids in their offerings. Kentucky should be supporting the economic viability of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure to support them, and not imposing inequitable burdens.
HB 589 (Fleming, Moser) Withdrawn
HB 594 (Pratt)(S. State Local Govt)(-)
Originally introduced as a bill amending overtime pay laws to address “gender neutral language,” the bill was amended in House State Government Committee to instead amend KRS Chapter 13A to impose a requirement on agencies proposing regulation changes to consider costs to regulated entities and to identify any regulation with over a certain dollar impact to be a “major economic impact.” The bill is unnecessary, since current law already requires a consideration of such costs and benefits as part of the regulatory impact analysis, and also because the proposed law focuses solely on costs of compliance while ignoring benefits. KRC has written to the sponsor to request that he withdraw the bill.
HB 597 (Gooch)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would update state laws concerning water resources and require high hazard dams to develop and maintain emergency action plans.
HB 600 (Gooch)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would revise the state mine reclamation bond fund board to clarify that members of the commission representing the coal mining industry are coal mine permittees and allow for smaller operators to be selected to represent different sized operators if a larger operator cannot be found.
HB 603 (Fleming, Moser(H. CC)(+)
Would make it ethical misconduct for a legislator or legislative agent to engage in discrimination or sexual harassment.
HB 605 (Massey and others)(H. CC)(+)
Revisions to procurement process for Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and to election process for commission members and terms.
HB 669 (Gooch)(To Senate)(+)
Bill will amend definition of “orphan wells” in order to allow for receipt and expenditure of federal Infrastructure Act funds for plugging and abandonment of abandoned and orphan oil and gas wells and associated infrastructure. KRC worked with the Energy and Environment Cabinet and Kentucky Oil and Gas Association to revise language and to structure contracts in order to allow smaller Kentucky based companies to bid on plugging and reclamation contracts. Bill is identical to SB 315 as it was passed by the Senate. Bill passed the House 94-0. HB 671 (Frazier Gordon)(H. NR Energy)(+) Would set forth proof of ownership requirements for the purchase of catalytic converters. HB 717 (Dotson)(H. CC)(+) Would prohibit owners or operators of facilities permitted as air contaminant sources from using trichloroethylene (TCE) subject to exceptions and time extensions for small businesses; allow the permitting agency to require additional information and impose additional restrictions based on impacts from nearby sources or background concentrations; require that any replacement chemical for TCE be less toxic to human health, as approved by the secretary for the Energy and Environment Cabinet; allow for mandatory and permissive exceptions to the TCE prohibitions based on certain criteria; require the Energy and Environment Cabinet promulgate administrative regulations on or before January 1, 2023 to carry out the requirements of the section, including establishing health risk limits for TCE concentrations in the air and drinking water; create a new section of KRS Chapter 338 to require that after January 1, 2023, employers at workplaces where employees may be exposed to TCE post warnings about the dangers of TCE exposure.
HB 729 (Raymond)(H. CC)(+)
Would require a seller of residential property conduct and pay for a tests to determine lead content as a condition of sale; and require a landlord to conduct lead testing and inform tenants of results.
HB 737 (Kulkarni, Herron)(H. CC)(+)
Would establish the Kentucky Urban Farming Youth Initiative to promote farming to youth in urban counties.
HB 755 (Gooch, Fugate)(H. NR Energy)(+)
Would require the Public Service Commission to open an administrative case to initiate an investigation to reduce the volatility of fuel adjustment clause charges on electric utility bills within 90 days of the effective date of the Act and to promulgate administrative regulations to implement any changes it has prescribed to reduce the volatility of fuel adjustment clause charges on electric utility bills within 60 days of issuing an order in the administrative case. The bill calls for the establishment of an administrative case by the Commission to study reduction of the “volatility of fuel adjustment clause charges on electric utility bills.” This charge could be read narrowly, to look at issues like annualizing the charge to flatten peaks in the FAC chargers, or more broadly, to look at strategies to reduce the volatility of the charges by reducing the volatility of the “fuels” relied upon to generate electricity, and also to investigate wholesale price volatility and possible hedges on those costs that could be employed to reduce overall volatility for ratepayers. KRC supports a fair inquiry into the volatility of costs to ratepayers associated with the volatility of fossil fuels utilized for the generation of electricity. One of the important aspects of greater incorporation of renewable generation assets into the mix of a utility’s generation portfolio is the reduction in price spikes and fuel volatility.
