This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2006 session. It will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills. This cumulative update replaces Update #13 and is current through the end of the day March 24, 2006.
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!)
WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?
For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, to track which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us
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 numero es 1-877-287-3134. The toll-free bill status number is 1-877-257-5541.
THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS ITS NEVER BEEN EASIER!
Did you know that for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach all of the legislators that you want to contact? You can send a faxed letter, for example, to all Senators and Representatives by listing their individual names on a cover sheet and asking that each get a copy of your letter. The good folks at the LRC fax room will copy your fax and distribute it to all that you list (the recipients must be listed by name.) The LRC web page has a list of all legislators and all committee members.
THREE LEGISLATIVE DAYS LEFT AND COUNTING!!!
On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. The General Assembly has three legislative days left, and has adjourned until Wednesday, March 29, 2006, after which it will break then until the veto days on April 10 and 11.
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 polluter-sponsored amendments. KRC's position concerning bills is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber. Note also that the House has a requirement for posting a bill three days before it is heard in committee; the Senate does not and a committee can take up a bill assigned to it at any time.
With only 3 legislative days remaining, KRC has profiled below only those which are still under consideration and those that that will become or have become law.
SB 39 (Seum) (To House With Request To Recede from House Committee Substitute)
Bill aimed at ending the STAR air toxics program in Jefferson County. The Senate version of the bill would have eliminated the STAR program and required a 3/5 supermajority vote of the Metro Council to reinstate the program, and would require future Council approval for any regulations that were more protective than federal or state rules.
The House Local Government Committee adopted a House Committee Substitute that maintains the STAR program and provides for Metro Council to receive from the Air Pollution Control District a cost-benefit assessment by November 30, and to recommend revisions to the program by December 31, 2006. The bill with committee substitute was passed by the House and returned to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate refused to concur and the bill has been returned to the House with a request to recede. The House has made clear that they will not enact Senate Bill 39, the text of which has also been included in House Bill 117 by the Senate.
SB 50 (Kelly) (Became Law)
Agency amendments updating solid waste laws to provide additional flexibility for cabinet in expenditures from Kentucky Pride Fund, and making recycling and household hazardous waste programs eligible for grants. At KRCs request a committee amendment was made restoring language that allowed the 25% county match funding to be in cash or in-kind.
SB 75 (Harris) (Became Law) (+)
Agency bill reauthorizing the Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund until June 2008, and waiving generator fees for those owing less than $50 for the year; but requiring reporting by same. The transaction costs of processing the payments of $50 or less offset the income derived. KRC would hope that during the interim the agency will revisit the assessment amounts, to determine whether the fund is generating the necessary revenue to cover state superfund needs and federal superfund site matching costs.
SB 76 (Harris)(Became Law)
Agency bill allowing the Cabinet to terminate post-closure monitoring and maintenance of hazardous waste disposal facilities before the end of the 30-year responsibility period.
KRC sought an amendment that would assure that the Cabinet could reassert jurisdiction and impose again the obligation to monitor, do site maintenance or require remedial action if needed. The Cabinet agreed to such language and KRC has withdrawn opposition to the bill. KRC will monitor implementation of the new flexibility to assure that any action to allow termination of post-closure responsibility for hazardous waste disposal site is strictly limited to the instances where the waste is largely inert and poses negligible risk if left unmanaged in place.
SB 82 (Tapp and Roeding) (To Senate for concurrence with House amendments)
Originally intended to bring state law into compliance with decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald, ___ U.S.___, 125 S.Ct. 1885, but bill includes other language that is a wholesalers dream since it deletes language in existing law allowing small wineries to ship directly to retail package or retail drink license holders at wholesale prices, requiring instead that the wineries distribute only through wholesale distributors to local wine shops, restaurants and stores, thus giving distributors complete control over whether and at what cost the products could get to market. A house committee substitute was adopted addressing some of these concerns, and that bill has been reassigned to House Appropriations and Revenue and has been posted for consideration.
