2006 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: Update #2


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2006 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: Update #2  Posted: January 4, 2006

Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone
(502) 875-2845 fax
e-mail FitzKRC@aol.com

January 4, 2005

2006 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching Update #2
Complete Through End of Day 1/4/06

This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2006 session. This is the second of many updates. It will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills. This update replaces Update #1 and is current as of the end of the legislative day January 4, 2006.

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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 nombre es 1-877-287-3134. The toll-free bill status number is 1-877-257-5541.

THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS – IT’S 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.

DAY TWO: 288 BILLS AND 64 RESOLUTIONS ALREADY FILED

On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. On day 1 of the session, several bills relating to the environment have already been filed. The General Assembly will be in session until March 27, 2005, and 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.

SB 1 (Williams) (-)

Proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to cap noneconomic and punitive damages and top mandate alternative dispute resolution in cases involving health care providers licensed or certified by the Commonwealth (i.e. medical malpractice).

Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained. Appellate mechanisms within the judiciary already exist to assure that punitive damages bear a reasonable relation to the conduct of the negligent party, and mechanisms exist for courts to control and punish frivolous or meritless litigation.

SB 6 (Scorsone & Pendleton)(+)

Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to clearly cover unpaid executive officers.

SB 10 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment limiting subject matter of “short” legislative sessions to revenue and budgetary matters and other matters proposed by Governor.

SB 22 (Seum)(-)

Bill aimed at eliminating the STAR air toxics program adopted by Metro Louisville Air Pollution Control District, would prevent adoption by air pollution districts of regulations more stringent than relevant state or federal agencies' regulations.

SB 29 (Carroll)

One of a number of bills filed in response to the Supreme Court Kelo decision, this bill would to restrict the use of eminent domain by public entities to only "qualified public uses" involving public ownership and control; and prohibit eminent domain for private ownership or control including for economic development, unless approved by the voters. KRC will be reviewing all of the proposed eminent domain reform bills during the next week.

SB 31 (Pendleton) (+)

Would require all ATV operators and passengers under the age of 16 on public property to wear approved protective headgear at all times the vehicle is in motion.

SB 32 (Pendleton) (+)

Would amend KRS 176.511 to add one representative of the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky and the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Commission.

SB 39 (Seum) (-)

Second bill aimed at ending the STAR air toxics program in Jefferson County, would prohibit rules and regulations promulgated for air pollution control from being more stringent or “burdensome” that those impose by federal and state government. While the sponsor’s intent is clear, the effect of this bill on the STAR program is less so.

SB 50 (Kelly)

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.

SB 55 (Seum)

Similar to SB 10, this bill proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the agenda of odd-year sessions to revenue and appropriation bills, matters that the Governor proposes, and two subjects agreed upon by House and Senate leadership.

SR 1 (Kelly) Rules of Procedure adopted for 2006 Senate Session.

HB 9 (Marcotte) (H. Transp)

Limits use of cell phones in moving vehicles to hands free phones and emergency situations.

HB 38 (Lee) (H. Labor & Industry) (-)

Right to work law, aimed at weakening unions by prohibiting mandatory membership in a plant or shop that has voted to unionize.

HB 43 (A. Arnold) (H. Elections, Const. Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs)

Proposed constitutional amendment to extend terms of State Representatives from two to four years beginning in 2008.

HB 52 (Cherry) (H. State Govt)

Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to include Public Service Commission and its orders concerning utility rates or service within the code.

HB 53 (Vincent) (H. Transportation)

Would provide authority for Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission to file amicus briefs in cases involving the rights of bicyclists.

HB 66 (Yonts) (H. State Govt)

Amends various statutes relating to personal service and other government contracts.

HB 69 (Yonts) (H. Local Govt)

Updates nuisance laws to reflect other forms of local governments and to impose personal liability on landowners for fines and court costs associated with nuisances.

HB 74 (Denham) (H. State Government)

Would establish the Rural Enhancement and Development Committee as a permanent subcommittee of the Legislative Research Commission

HB 82 (Cherry) (H. Tourism Development and Energy)

Would authorize creation of a joint municipal power agency by two or more municipalities.

HB 83 (Pasley) (H. Nat. Res. & Environment) (+)

Would amend strip mining laws to require that overburden must be returned to mine area to the maximum extent possible and that other overburden is to be disposed of in permitted areas or previously mined areas, and that no overburden is to be disposed of in the waters of the Commonwealth. Bill seeks to minimize disposal of mine spoils in valley fills.

HB 85 (Vincent) (H. Transportation)

Would amend junkyard laws to require junkyard operators to report material quantities and income for taxation purposes, and would transfer junkyard regulation from the Department of Highways to the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.

HB 86 (Hoffman) (H. Transp) (+)

Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law.

HB 95 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)

Establishes speed limit on state highways with four lanes at 65 miles per hour; 55 for state highways with fewer than four lanes, and 35 mph for residential and business districts; unless other speeds are set by state highway engineer based on safety conditions.