HB 758 (Gooch)(To Senate)(+)
Would establish a water management assistance fund which is administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to provide assistance for both capital and non-capital expenses of governmental entities that provide public drinking water and wastewater services to the public. KRC supports efforts to provide “soft cost” technical, managerial, and financial assistance to assist local governmental entities to provide public water and 20 wastewater services. Such investments are an important hedge against privatization of such essential services by for-profit utilities, which invariably result in increases in rates for both acquired municipal and acquiring for-profit water utilities.
HB 778 (Bray)(H. CC)(-)
Would allow an electric utility to amortize a regulatory asset without approval from the commission to defer recovery of expenses for coal, natural gas, or replacement power if the deferral lowers customer bills; require the amortization of the expense to be no more than 12 months from the date the regulatory asset is established; require the electric utility to inform the commission when a regulatory asset is established and provide the reason for its creation and accounting for the asset; allow overages or under-recovery to be placed on customer bills through refund or additional charge at the time of the electric utility's next rate case or 2-year review of the fuel adjustment clause. In addition to allowing a utility to do something without commission approval that they do and should have to get approval for today, the bill provides no basis for when it could apply. The language is imprecise and puts utilities in a place to make decisions regarding rates and costs without any oversight. It’s also focused solely on the short term (lower bills today), but a utility could use this in their own discretion to move costs off books when they need to make earnings, and could result in a pancaking of costs that could lead to higher costs in the long run for the FAC and higher financing costs.
HJR 4 (Lockett and others)(-) Would apply to Congress under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraint on the federal government, limit the powers and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and members of Congress. Constitutional scholars largely believe that the scope of such a convention would not be limited to enumerated issues but could become a vehicle for wide-ranging damage to personal liberties and 21 constitutional protections. And there are already constraints on the terms of office of elected officials and members of Congress, which are called “elections.” Also found at HJR 17 (Lawrence, Lockett). HR 34 (Scott, Kulkarni, Stevenson)(+) Simple resolution honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
HR 38 (Tackett Laferty)(H. CC)(+) Simple resolution honoring Eula Hall and recommending that consideration be given to placing her statue in the Capitol Rotunda.
HR 39 (Stevenson, Scott)(Adopted)(+) Simple resolution would recognize the last day of February, the day connecting Black and Women's History Months, as a day to honor Black women.
HJR 42 (Upchurch and others)(S. Veterans)(+) Would grant the family of the last remaining World War II veteran in Kentucky, upon his or her passing, the option of the veteran to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda and receive a funeral with full military honors. HCR 47 (Frazier Gordon)(To House)(+) Would encourage school districts to buy foods locally for school meals.
HR 49 (Bratcher, Kulkarni) (Adopted)(+) Recognizes January 27, 2022, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
HR 53 (Stevenson) (Adopted) (+) Resolution adjourning the House of Representatives in honor and loving memory of Darryl Owens. HR 61 (Brown and Graham)(+) Resolution decrying recent attacks on historically Black colleges and universities, and supporting Kentucky State University and other historically Black colleges and universities against hatred, intolerance, and violence.
HB 66 (Kirk-McCormick)(Adopted)(+) Resolution recognizing April 26, 2022, as National Frederick Law Olmsted Day in Kentucky to celebrate and honor his impact and contributions in landscape architecture and conservation.
HR 84 (Fister, Huff, King)(+) Simple resolution condemning anti-Semitism in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
HR 85 (Kulkarni, Bratcher)(Adopted)(+) Resolution to recognize March 4, 2022, as PFAS Chemical Awareness Day in Kentucky.
HCR 88 (Stevenson)(H. CC)(+) Concurrent resolution would urge Congress to enact legislation granting statehood to the people of Washington, D.C.
HR 95 (Johnson)(Adopted)(+) Simple resolution condemning Russia's unprovoked military aggression and invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine.
HR 96 (Bratcher and others)(H. CC)(+) Resolution honoring the celebration of Black History Month and recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Lawrence Smith.