SB 89 (Kelly) (To Governor)
Administration bill that confirms the Executive Order abolishing the Kentucky Coal Council and Office of Coal Marketing and Export, and creating an Energy Policy Advisory Council.
SB 98 (McGaha)(To Governor)
Would amend existing law on administrative regulations to require consideration of costs to state and local government of regulations; and to require a fiscal note. See SB 96.
SB 131 (Stivers)(To Governor)
Would require the Public Service Commission to approve a long-term supply contract between a regulated gas utility and a producer of pipeline quality syngas from Kentucky coal if the price is no greater than the long-term market price for natural gas and the syngas is no more than 25% of the systems supply requirements.
SB 132 (Stivers)(To Governor)
Would authorize state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enter into reciprocal enforcement agreements with other states.
SB 136 (Jensen) (Became law)(+)
Agency bill that removes language from the mining laws that had been disapproved by the federal Office of Surface Mining, and deletes historical language concerning 2-acre mining operations.
SB 137 (Jensen) (Became Law) (+)
Agency bill removing exemption for certified surface coal miners from the requirement that an applicant for renewal of a blasters license must attend blasters training within the preceding 3 years.
SB 138 (Jensen) (Became Law) (+)
Agency bill increasing fines for violating state blasting laws and providing a civil fine of up to $20,000 for any blasting operation resulting in death or serious injury that could result in death.
SB 147 (Jensen)(To Governor)
Agency bill updating Forestry Best Management Practices Board statute to clarify funding and timing of report presentations.
SB 188 (Denton)(H. Rules with House Committee Substitute)
Would amend existing law concerning lead poisoning detection, reporting and remediation. The House Committee Substitute is an improvement over the Senate bill, and lowers the level for Cabinet action for require abatement of lead in paint or soils to 15 ug/dl. Unfortunately, the bill continues to use the underprotective 10 ug/dl of blood lead as the standard of what is elevated when the health science indicates that permanent damage occurs in utero at as low as 1 ug/dl.
The bill provides for reporting to the Cabinet by health providers of any tests showing a measurable amount of blood lead, which will improve early detection of hot spot areas in the state and allow better tracking at a time when interdiction can be more effective in preventing life-long brain and neurological damage. House Committee Substitute added the booster seat bill text to this bill.
SB 200 (Stivers and Jones)(To Governor)
Administrations bill would reform mine safety laws in several ways, including mandating two-way communications, emergency plans, separating escapeways from return air courses, and requiring deployment of self-contained rescuers within 45 minute intervals, and other changes. Counterpart to HB 607. House substitute mandates 3 full inspections per year.
SB 219 (Jensen and McGaha)(To Governor)
Would create an easement of necessity to conduct reclamation operations; intended to address bankruptcy situations where a party has acquired reclamation obligations but the leases allowing entry have expired or terminated and are held by another party. The bill is intended to address a unique problem created out of the Horizon bankruptcies affecting some 38 mine permits. Bill sunsets after two years, since it is intended to address a unique circumstance arising from those bankruptcy proceedings.
SB 237 (Jensen)(To Governor)(+)
Agency bill that would strengthen oil and gas bonding provisions and increase on a tiered basis the amount of blanket bonds, and deny new drilling permits where outstanding unabated violations or bond forfeitures have occurred.
SB 257 (Williams) (H. State Govt)(-)
Would move the venue for numerous actions involving appeals of administrative agency actions and enforcement by administrative agencies of orders and determinations from Franklin Circuit Court. Among the adverse impacts of the bill would be a loss of continuity among judicial decisions interpreting and applying agency statutes, and significant additional costs to agencies of traveling to 120 venues in order to defend appeals and to enforce agency orders.
SCR 98 (Buford)(To Governor)
Would direct an LRC study of Kentucky bicycling and pedestrian activity and options for increasing tourism and improving public health through both.
SCR 130 (Buford)(To Governor)
Would encourage the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dry Stone Conservancy to document rock fences worthy of preservation and develop standards for same.
