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!)
Feel free to share this notice. If you know someone who would like to be added to this list, tell them to write us at email@example.com. The legislative update will be refreshed each Friday afternoon when the General Assembly is in session.
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.
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H. Ag = House Agriculture H. A&R = House Appropriations and Revenue Committee H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee H. CC = House Committee On Committees – this is the “first stop” for all new bills, from which the bills are assigned to a committee for consideration. H. Eco Dev = House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee H. Ed = House Education Committee H. Elections= House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee H. H&FS = House Health and Family Services Committee H. Judiciary = House Judiciary Committee H. L&O = House Licensing, Occupations And Adm. Regulations Committee H. Local Govt = House Local Government Committee H. Nat Res Energy = House Natural Resources and Energy Committee H. Rules = House Rules Committee H. Sm Bus = House Small Business and Information Technology Committee H. State Govt = House State Government Committee H. Tourism = House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee H. Transp = House Transportation Committee H. Veterans= House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee S. Ag = Senate Agriculture Committee S. A&R = Senate Appropriations and Revenue S. B&I = Senate Banking and Insurance Committee S. C on C = Senate Committee on Committees S. Eco Dev = Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee S. Ed = Senate Education Committee S. H&W = Senate Health and Welfare Committee S. Judiciary = Senate Judiciary Committee S. L&O = Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee S. NR Energy = Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee S. Rules = Senate Rules Committee S. State Local Govt = Senate State and Local Government Committee S. Transp = Senate Transportation S. Veterans = Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee
FINAL DISPOSITION OF BILLS & RESOLUTIONS ON WHICH KRC TOOK A POSITION
(Note that for several bills that were passed April 13 or 14th for the first time, they may be subject to veto during the next ten days).
HB 1 (Petrie)(Vetoed in part, veto partially overridden, became law except that Vetoes 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 13 were sustained)(+/-)
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. KRC worked to have several issues affecting the environment and utilities addressed in the final bill. The final budget bill had several positive outcomes for agencies involving energy and the environment. Money was provided to allow 7-8 new positions at the Public Service Commission, and federal spending authorization was included for brownfields, orphan oil and gas wells, and gulf hypoxia mitigation. Language in previous budgets that had prevented hiring of needed mine safety positions was not included. KRC appreciates the hard work of Senate Chair McDaniel and of the conferees to the Executive Branch Budget. Governor made several line-item vetoes in the Executive Branch budget bill which will be considered on April 13 when the General Assembly reconvenes. Those vetoes include eliminating salary increases for his office and several constitutional officers, eliminating restrictions on multi-county water and wastewater projects, and striking language that exempted the AG’s office from procurement restrictions in letting contracts for lawyers.
HB 8 (Petrie and others)(Vetoed, veto overridden, became law)(-) Will 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. The bill will impose excise and use taxes on electric and hybrid vehicles, including: an initial and subsequent annual registration fee of $120 per year for electric vehicles, which are defined to include plug-in hybrids; an initial and subsequent annual registration fee of $60 per year for hybrid vehicles, which are defined as having a combined internal combustion engine and 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. Half of the fees will be placed in the road fund; the remainder will go to the general fund. The fees on EVs and hybrids would go into effect immediately under the Senate Committee Substitute to HB 8, but on the last day, the effective date for imposition of these fees was deferred until January 1, 2024. KRC believes that the proposed fees on electric vehicles and hybrids 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. 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, so that the $60 annual fee is inappropriate. 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. 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 all-electric vehicle fleet, and should not impose any fees above what is a “fair” contribution of EVs and hybrids to highway infrastructure. KRC is also very concerned with a change in sales tax exemptions that would impose taxes on utility bills for residences (owned and rented) unless the renter or homeowner “declares” that it is their “domicile.” Most individuals will not be aware of the need or means to make such a declaration and will end up paying taxes on utility bills over and above their already high utility bills. KRC testified in opposition to these provisions of HB 8 before the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee on March 29, 2022. The Senate made changes to House Bill 659 which were concurred in by the House, that deferred the new fees for EVs and hybrids to January 1, 2024, in order to allow further consideration in the 2023 General Assembly session, of whether the proposed fees and the allocation of only half of those fees to the road fund, is appropriate.
HB 45 (Bowling, Johnson, Westrom)(Became law)(+) Will 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 further strengthened the bill language and excludes 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)(Became law) (+) 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 195 (Johnson)(Became law)(+) Will 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 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)(To Governor)(+) Will 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 315 (Reed, Petrie)(Vetoed in part, veto overridden, became law)(-) Will appropriate $300,000,000 in federal funds in fiscal year 2022-2023 from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to the Broadband Deployment Fund. House Committee Substitute removed requirement for PSC approval when co-ops pledge regulated utility assets to capitalize broadband efforts, and also creates unjustified subsidy possibilities for for-profit broadband providers to have the public subsidize pole replacement, and to further subsidize broadband expansion for which federal Universal Service Funds have already been awarded. KRC testified in Senate A&R Committee against these portions of the bill. Governor signed bill while vetoing the emergency clause due to concerns that it would affect pending cases before the PSC.