HB 98 (Herron)(Adopted)(+) Resolution honoring Representative Reginald Meeks upon his retirement.
HCR 108 (Graham)(+) Resolution calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in the Tigray and adjoining regions of Ethiopia, protection of human rights, and unfettered access for humanitarian relief.
HR 118 (Jenkins)(+) Resolution recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in Kentucky and honoring Kentucky's 13 regional rape crisis centers and individuals who have been sexually assaulted and abused.
HCR 122 (Frazier Gordon)(+) Concurrent resolution urging the state-administered retirement systems to evaluate their portfolios for investments in Russian-based companies, to report those findings on the system's website, and to divest from Russian-based investments in a manner consistent with their fiduciary duty.
SB 28 (Girdler, Hornback, Adams, Meredith, Parrett)(S. Rules, recommitted to S. A&R)(-) Would allow a utility to grant free or reduced rate service to any commercial food production operation that produces food items intended for human consumption, subject to the Public Service Commission approval of the tariff. KRC is concerned that allowing an exemption or preferential rate for one subclass of customers will shift those costs to other ratepayers, since the costs will have to be paid by ratepayers within the system. KRC testified in committee and expressed those concerns, and appreciates both Senators Girdler’s concerns with the impacts of rising water utility rates on consumers and Senator Smith for allowing testimony on the bill.
SB 41 (Harper Angel)(S. NR Energy)(+) Would prohibit the intentional release of more than 25 plastic balloons and establish phased-in bans on plastic, single-use carryout bags and on provision of single-use plastic straws and Styrofoam food and beverage containers by retail food and beverage establishments. The bill imposes penalties in KRS Chapter 224, and while it does not require compliance inspections by the Energy and Environment Cabinet, it is presumed that the agency would enforce the law. It would make more sense for an agency that is already inspecting these establishments on a regular basis to do compliance monitoring and enforcement.
SB 52 (Hornback)(S. A&R)(Under review) Would require a $100 per acre state conversion charge on land which has been converted from agricultural or horticultural to any other use and require the charge to be deposited into the agricultural enhancement fund.
SB 69 (Hornback)(S. Rules, recommitted to S. NR Energy)(+) Would make several amendments to the Kentucky Electric Generation and Transmission Siting Board in order to address siting of merchant (non-utility) solar and other electric generating facilities. KRC has been negotiating with other stakeholders and has been assisting the sponsor with several recommended amendments to the bill. HB 392 was amended in the Senate to include numerous provisions of SB 69 and is back in the House for concurrence with the Senate amendments.
SB 78 (McDaniel)(S. Veterans)(+) Would require the Department for Facilities and Support Services within the Finance and Administration Cabinet to place a statue of United States Navy diver and Kentucky native Carl Brashear in the Capitol Rotunda.
SB 118 (Smith and others)(S. Judiciary)(-)
Would require the Energy and Environment Cabinet to update and study the state assumption of the Section 404 permitting program under the Clean Water Act. KRC, which participated in the last assessment of whether the state should seek to assume the Section 404 program, does not oppose reconsideration of state assumption of the program, which is intended to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to “waters of the United States” from the placement of dredged or fill material. KRC does, however, have a number of concerns regarding provisions of the bill that would affect permit issuance under the KPDES pollutant discharge permit program. The requirement to create a tracking system for the status of permits is largely duplicative of existing on-line tracking and calls for creation of an “online portal” that is intended to facilitate more rapid transmittal of information needed to address administrative and technical deficiencies in permit applications, but which exempts from the Kentucky Open Records Act for information submitted by a permit applicant on that portal. 25 Such an exemption is unjustified, and inconsistent with the disclosure requirements associated with the existing delegated programs under the Clean Water Act. The other considerations are that if the program is delegated to the state, the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act with respect to Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments are no longer applicable (in the absence of “federal action”) and there would no longer be a "public interest review," which is a separate filter through which the Corps looks at its permitting actions, and which can result in permit denial even where technical compliance with the 404 requirements of avoidance, minimization, and mitigation is demonstrated. There is also a question of whether consultation would continue to be required under the Endangered Species Act, which applies to federal “undertakings.” Delegation could be made contingent on such consultation continuing, but that is not certain. KRC will talk with the sponsor about revising the bill to eliminate duplication with existing Cabinet tracking, to remove any exemption from disclosure of permit- related information provided to the Cabinet, and to provide an environmental review comparable to NEPA and the Corps’ “public interest” review.