SR 238 (Sanders) (To House)
Would request LRC to direct the Program Review and Investigations Committee to study the method by which siting decisions are made for electric transmission lines, in order to assure that adequate consideration is being given to alternative routes and to the needs of affected landowners to be heard during the siting process.
HB 117 (Meeks) (To House for Concurrence)(-)
Aimed at reducing blood lead poisoning in children, the bill would require testing for an elevated blood lead level as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program; establish a statewide program for testing of at-risk persons and other target populations of children under age six years of age and pregnant women. House Committee Substitute removed amendments to existing law to increase the fine for the failure to remove hazardous lead based substances within 30 days of notice.
Senate Health and Welfare Committee attached Senate Bill 39 to this bill in committee. On the Senate floor, the primary seat belt enforcement bill was also attached.
HB 126 (Simpson) (Became Law)
Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.
HB 145 (Pasley) (To Governor) (+)
Would extend the waste tire fee until July 31, 2010; and require the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to report to the General Assembly by January 15, 2010, on the effectiveness of the waste tire program.
HB 268 (McKee) (To Governor)
Would amend existing law to allow Department of Agriculture to specify test methods to be used for testing of pesticides, and to set fees by regulation.
HB 275 (Lindsay)(Became Law)
Waives restrictions of sales of power from electric cooperatives to nonmembers for consumers of over 200 megawatts, and allows such sales to nonmembers to be treated as if a member sale.
HB 283 (Owens and others) (Became Law) (+)
Emergency appropriation of $5 million to help low-income energy assistance program; also amends existing law to require annual reporting by utilities of their efforts to meet low-income weatherization and heating assistance needs within their service area. Senate committee amendment increased appropriation to $10 million.
HB 289 (Webb and Turner) (S. Rules, consent)(+)
Would ban computer-assisted remote hunting.
HB 299 (Adkins and others) (To Governor)(+)
Bill from House Leadership directs Office of Energy Policy to develop a strategy for increased research and development of low-emission transportation fuel technologies from fossil fuels and biomass and incentives for renewable energy use and fuels. Also requires in every bid for new construction or facility upgrades, that where feasible the Finance Cabinet solicit bids from 2 types of energy efficient HVAC (including geothermal), and grant a preference to the bid with lowest life-cycle costs. Bill was amended in Committee to include language requested by KRC directing that the energy strategy include incentives for energy conservation as well.
HB 327 (McKee and Pasley)(Became Law)
Would allow the Board of Agriculture to withhold critical infrastructure information relating to agricultural or food data records. Critical infrastructure means is defined in section 1016(e) of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)) as ``systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.''
HB 337 (Jenkins and others)(S. Ag & NR) (-)
Would largely deregulate local telephone services in the state without providing needed protection for the most vulnerable consumers. KRC has significant concerns with the loss of PSC oversight of rates and service.
HB 374 (Palumbo and others)(To Governor)
Initial bill would have modify administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. KRC was opposed to with this requirement, since cost-benefit analyses tend to emphasize short-term cost and devalue long term benefits, and because the analysis focuses only on the regulated entity without regard for the impacts of non-regulation to the public. Working with the sponsor and state Chamber, language was inserted in HFA 3 to replace the cost-benefit analysis with a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the range and distribution of costs incurred, monetary and non-monetary public costs avoided and benefits, and limited the agency obligation to existing information and exempted all regulations adopted under delegated programs for which comparable analyses existed already. KRC appreciates Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbos efforts on this amendment. The Senate Committee Substitute replaced original text with Senate Bill 96 and 98.
