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 weve gotten wrong!)
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO RECEIVE THESE ALERTS?
Tell them to write us at FitzKRC@aol.com if they want to receive these e-alerts.
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.
WEEK SEVEN: 815 BILLS AND 377 RESOLUTIONS; 27 LEGISLATIVE DAYS LEFT AND COUNTING!!!
On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. The General Assembly will be in session until March 27, 2005, and will break then until the veto days on April 10 and 11. today, February 17, was the last day to file a bill request, and the last day to introduce new bills will be February 27 in the House and March 1 in the Senate.
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.
SB 1 (Williams) (S. State & Local Govt) (-)
Proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to cap noneconomic and punitive damages and to 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) (S. State & Local Govt) (+)
Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to clearly cover unpaid executive officers.
SB 29 (Carroll) (S. Judiciary)
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.
SB 32 (Pendleton) (S. Transp) (+)
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) (S. Ag NR)(-)
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 sponsors intent is clear, the effect of this bill on the STAR program is less so.
The bill was heard in committee on February 9, and was to be voted on by the committee on February 16; however, the earliest it will be voted on, if at all, is February 23. KRCs testimony has been posted on the website.
SB 50 (Kelly) (H. Nat Res. & Env)
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 55 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)
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.
SB 68 (Kelly)(H. Eco. Dev.)
Revamps the membership of the Commission on Small Business Advocacy.
SB 75 (Harris) (H. Nat Res & Env.) (+)
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)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)
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) (H. L&O)(-)
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.
SB 89 (Kelly) (To House)
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 94 (Mongiardo)(S. Transp.)
Would include ATV riding within the definition of recreational purpose under KRS 411.190, which is the recreational use statute allowing a landowner who opens their land for recreational use to be shielded from most liability for any injuries sustained.
SB 96 (Roeding and others) (H. State Govt)
Would initially have modified administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. The Senate Committee Substitute removed the requirement for a cost-benefit analysis, thus addressing KRCs concern that cost-benefit analyses of health and safety legislation invariably overstate compliance costs and undervalue public benefits.
Bill also provides for each agency to appoint a small business ombudsman, and for centralized web-based access to proposed regulations and notices of proposed regulations.
SB 98 (McGaha)(H. State Govt)
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.
SB 99 (Scorsone and others) (S. Judiciary)
Senate counterpart to HB 369, would amend state civil rights laws to include protection against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
SB 131 (Stivers)(To House)
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)(S. Rules, Consent)
Would authorize state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enter into reciprocal enforcement agreements with other states.
SB 136 (Jensen) (S. Rules) (+)
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) (S. Rules) (+)
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) (S. Rules) (+)
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 140 (Jones)(Under review) (S. Transportation)
Would amend existing vehicle enforcement laws to include failure to have and maintain read impact guards and read end protection as among those criteria for truck safety inspections, and including violations of both in the list of criteria for placing a vehicle out-of-service; allowing livestock and perishable product loads on trucks in violation to continue to destination.
SB 147 (Jensen)(S. Rules, Consent)
Agency bill updating Forestry Best Management Practices Board statute to clarify funding and timing of report presentations.
SB 163 (Jones)(S. Transp.)
Would require all persons under 16 years of age to wear helmets when riding ATVs on public property.
SB 164 (Jones)(S. Transp.)
Would prohibit, with certain exceptions, anyone younger than 18 from riding in the open cargo area of a truck.
SB 167 (Harris)(S. Transp.)
Establishes default widths of rights-of-way of public roads for which there is no record.
SB 178 (Seum, Roeding, McGaha, Tapp, Westwood) (S. Judiciary)(-)
Under the banner of promoting the uniform application of civil rights law in the Commonwealth this bill, among others filed this session, is intended to eliminate local fairness ordinances and other local civil rights enactments.
SB 184 (Pendleton)(S. State & Local Govt)(+)
Would propose a constitutional amendment allowing automatic restoration of voting rights for former felons upon completion of sentence, parole and restitution.
SB 187 (Denton)(S. Transp) (+)
Would require children under 16 years of age to wear a helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on an ATV, and prohibiting ATV operators under 16 from carrying passengers.
SB 200 (Stivers and Jones)
Administrations bill would reform mien 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.
SB 201 (Stivers and Jones)
Administration bill providing for drug testing of miners
SB 203 (Jones and Worley)
Creates income tax credits for properties with solar, wind energy and geothermal energy systems. Also broadens net metering to include hydro, wind, landfill gas, biogas, fuel cell, and combined heating and power systems in addition to solar.