SB 142 (Alvarado and others)(S. State Govt)(-)
Proposed constitutional amendment to allow the General Assembly the power to limit noneconomic damages for injuries resulting in death or for injuries to persons or property. KRC has long opposed this proposed amendment, which has been introduced in several prior sessions. The right to redress for injury is among the bedrock rights in Kentucky’s constitution and cannot lawfully and should not be infringed upon by constitutional amendments such as this seeking to limit the recovery of pain and suffering and for exemplary and punitive damages. Access to the courts for redress of injuries is a legitimate tool for redress of environmental and workplace 26 safety and health-related injuries, and for deterrence from future wanton disregard and gross negligence.
SB 152 (West)(H. Rules)(-)
Would exempt local government entity that issues a solid waste management franchise in an area that the local government had exclusively provided services to from the requirements of KRS 109.0417, which require notice to all service providers and an opportunity for a public hearing prior to the award of a new franchise.
SB 154 (Yates)(S. State Govt)(+)
Would increase the penalties for violations of specified sections or actions in KRS Chapter 100 (Planning and Zoning), and violations of any regulations adopted pursuant to those specified sections or actions.
SB 157 (Embry)(S. NR Energy)(+/-)
Would require that all waste disposal facilities, including contained, residual, and hazardous waste landfills, obtain a license from local government under KRS 68.178, which allows licensing and fees for “off-site waste management facilities.” While KRC appreciates that local governments should have the authority to license and impose reasonable fees on all types of waste management facilities, the linkage in the bill creates conflict between the types of facilities required to be licensed under KRS Chapter 224 and those the local government authorized to license in KRS 68.178.
SB 171 (McGarvey and others)(S. Judiciary)(+)
Would prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity in various labor and employment practices, and public accommodation, housing, real estate, and other financial transactions, insurance sales, and credit transactions.
SB 198 (Storm)(S. Transp)(+)
Would restrict Department of Transportation jurisdiction on junkyards (auto recycling) to include only those highways which are a part of the national highway system. KRC was concerned that in this 27 restriction of jurisdiction, all measures formerly required by DOT would remain in effect for screening. The language of this version of the bill includes those provisions sought last year by KRC. Any auto recycler to comply with all local ordinances, rules, and regulations, regardless if the auto recycler is required to be permitted under KRS 177.910; specify that for any auto recycler required to be permitted under KRS 177.910, the commissioner of highways may exempt the auto recycler from the permit process, if the local government certifies the auto recycler's compliance as a conforming use in an industrially zoned area under the applicable zoning ordinances and regulations; allow recyclers permitted by the department on the effective date of the Act, but no longer subject to department oversight to continue operation on the same site for which they were permitted; keep screening, site, and use restrictions imposed by the department in place unless removed by a planning and zoning body, city, or county; give responsibility for enforcement at the local level to county attorneys.
SB 205 (Mills and others)(H. NR Energy)(-)
Would require the State Treasurer to publish, maintain, and update a list of financial companies engaged in energy company boycotts and to file the list with the Legislative Research Commission and the Attorney General; require state governmental entities to notify the Treasurer of the listed financial companies in which the state governmental entity owns direct or indirect holdings; require state governmental entities to inform and warn listed financial companies that they may become subject to divestment by the state governmental agency unless they clarify their actions or cease their energy company boycott; require state governmental entities to divest from the listed financial company if it does not cease its energy company boycott in the timeframes established by the section; provide for delays in the divestment schedule if it will result in a loss of value or a benchmark deviation. The decision of financial companies to invest, or to disinvest, from fossil fuels, is a logical reflection of the risk associated with such investment in carbon-heavy industrial sectors. Seeking to punish through divestment the market response to such risks will neither encourage future investment in carbon-heavy industries, nor advance the need for decarbonization in Kentucky.
SB 217 (Webb)(To House)(+)
Would amend laws governing the independent status of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in relation to the Tourism Cabinet, and with respect to procurements by the Department.
