2008 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: Week Five - 635 Bills, 220 Resolutions, 37 Legislative Days To Go!

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2008 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: Week Five - 635 Bills, 220 Resolutions, 37 Legislative Days To Go!  Posted: February 8, 2008

2008 REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: Week Five

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills being tracked by the Council during the 2008 session. This is the sixth of many updates, covering the first five weeks of the 2008 legislative session, which began on January 8 and continues until April 15. This list will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills.

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, 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.ky.gov/legislation.htm

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 1-877-257-5541.

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.

To email all legislators with one email, send your email to Legislators2008@lrc.ky.gov.

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. 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.

Senate Bills

SB 3 (Williams)(H. Elections & Const. Am.)

Would amend election laws to change filing date for primary candidates from January to May, change primary date from May to August, and eliminate gubernatorial runoff elections.

SB 5 (Thayer) (H. Elections & Const. Am)

Would eliminate gubernatorial primary runoff elections.

SB 7 (Williams) (S. Transp)

Would create process for establishing a public infrastructure authority for highway and bridge projects, allowing the authority to issue bonds for financing a project and to place tolls on a project and set out procedures for collection and distribution of tolls.

SB 8 (Thayer)(S. State & Local Govt)

Comprehensive revisions to campaign finance laws.

SB 12 (Carroll) (S. Judiciary)

Would amend state law to require adoption of policies by school districts on harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

SB 14 (Thayer) (S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate office of Treasurer and assign duties elsewhere.

SB 15 (Pendleton) (S. Judiciary)

Extends protections of animal cruelty laws to dogs and cats and makes killing or “causing injury or suffering to any animal” (other than those we hunt, trap, fish or “process” for food) a Class D felony.

SB 16 (Seum) (S. Rules)

Bill responds to use of staff to promote ballot initiative in Metro Louisville, by restricting employees in the classified service in cities of the first class activities involving ballot initiatives during work hours and using public resources.

SB 17 (Stine) (S. Education)

Would require Kentucky Board of Education to adopt regulations requiring all public preschool through eighth grade programs to implement, no later than the 2008-2009 school year, 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week of structured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

SB 19 (Boswell)(S. A&R)

Proposed constitutional amendment to allow casino gaming.

SB 20 (Boswell) (S. A&R)

Companion bill setting standards for gambling at horse tracks and casinos if amendment is adopted.

SB 22 (Tapp) (S. Licensing and Occup)

Would create a certification program for licensure of home inspectors.

SB 54 - (Winters) (S. Ag & NR)

Would create a separate “limited” permit for sand and gravel mining operations under one acres in size. KRC is concerned that this “limited” permit could be abused and that a “string of pearls” situation could be created where one entity contracts with numerous landowners to have multiple less-than-one-acre operations, and in doing so, evade the more rigorous standards and permit obligations. The current permitting process is itself underprotective of the rights of nearby landowners and the environment, and any further dilution of the standards is unwarranted. All extraction of minerals for sale or commercial use should be fully permitted and bonded.

KRC has drafted alternative language to more narrow define a tiered small-operator permit for landowner excavation of surficial gravel for farmstead use, but that has not been accepted by the proponents of the bill.

SB 55 (Scorsone) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend state civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

SB 58 (Burford) (S. Judiciary)

Increases penalty for torture of cat or dog to Class D felony.

SB 69 - (Harris) (S. A&R)

Would reduce by half the Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund fee paid by generators on hazardous wastes used as fuel, and would reduce from 20% to 5% the amount of the fee transferred to the pollution prevention fund which is administered by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center for funding pollution prevention programs. Beneficiaries of this reduction would be Safety-Kleen and Rohm & Haas, who utilize hazardous wastes as a boiler fuel. KRC opposes both the reduction in funding of pollution prevention programs as well as the loss of contribution to the hazardous waste assessment fund from combustion of hazardous wastes with heat recovery, and the tacit assumption that combustion of hazwastes with energy recovery is a preferred form of disposition of hazardous wastes.