HB 380 (Moberly & Hoover) (To Free Conference)
Governors Executive Branch Budget. KRC is extremely concerned with the removal of significant amounts of funds from both the Kentucky Pride Fund and the Petroleum Storage Tank Assurance Fund, both of which are dedicated funds intended to provide for remediation of orphan landfills and open dumps, in the case of the Pride Fund, and UST sites. The transfers will materially adversely affect the rate of cleanup of contaminated sites. An additional transfer of concern is the shifting of Air Quality funds to support the proposed delegation of the Section 404 water program. Appropriations of funds to implement a 404 program are premature, since further work remains among stakeholders concerning the details of such a program and the Administration has not yet determined whether to seek primary authority to manage the program. Additionally, the Governors budget omitted language agreed upon by all parties to maintain the current rules blocking new mining permits for those with outstanding violations that own or control new permit applicants. The House Committee Substitute is an improvement over the Governors proposal, and includes the ownership and control language, and language allowing the Environment and Public Protection Cabinet to raise salaries for engineers in order to make them more competitive with the private sector. The Senate removed these improvements. KRC will continue to work towards restoring the language.
HB 383 (Gooch)(Became Law)
The bill alters the penalty assessment for persons failing to comply with water well drilling certification provisions. With floor amendment, the bill allows up to $5,000 for each occurrence of activity by an uncertified driller.
HB 408 (Gooch)(To Governor)
Transfers administrative control over implementation of AHERA (Asbestos Emergency Response Act) from Department of Environmental Protection to the Environment and Public Protection Cabinet.
Was amended in the Senate Committee to include an agreed-upon amendment to the Voluntary Environmental Remediation Act clarifying that the level of remediation required under an approved remediation plan by the Cabinet is not subject to collateral challenge under state law, but that all remedies for enforcement of the plan, for review of the Cabinets approval of the plan, and all remedies for personal or property injury are preserved.
HB 437 (Simpson & Bowen) (S. Rules)
Enabling legislation for cities and counties other than consolidated local governments, urban-county governments or charter county governments that wish to create a unified local government.
HB 450 (Comer, Hall, Rudy) (Became Law)
Bill amending existing weak forest practices law to allow cease order after up to 1 weeks notice, for a logger with two bad actor designations who is violating best management practices and causing water pollution. Sponsor agreed to a floor amendment drafted by KRC to fix the proposed bill (HFA2), which was adopted by the House, since the bill without the amendment would have had the unintended effect of weakening existing authority rather than strengthening it, since under existing law Cabinet can act immediately to order cessation of activities causing water pollution.
HB 451 (Webb)(To Governor)
Amends various sections of fish and wildlife resources governing laws.
HB 458 (B. Smith, Cornett, Hall, Meade)(To Governor)
Would amend mine safety laws to require underground conveyor belt inspections to be conducted by properly certified and trained individuals.
HB 470 (Gooch)(To Governor)
Would amend the statute governing air, was, and water permitting and enforcement hearings before the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to establish a default 180-day period for completion of the hearing process and recommendation to Secretary on a case; would allow two 90 day extensions for cause. Also would allow Secretary to adopt regulations requiring pre-filing of direct testimony in certain classes of cases.
KRC requested and the Sponsor and Cabinet agreed to a floor amendment clarifying that the Secretary may by regulation provide for prefiled direct testimony in some classes of cases rather than all.
HB 501 (Collins, Hall, Belcher)(To Governor)
Would define default width of road right-of-way in absence of any record.
HB 508 (Wilkey and others)(To Governor)
Eminent domain bill delineates allowable public uses for eminent domain, clarifiers that condemnation is limited to public use rather than public purposes and restricts the ability to use eminent domain to condemn private land for private economic development that benefits the public only indirectly.
HB 568 (Wilkey)(To Governor)
Would broaden the allowable purposes for rural electric cooperatives to allow any lawful business or activity as a secondary purpose to generating, purchasing, transmitting or distributing electricity. Bill is intended to address a state Supreme Court ruling prohibiting sales by a cooperative of propane. The cooperatives agreed to several amendments to the bill that satisfy KRCs concerns.
HB 573 (Collins, Hall, Meade) (To Governor)
Original bill would have amended existing law concerning on-site sewage systems, to eliminate review by Cabinet for Families and Health Services of on-site systems with over 10,000 gallons per day of design flow; and obligate CHFS to accept determinations by engineers that a site is suitable for an onsite system. KRC discussed these concerns with the sponsor and the agencies and the bill was amended by Committee Substitute to address the Councils concerns.