SR 1 (Kelly)
Rules of Procedure adopted for 2006 Senate Session. SCR 98 (Buford)(S. Eco. Dev. & Tourism)(posted) 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)(S. Eco. Dev., Tourism & Labor)
Would encourage the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dry Stone Conservancy to document rock fences worthy of preservation and develop standards for same.
SCR 183 (Denton) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would direct the Program Review and Investigations Committee to study, evaluate, and make recommendations to improve the efficiency of the executive branch administrative hearings process.
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. Rules)
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) (S. Judiciary) (+)
Would provide authority for Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission to file amicus briefs in cases involving the rights of bicyclists. HB 66 (Yonts) (S. State & Local Govt.) Amends various statutes relating to personal service and other government contracts.
HB 69 (Yonts) (S. State & 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. Rules)
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)(posted)
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) (posted)
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. Rules) (+)
Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.
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. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.
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) (posted) (+ 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) (posted)
Amends existing laws to encourage interlocal agreements between counties for essential services.
HB 120 (Crimm) (H. Seniors, Mil. Affairs & Public Safety)(posted)
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) (S. State & Local Govt)
Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.
HB 145 (Pasley) (S. A&R) (+)
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 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 183 (Wilkey, McKee) (H. Judiciary) (posted)
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) (posted) (+)
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) (Recommitted to House Judiciary)
Agritourism bill, limits liability of agritourism professionals and requires warning notices to be placed at the sites of agritourism activities.
HB 214 (Fischer & Harmon) (H. Elections & Const. Am) (-)
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) (H. Judiciary) (-)
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) (H. Elections & Const. Am) (-)
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) (H. Local Govt) (posted)
Establishes a permitting program for development within noise sensitive areas around airports. KRC is working with bill proponents and with sponsors on clarifying amendments in order to protect rights of existing landowners to continue residential uses and modify or alter existing structures without requiring permits. Both the homebuilders and realtors have also expressed concerns regarding the bill.
HB 233 (W. Hall) (S. A&R)
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.
HB 239 (Gray) (H. NR & Env) (posted) (-)
Would amend KRS 350.010 to exclude sand or gravel from the definition of "strip mining," thus deregulating the environmental impacts of sand and gravel mining.
HB 252 (Burch) (H. Health & Welfare)( posted)
Would ban sales of competitive foods in vending machines in public schools, and would reimburse each school the average annual revenue generated in the past 3 years from such sales for the benefit of schools, academic and athletic programs.
HB 262 (Denham) (H. Local Govt)
Would authorize local governments with sufficient staff expertise to issue building permits to landowners seeking to develop land in a flood hazard area; and require the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to abide by local flood hazard area building permit determinations.
HB 268 (McKee) (Recommitted to H. Ag & SB)
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)(To Governor)
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) (Enacted Into 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) (H. N.R. and Env.) (+)
Would ban computer-assisted remote hunting.
HB 299 (Adkins and others) (S. Ag & NR) (+)
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 309 (Gooch & Brinkman)(H. Rules) (+)
Would add a representative from the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-Road Motorcycle ATV Commission.
HB 327 (McKee and Pasley)(S. Ag. & NR)
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 329 (Nelson)(H. Health & Welfare)
Would allow the Transportation Cabinet and local governments to designate a route on public roads from a government-established ATV park to an off-site parking lot, provided that the route is marked, the vehicle operator has a drivers license and the ATV has lights.
HB 334 (Gooch and numerous others) (H. Rules) (+) Would amend existing law to require ATV operators and passengers under the age of 16 to wear approved protective headgear at all times the vehicle is in motion.
HB 337 (Jenkins and others)(H. Tourism, Dev. & Energy) (-)
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 local rates and service, and with the lack of transparency in allocation of costs among regulated and deregulated services.
HB 338 (Wayne and others) (H. A & R) (+)
Establishes an affordable housing trust fund to assist in the development of affordable housing for very low-income households.
HB 348 (Riggs)(H. Rules)
Would establish a permanent legislative committee to study Metropolitan and Micropolitan Issues.
HB 368 (Burch)(H. Judiciary)
Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
HB 369 (Stein, Marzian, Meeks and Owens) (H. Judiciary)
Would amend state civil rights laws to include protection against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
HB 374 (Palumbo and others)(S. A&R)
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