SB 83 + (Harris)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Would add wind, water and other renewable energy sources to solar as being eligible for net metering. There is a more comprehensive House net metering bill addressing these sources and providing for standardization of interconnection requirements, as well as removing caps on availability of net metering. KRC appreciates Senator Harris’ involvement in this issue.

SB 99 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)

Senate counterpart to HB 144 would limit development density to 5-acre lots on two-lane rural secondary roads designated as having scenic significance.

SB 105 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment to limit odd-year legislative sessions to appropriations and revenue bills and other limited subjects proposed by Governor or leadership of House or Senate.

SB 107 - (Pendleton) (needs significant revision)

Bill would prohibit the use, for purposes of approving of denying a KPDES water discharge permit, any water quality data obtained more than thirty-six (36) months prior to the date the application was submitted, and would require that data used for the purpose of evaluating permit applications “shall be obtained from sources determined by the cabinet to be certified for use in making permit issuance determinations.”

While the goal of utilizing the most current water quality data is certainly supportable, the bill appears to be intended to limit the ability of the Cabinet to utilize older water quality data and to require that the agency bear responsibility for collection of the data and that the sources of the data be “certified.” There is no general laboratory certification in Kentucky, and the responsibility for collection of adequate and current water quality data to support a permit decision should fall on the applicant where it is not otherwise available, not the agency. If the applicant (or individual opposing adoption of a TMDL) believes that the water quality data is unrepresentative, that person has the option of collecting and submitting more current data.

SB 143 (Scorsone, Kerr)

Comprehensive bill addressing safety of children’s products in commerce and for notification of recalls and notices of unsafe children’s products.

SB 114 (Jones)(S. Judiciary)

Would require booster seats for children under 8 years old and between 40 and 57 inches in height and specify penalties.

SB 116 (Harper Angel)(S. Judiciary)

Would prohibit reading, writing or sending a text message while driving.

SB 117 (Denton)(S. State & Local Govt)

Would amend state constitution to extend from 4 to 6 years the terms of State Senators, beginning in year 2010.

SB 120 (Buford) (S. Judiciary)

Would require booster seats for children under 7 years old and between 40 and 50 inches in height and specify penalties.

SB 127 (Buford)(S. Eco dev, Tourism & Labor)

Would remove the Henry Clay Law Office from the list of state-owned historic properties managed by the Division of Historic Properties.

SB 145 + (K. Stine)

Would require that bicycle and pedestrian ways be given full consideration in planning and development of state transportation facilities and direct Transportation Cabinet to establish design and construction standards for bicycle and pedestrian ways.

Senate Resolutions

SR 1 (Williams, Kelly, Worley)

Senate Rules of Procedure for 2008 Session.

SJR 72 + (Jones)(S. Ag & NR)

Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to require emergency action plans for all high and significant hazard impoundments. Senate counterpart to House Joint Resolution 60.

SJR 76 + (Harper Angel)(S. Ag NR)

Would require Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to submit a report to the LRC relating to electronic waste disposal and recycling.

House Bills

HB 3 (Marzian, Jenkins) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would require Governor to achieve all possible gender equity in board and commission appointments.

HB 18 (Owens, Cherry, Larry Clark) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would eliminate gubernatorial primary runoff elections.

HB 19 (Stacy, Jenkins) (H. State Govt) (posted)

Would establish compensation rules where one legislative chamber adjourns without consent of the other chamber.

HB 31 (Wilkey) (H. Judiciary) (posted)

Would establish process for expungement of criminal records for Class D felonies.

HB 34 (Wuchner, Burch and others) (H. Education)

Would require certain amounts of physical activity as part of elementary and middle school curricula beginning in 2009-10 school year.

HB 42 (Crimm) (H. Judiciary)

Would create penalty of forfeiture of ownership of animals involved in cruelty and torture cases, and prohibit ownership and possession of animals of the same species for two years.