HB 103 (Marzian, Draud) (H.A&R)

Would raise the tobacco tax from 26 to 71 cents and increase the tax rate on other tobacco products to 32% effective July 1, 2006.

HB 106 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)

Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law.

HB 114 (Wilkey) (H. Judiciary)

Amends eminent domain laws to delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain; and to require that commissioners appointed to value property in eminent domain cases be real estate appraisers or realtors and to create a mechanism for their selection.

HB 117 (Meeks) (H. Health and Welfare)(+ with amendments needed)

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; and amend existing law to increase the fine for the failure to remove hazardous lead based substances within 30 days of notice.

In principle, KRC supports many aspects of the bill; however KRC will seek amendments to protect renters from retaliatory eviction by landlords who are notified of lead hazards and fail to correct them, and to provide the cabinet with authority to seek injunctive relief to compel remediation of lead hazards rather than merely imposing fines or determining a dwelling unfit for habitation.

HB 119 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt)

Amends existing laws to encourage interlocal agreements between counties for essential services.

HB 120 (Crimm) (H. Seniors, Mil. Affairs & Public Safety)

Would require bottled water distributed in the Commonwealth to identify the source of the water on a label affixed to the bottle.

HB 122 (Nelson, Higdon, Moberly) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain.

HB 126 (Simpson) (H. Local Govt)

Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.

HB 145 (Pasley) (H. N.R. & Env.) (+)

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 152 (Yonts) (H. Local Govt)

Would modify existing law concerning procedures for adoption of ordinances by cities and counties.

HB 164 (Burch) (H. Transp) (+)

Would require all ATV users to wear helmets and prohibit operation of ATVs by children under 16.

HB 165 (Floyd) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain law; would define permitted and prohibited practices in the use of eminent domain.

HB 166 (P. Clark) (H. Local Govt)

House counterpart to Senate bill 22, aimed at eliminating Louisville’s STAR air toxics program.

HB 183 (Wilkey, McKee) (H. Judiciary)

Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; amend KRS 416.540 to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain.

HB 187 (Wayne) (H. Local Govt)(+)

Would establish minimum standards for evictions from mobile home lots and extend protections of Uniform Landlord-Tenant Act, where adopted, to renters in manufactured home communities.

HB 192 (Denham) (H. Ag and Small Business) (Under review)

Agritourism bill, limits liability of agritourism professionals and requires warning notices to be placed at the sites of agritourism activities.

HB 214 (Fischer & Harmon) (-)

Proposed amendment to Kentucky Constitution to allow the General Assembly the power to limit damages for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property. Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained to person or property.

HB 215 (Fischer & S. Lee) (-)

Bill aimed at voiding local “fairness” ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference or identity, by providing that state civil rights law preempt any local enactments. The measure is an unwarranted intrusion into the authority of local communities acting through their elected officials, to establish civil rights policies more protective of individual rights than state policy.

HB 226 (M. Harmon & J. Fischer) (-)

Another approach to prohibiting state or local government from enacting any civil rights protections against sexual orientation-based discrimination, intended to achieve same effect as HB 215.

HB 229 (Jenkins & Wayne)

Establishes a permitting program for development within noise sensitive areas around airports.

HB 233 (W. Hall)

Would establish a Kentucky Multiple-use Recreational Trail Commission, to be attached to the Commerce Cabinet, and set forth responsibilities to develop and implement a multi-county demonstration trail system project.

HR 3 (Richards) Adopted

Rules of Procedure to govern the 2006 Regular Session of the House of Representatives.

HJR 7 (Cherry) (H. Transp)

Would direct the Transportation Cabinet to include the Cumberland Gap and Trail of Tears automobile tours on the official Kentucky road map.

HCR 12 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt)

Would establish a task force to study the problem of urban violence in communities with consolidated governments.

HJR 20 (Meeks) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Resolution asking Kentucky Congressional delegation to support legislation calling for federal approval of extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

HCR 21 (Pullin) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Urges Congress to tax the excess profits of oil companies.

HCR 24 (Brinkman, Bowen) (H. Judiciary)

Urges Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution to protect the rights of citizens in their private property from government takings for private economic development.

HCR 26 (Nelson) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Request and petition the Kentucky Public Service Commission not to authorize utility rate increases in 2006.

HR 27 (Wayne & Stein) (House Floor)

Resolution urging car manufacturers to install safety devices on cars alerting individuals that a child has been left in a locked car.

HCR 28 (R. Webb)

Would create an E-scrap Task Force, to study ways to increase recycling of electronic waste; report findings and recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission by December 1, 2006.

HCR 34 (Webb) (+)

Would establish a task force to assess the utilization of privatization in Kentucky state government.


By Kentucky Resources Council on 01/04/2006 5:32 PM
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