2015 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: 7th Edition

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2015 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We?re Watching: 7th Edition  Posted: March 12, 2015

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council has been tracking during the 2015 session, complete through end of legislative day March 11, 2015. “Veto days” began today, and the General Assembly will reconvene on March 23rd and adjourn sine die on the 24th.

With only two days remaining, we have culled from our list those bills and resolutions that remained in the committee to which they were initially assigned, and were not voted on by that committee. For information about all of the bills and resolutions we tracked, our 6th Edition had that full list.

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!)


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


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

To find your legislators email, go to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/whoswho/email.htm

The phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100 (this is not toll-free).

The toll-free meeting schedule information line is 1-800-633-9650.

The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or an entire committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305. En Espanol, el nombre es 1-866-840-6574. The toll-free bill status number is 1-866-840-2835.

Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for mischievous amendments. We have formatted this update to highlight in the first section, those bills on which KRC has taken a position. Where KRC has taken a position concerning a bill it is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.

Committee Key:

H. State Govt = House State Government Committee
H. Ed = House Education Committee
H. Tourism Dev Energy= House Tourism, Development, and Energy Committee
H. Elections= House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
H. Veterans= House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee
H. Judiciary = House Judiciary Committee
H. A&R = House Appropriations and Revenue Committee
H. Eco. Dev. = House Economic Development Committee
H. Ag Sm Bus = House Agriculture and Small Business Committee
H. Local Govt = House Local Government Committee
H. Trans = House Transportation Committee
H. H&W = House Health and Welfare Committee
H. L&O = House Licensing and Occupations Committee
H. NR Env = House Natural Resources and Environment Committee
H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee
H L&I = House Labor and Industry Committee

S. State Local Govt = Senate State and Local Government Committee
S. NR Energy = Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
S. Ag = Senate Agriculture Committee
S. Judiciary = Senate Judiciary Committee
S. Eco Dev = Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee
S. Ed = Senate Education Committee
S. H&W = Senate Health and Welfare Committee
S. LO = Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee
S. Veterans = Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee

Bills And Resolutions On Which KRC Has Taken A Position

HB 93 (Kay)(H. Rules, with House Committee Sub)(+)

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

HB 100 (Kay)(To Governor)(+)

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

HB 145 (Westrom)(S. Veterans)(+)

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

HB 152 (Rand and others)(To Governor)(-)

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

HB 240 (Sinnette)(Senate Licensing)(-)

Would amend current zoning laws to impose requirements for filing a supersedeas bond for appeals of Circuit Court decisions before the case is transferred to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. This would have a chilling effect on meritorious appeals by citizens and neighborhood associations. Bill was heard and defeated in Committee on March 10 on a 4-4-2 vote, with Senators Hornback, Julian Carroll, Denise Harper-Angel and Jimmy Higdon voting no on the bill

HB 386 (Adkins)(S. NR Energy)(+)

Comprehensive reform of state oil and gas laws would extend requirements of reclamation plans to all oil and gas operations, and provide other landowner protections. Consensus product of oil and gas workgroup.

HB 417 (Gooch)(To Governor)(+)

Would extend the levy of the hazardous waste management assessment until June 30, 2024.

HCR 56 (Combs and others)(S. NR Energy)(+)

Concurrent resolution would direct LRC to create a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force; provide that the purpose of the task force is to study issues regarding timber theft and trespass and to develop consensus recommendations to address those issues.

HR 106 (Flood)(H. Floor)(+)

Resolution commending Energy and Environment Cabinet for suspending program awarding grants for use of crumb rubber for playgrounds and playing fields, and encouraging voluntary study of the health effect associated with using waste tires for downstream recycled products.

HCR 171 (Couch and many others)(H. Rules)(Consent)(-)

A concurrent resolution to require the United States Environmental Protection Agency to appear before a congressional committee before a rule or regulation is approved. Has been filed as Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HCR 168.

SB 2 (Bowen and others)(H. Elections)(posted)(-)

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

SB 90 (D. Carroll)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(-)

Would end current nuclear power plant moratorium and allow new nuclear plant siting as long as the facility had a storage (rather than a disposal) plan for wastes.

SB 92 (Bowen)(To Governor)(+)

Would strengthen current law on timber harvesting operations to require loggers or operators who have received bad actor designations to provide prior notice to the division before engaging in any timber harvesting operations until they have paid all civil penalties and performed all required site remediation; require the cabinet to promulgate administrative regulations setting forth the form and manner of the prior notice; beginning on January 1, 2016, require the cabinet to issue an emergency order requiring any third-time bad actor to cease all timber harvesting operations until all required site remediation has been performed and all civil penalties have been paid or a repayment plan has been established and maintained; specify that all bad actor designations, including those issued prior to the effective date of the Act, be included in determining the applicability of KRS 149.344 to a logger or operator; amend KRS 149.346 to require the cabinet to serve notice to a logger or operator of evidence of a violation of the reporting requirements and provide for an administrative hearing to answer the charges; amend KRS 149.348 to establish penalties for violation of the reporting requirements; provide that directors, officers, and agents of operators or loggers doing business as certain business organizations shall be personally liable for the civil penalties incurred by the operators or loggers.