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. The House tacked HB 337 on to Senate Bill 65, which refused to accept the amendment. The House then receded and withdrew the amendment and passed the bill without the House amendment. Thanks to Senate leadership for refusing to accept HB 337 as an amendment to SB 65.
HB 341 (Gooch)(-) Withdrawn Bill would have amended 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. 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 392 (Branscum and others)(To House for concurrence with Senate Committee Substitute)(+/-) Original bill Would have amended and updated statutes governing Kentucky State 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 453 (Dixon)(Became law)(+) Will 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 594 (Pratt)(Vetoed, veto overridden, became law)(-) 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 testified against the bill in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.
HB 597 (Gooch)(S. Rules)(+/-) Would update state laws concerning water resources and require high hazard dams to develop and maintain emergency action plans. Senate Committee Substitute added a paragraph that would gut state regulation of no-discharge industrial hog barns, lagoons, and waste application on farmlands. KRC worked to have this change removed from the final bill. In the end, the Senate did not take final action on the bill and HB 597, along with the senate committee substitute, died. The Cabinet’s authority over industrial-scale hog waste management remains intact.
HB 600 (Gooch)(Became law)(+) Will 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 669 (Gooch)(Became law)(+) 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.
HB 755 (Gooch, Fugate)(S. NR Energy)(+) Initial bill would have required 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. House Committee Substitute replaced text of bill with a legislative task force that will study three issues: the Fuel Adjustment Clause; the use of securitization of debt in order to lower utility rates by obtaining more economical debt financing for retiring utility debt; and the impacts of early retirement of coal-fired power plants.
HB 758 (Gooch)(Became law)(+) Will 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 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.
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 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)(Adopted)(+) 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 will 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)(Became law)(+) Will 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. HR 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)(Adopted)(+) 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.
HCR 138 (Miles, Gooch)(Vetoed)(-) Concurrent resolution directing the Legislative Research Commission to examine and evaluate the feasibility of implementing an alternative rate mechanism (ARM) for public utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission. KRC supports a fair study of alternative procedures for review of utility rate cases. KRC has and will continue to vigorously oppose such alternative rate mechanisms as were proposed in HB 341 this session, which would have amended existing law to allow PSC-regulated utilities to file “streamlined” procedures for rate cases annually for four-years between full rate cases, and that 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. 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.
HR 142 (Gooch)(H. CC)(-) A simple resolution urging the Biden Administration to remove the barriers it has imposed on the energy industry by opening onshore and offshore federal oil and gas lease sales, supporting critical energy infrastructure projects, and reducing the federal regulatory burden on energy producers.
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 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. It did not pass.
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. 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 talked 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 205 (Mills and others)(Became law)(-) Will 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)(Vetoed, veto overridden, became law) Will 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. Testimony in House Committee expressing legitimate concerns of rank-and-file fish and wildlife groups, who are the “users” whose purchases of stamps and licenses fund much of the department’s activities, with respect to the changes in management and accountability of the F&W Commission under the proposed bill, leading KRC to reconsider our position from one of support for to one of neutrality on the bill. KRC had supported, and continues to support, flexibility in contracting for mitigation projects under the fee-in-lieu-of programs under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. That language providing flexibility in competitive bidding was advocated for inclusion by KRC in the final budget and was included.
SB 315 (Mills)(Became law)(+) 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 worked with the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association and the Energy and Environment Cabinet to arrive at language to address these needs.
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 employee the ability to be granted no less than four hours leave to commemorate Juneteenth National Freedom Day at his or her option.
SB 329 (Wheeler)(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)(Became law)(+) Will allow grant-funded employment opportunities within the Division of Forestry.
SB 343 (Wheeler, Turner)(S. Rules, recommitted to S. State Local Govt)(+) 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)(To Senate for concurrence)(+) 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)(Adopted)(+) A resolution honoring the celebration of Black History Month and recognizing that Black history is American history.
SR 93 (Neal)(Adopted)(+) 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)(Adopted)(+) 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.
SR 286 (Harper Angel)(Adopted)(+) Resolution recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in Kentucky and honor Kentucky's 13 regional rape crisis centers and those who have been sexually assaulted and abused.
SCR 293 (Howell, Mills)(Adopted by Senate)(+) Concurrent resolution would create the Kentucky Natural Disaster and Tornado Relief and Response Task Force to study the Commonwealth's and the federal government's emergency preparedness, response, and restoration efforts, and to make recommendations to increase emergency preparedness, response, and enhance restoration efforts.
SR 297 (McGarvey)(Adopted)(+) Resolution honoring Rep. Joni Jenkins on the occasion of her retirement.
SR 298 (McGarvey)(Adopted)(+) Resolution honoring Rep. Marzian on the occasion of her retirement.
SR 316 (Wheeler)(Adopted)(+) A resolution urging the Kentucky Public Service Commission to examine strategies to address utility costs to ratepayers.
SR 319 (Webb)(Adopted)(+) A resolution honoring Rep. Westrom on the occasion of her retirement.
SR 320 (Webb)(Adopted)(+) A resolution honoring Rep. Flood on the occasion of her retirement.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS FOR WHICH KRC HAS TAKEN NO POSITION
We are also monitoring a number of bills for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for mischievous amendments. Click here to read the full legislative update, including these bills.