SB 218 (Webb)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would authorize the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to make acquisitions for compensatory mitigation projects under Clean Water Act Section 404 program.
SB 225 (Thomas)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would create a renewable portfolio standard for PSC-regulated electric utilities. KRC supports diversification of utility portfolios, while recognizing that the transition needs to be undertaken in a measured manner.
SB 301 (Higdon)(-) Withdrawn.
A special thanks to Senator Higdon for trusting that the Energy and Environmental Cabinet will honor its commitment to address permitting concerns regarding the permit review process for municipal wastewater treatment plant biosolids.
SB 314 (Mills)(S. NR Energy) and SB 328 (Wheeler)(S. NR Energy) Placeholder bills relating to oil and gas.
SB 315 (Mills)(To House)(+)
Bill amends existing law to assure that all available federal Infrastructure Act funds can be accessed for plugging and reclamation of orphan oil and gas wells, and to cap the number of individual wells in contracts to allow smaller oil and gas operators from Kentucky to afford to bid on the closure and reclamation of those abandoned and orphan wells. KRC has worked with the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association and the Energy and Environment Cabinet to arrive at language to address these needs. Bill unanimously passed the Senate. HB 669 is an identical bill that passed the House 94-0.
SB 318 (Neal)(S. State Local Govt)(+)
Would make June 19, also known as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day," a day of commemoration and allow a state 29 employee the ability to be granted no less than four hours leave to commemorate Juneteenth National Freedom Day at his or her option.
SB 325 (Webb) Withdrawn SB 326 (Wheeler)(S. NR Energy)(+)
While currently without detail, the name of the bill indicates that it will be addressed to allowing securitization of debt for public utilities, which can save millions of dollars for ratepayers if properly implemented.
SB 329 (Wheeler)(S. CC)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would require the Public Service Commission to examine the use of the fuel adjustment clause by electric and natural gas utilities and report to the Legislative Research Commission by December 1 each year beginning on December 1, 2022.
SB 341 (Smith)(To House)(+) Would allow grant-funded employment opportunities within the Division of Forestry.
SB 343 (Wheeler, Turner)(S. Rules)(+)
Would establish a water management assistance fund which is administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to provide assistance for both capital and non-capital expenses of governmental entities that provide public drinking water and wastewater services to the public that improve the technical, managerial, or operational capacity of public drinking water and wastewater systems.
SB 347 (Higdon)(H. Transp)(+)
Would require the Transportation Cabinet to develop an electric vehicle infrastructure development plan to describe how the state will administer the National Electric Vehicle infrastructure Formula Program funds.
SJR 24 (Meredith)(S. Judiciary)(-) Joint resolution applying for an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to set a limit on the number of terms of office for members of Congress. Constitutional scholars largely believe that the scope of such a convention would not be limited to enumerated issues but could become a vehicle for wide-ranging damage to personal liberties and constitutional protections. And there are already constraints on the terms of office of elected officials and members of Congress, which are called “elections.”
SR 74 (McGarvey, Berg)(+)(Adopted) Recognizes January 27, 2022, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
SR 76 (Wise)(+)(Adopted) Expresses sympathy to the citizens of the Commonwealth affected by the historic December 2021 tornado outbreak and honors the many acts of kindness provided to the impacted communities and school districts by school personnel.
SR 92 (Neal)(+) A resolution honoring the celebration of Black History Month and recognizing that Black history is American history.
SR 93 (Neal)(+)
Resolution decrying recent attacks on historically Black colleges and universities, and supporting Kentucky State University and other historically Black colleges and universities against hatred, intolerance, and violence.
SR 139 (Douglas)(S. Floor)(+)
Resolution memorializing the late Senator Tom Buford.
SR 151 (McGarvey)(S. Veterans)(+)
Simple resolution condemning Russia's unprovoked military aggression and invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine.
SR 153 (Thayer, McGarvey, others)(Adopted)(+)
Resolution affirming support for Ukrainian sovereignty, the people of Ukraine, and their right to self- determination.
SJR 170 (Wheeler)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would require the Public Service Commission to open an administrative case to examine fuel price volatility and fuel procurement practices.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS FOR WHICH KRC HAS TAKEN NO POSITION
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