SB 106 (Hornback and others)(H. Trans)(-)

Would allow commercial trucks hauling certain meats, agricultural crop products, livestock, poultry or poultry items to exceed the gross weight provisions by a weight tolerance of 10% without being a violation. Broadens exemption currently limited to farmer trucks, to factory farm operations raising livestock and poultry. Certainly, the corporate integrators who ship factory-raised poultry can invest in portable scales in order to stay within weight limits.

SB 186 (J. Carroll)(To Governor)(+)

Comprehensive reform of state oil and gas laws would extend requirements of reclamation plans to all oil and gas operations, and provide other landowner protections. Consensus product of oil and gas workgroup.

House Bills

HB 1 (Stumbo and others)(S. State Local Gov)

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

HB 2 (Stumbo)(S. A&R)

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

HB 11 (Flood)(S. Veterans)

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

HB 63 (Wayne)(H. Rules)

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

HB 70 (Owens)(S. State Local Gov)

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

HB 196 (Yonts)(S. L&O)

Would add a representative of the Kentucky Ready Mixed Concrete Association to the High-Performance Buildings Advisory Committee.

HB 208 (St. Onge and others)(H. Rules)

Would amend law regarding appointment of local airport boards.

HB 212 (Owens)(S. Rules)

Would allow voters who on account of age, disability, or illness are not able to appear at the polls on election day to cast an absentee ballot on those days in-person absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk's office or other designated place.

HB 214 (Owens)(S. State Local Gov)

Would require the State Board of Elections to establish an electronic voter registration system.

HB 215 (Santoro)(Recommitted to H. H&W)

Would amend current law to reduce the number of members on the independent district boards of health, remove proportional representation of certain professions, and amend to population requirements for appointments.

HB 219 (Jenkins)(S. State Local Gov)

Would amend current laws on land bank authorities.

HB 262 (Kay and others)(S. State Local Gov)

Would establish rules for hiring, promotion, personnel policies, and discipline for LRC nonpartisan staff.

HB 276 (McKee, Horlander)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would extend from 20 to 30 years the amortization period for loans from the federally-assisted revolving wastewater fund.

HB 302 (Riggs)(S. Licensing)

Would establish program for certification of roofing contractors.

HB 315 (Riggs)(S. Rules)

Would require booster seats to be used by children who are less than nine years old and are between 40 and 57 inches in height. Senate Committee Substitute changed it to eight years rather than nine years old.

HB 443 (Combs and others)(S. Eco. Dev)

Would allow public-private partnerships.

HB 543 (Gooch)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would eliminate 1988 exemption for Henderson County, Kentucky strip mining permit ordinance from state preemption of local control over strip mining. Does not affect the ability of counties with planning and zoning, including Henderson County, from regulating compatibility and location issues with surface coal mining.

House Resolutions

HR 1 (Stumbo)(adopted)

Establishes rules for the House during the 2015 Regular Session.

HJR 19 (Meeks)(H. Rules)

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

HCR 68 (Marzian)(H. Rules)

Concurrent resolution would urge Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to establish reasonable limits on contributions and expenditures in political campaigns and to prohibit noncitizen contributions and expenditures.

HJR 76 (Rader and others)(S. State Local Gov)

Joint resolution would commend the Southeastern Kentucky Shawnee for their efforts to help their elderly and youth and to recognize their work to preserve their native language and heritage, which does not include gambling and casinos.

HCR 86 (Short, Combs)(S. Consent)

Would direct the staff of the Legislative Research Commission to study the economic impact of adventure tourism in Harlan, Knott, Letcher, and Magoffin Counties.

HJR 134 (Thompson)(S. Rules)(Consent)

Would direct the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction to study the issue of statewide enforcement of the entire Building Code.

HCR 168 (Gooch)(S. Rules)

Would create a task force to review the potential impact of federal regulations on affordability and reliability of electricity. Membership was weighed towards industry and has no public interest representation. At KRC’s request, two new representatives were added, one for AARP, and the other for the Community Action Council of Kentucky.

HR 178 (Pullin, Rudy, Watkins)(H. Floor)

Designating October 30, 2015 as a day of remembrance for Kentucky nuclear program workers.

Senate Bills

SB 27 (Robinson)(H. Elections)

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

SB 55 (Webb)(To Governor)

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

SB 91 (D. Carroll)(To House)

Would require members appointed to city utility commissions and municipal utility boards to be customers of the utility.

SB 93 (McDaniel)(H. Elections)

Proposed constitutional amendment would after 2019, hold all statewide constitutional officer elections on even-numbered years beginning in 2024.

Senate Resolutions

SR 2 (Adopted)

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

SR 186 (Jones and others)(Adopted)

Simple resolution encouraging the United States Department of Energy to establish a 10 in 10 program of building coal fired power plants in 10 years.

SR 187 (Jones and others) (Adopted)

Simple resolution encouraging Kentucky Congressional Delegation to support and sponsor measures to use the federal portion of coal royalties on federal coal leases for demonstration projects and funding for carbon control and sequestration technologies.
By Kentucky Resources Council on 03/12/2015 5:32 PM
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