HB 574 (Simpson)(Recommitted to House A&R)(-)
Would amend existing law to allow plastic bottles and containers with labels, base cups, resin layers or other components that are not the same as the remainder of the container to nevertheless be coded as such if the other component is the same predominant resin as that in the bottle or container so as to be compatible for purposes of recycling.
HB 591 (Pullin)(Recommitted to H. A&R)
Would create standards for remediation of contamination of properties by methamphetamine labs.
HB 623 (Cherry)(S. Rules)(-)
Would amend existing law to eliminate a number of commissions and agencies. Was replaced in Senate Committee with amendment that would move responsibility for water planning from the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.
HB 626 (Pullin & Ballard)(To Governor)
Would amend existing law to allow Public Service Commission to consider the interstate benefits to be achieved by proposed construction of electric transmission facilities.
HB 663 (Brinkman)(S. Rules, consent)
Would allow preapproval of tax credits for rehabilitation of historic structures.
HB 665 (Pullin & Lindsay)(To Governor)
Intended to encourage U.S. Department of Energy to select Kentucky for the FutureGen coal to hydrogen & electricity project, the bill would exempt the proposed demonstration facility from the merchant plant generation siting process. KRC worked with the sponsors on clarifying amendments to the bill, which were filed as a floor amendment and adopted.
HB 669 (A. Arnold & McKee)(S. Rules, consent)
Would require state agencies to purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products meeting quality and pricing requirements.
HB 742 (Wuchner and others)(S. Rules, consent)
Would allow utilities that do not have mandatory low-income home heating energy assistance funds to establish voluntary fund programs.
HR 3 (Richards) Adopted
Rules of Procedure to govern the 2006 Regular Session of the House of Representatives.
HR 27 (Wayne & Stein) (Adopted By House)
Resolution urging car manufacturers to install safety devices on cars alerting individuals that a child has been left in a locked car.
HJR 101 (Meade and others) (S. Rules, consent) (+)
Would establish May 1 as a day of recognition and commemoration of coal miners.
HCR 115 (Adams)(To Governor)
Would reauthorize the Task Force on Funding for Wildlife Conservation.
HCR 120 (Webb and others) (To Governor)(+)
Would create a Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force to study strategies for protection of natural areas, farmlands, habitats and forests.
HCR 137 (Denham)(S. Rules, with Senate Committee Amendment, Consent)
Would require the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources to investigate the necessity of creating a State Rural Development Council.
HR 149 (Marzian)(Adopted)
Resolution urging creation of a dedicated source of funding for public transportation.
HR 150 (Edmonds)(House Floor)
Resolution urging the creation of an Office of Energy Accountability in the Attorney Generals office to monitor gasoline and natural gas transactions for evidence of price gouging.
HR 155 (Riggs)(Adopted)
Would urge the Division of Water to submit a report summarizing the status of Kentucky water quality from the 303 and 305 Reports under the Clean Water Act to the legislature, counties and the public.
HCR 189 (Marzian) (Passed Both Houses)
Would ask Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare to hold hearings regarding the overuse of antibiotics and the health consequences of emergence of antibiotic resistance.
HJR 193 (Webb)(S. Rules)(+)
Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to publish administrative regulations requiring emergency action plans to be developed for all high and significant hazard impoundments.
HJR 202 (Webb)(Recommitted to H. A&R)(-)
Billboard industry bill would direct Transportation Cabinet to undertake a pilot project to cut trees in public rights-of-way in order to increase visibility of private billboards. KRC has opposed any program in the past that would destroy public property to assure that a captive motoring population is exposed to billboards.
HCR 217 (McKee and Adkins)(S. AG &NR)
Resolution expressing support for the 25 by 25 initiative whereby agriculture will provide 25 percent of the nations energy needs by year 2025.