HB 47 (Owens) (H. State Govt)

Would require reporting of “legal defense trust funds” used by public officials and limit who may contribute.

HB 55 (Burch) (H. Rules)

Would require booster seats for children under 8 years old and between 40 and 57 inches in height and specify penalties.

HB 56 (Burch) (H. Transportation)

Would prohibit use of cell phones in moving vehicles except for emergency use and hands-free apparatus.

HB 58 (Higdon) (H. Elections & Const.)

Proposed constitutional amendment to require revenue and appropriation bills to be introduced in odd-numbered-year sessions, limit all sessions to 30 days, and require 3/5 vote for revenue and appropriations bills.

HB 69 (Cherry) (H. State Govt) (posted)

Would amend executive branch ethics laws to clarify that an executive agency decision includes a decision by the Public Service Commission pursuant to a request for a change in the rates or service of a utility which results in an order of the Public Service Commission, thus applying lobbying provisions of the code to the Public Service Commission.

HB 70 (Owens, Crenshaw) (H. Rules)

Would amend state constitution to provide for automatic restoration of voting rights to felons on completion of sentence.

HB 71 (Glenn) (H. NR & Env)

Would create a lifetime combination hunting and fishing license for Kentuckians over 65 years old.

HB 80 (Meeks)(Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would amend state law to encourage interlocal agreements for cooperation in provision of emergency services among counties.

HB 81 (Wilkey, Hoover) (H. A&R)

Would create student loan forgiveness program for lawyers working for certain agencies and for legal services organizations.

HB 83 (Yonts) (S. Ag & NR)

Would amend existing law on water districts to revise manner in which districts can extend services and composition and manner of selection of boards.

HB 88 (Simpson) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would extend authority to eliminate public nuisances presently held by cities of the first, second classes and consolidated local governments, to third and fourth-class cities

HB 90 (Higdon) (H. Labor & Industry)

Probably the most popular prefiled bill, this would prohibit use of automated calling equipment or recorded political telephone messages from or by a political party or campaign.

HB 91 (Cherry) (S. Judiciary)

Would define "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" and require school districts to adopt policies for assisting students who are engaging in disruptive and disorderly behavior, including harassment, intimidation, or bullying of another student.

HB 92 (Wayne and L. Clark)(Recommitted to H. A&R)

Would amend state law to redefine “renewable energy facility” to lower the minimum capital investment and electricity capacity for solar or hydropower facilities and for landfill gas used for electricity. KRC will be working with the sponsors and other legislators to revise the criteria for renewable energy facilities.

HB 93 (Wayne, L. Clark)(H. NR & Env)

Would amend HB 1 to require that for a unit to be “carbon capture ready” it must plan for compression of carbon dioxide in addition to capture. Unfortunately, the term “carbon capture ready” even with this change does not adequately limit availability of incentives for coal conversion technologies since any facility is theoretically carbon capture “ready” – the issues are the cost and efficiency, and more significantly, whether the facility has a plan for management or disposal of the captured CO2.

HB 98 (Denham) (H. Judiciary) (posted)

Would create and define a crime of agroterrorism against an agricultural facility or product.

HB 100 (Denham) (Recommitted to H. NR & Env)

Would revise laws allowing local governments to collect solid waste taxes or service fees and allow local governments to collect delinquent solid waste collection taxes or fees through contract with the Department of Revenue.

HB 106 (Denham) (H. Judiciary) (posted)

Would require junkyards and other purchasers of ferrous and nonferrous metals and objects containing ferrous and nonferrous metals to keep records of transactions and criminalize failure to maintain a register of purchases of metals and objects containing metal.

HB 113 (Damron) (H. State Govt)

Would prohibit use of public funds for membership in a private organization that holds closed meetings where all members are not permitted to be present.

HB 119 (Simpson) (H. Local Govt) (posted)

Would amend code enforcement board statute to establish schedule for civil penalties for code violations.

HB 124 (Westrom) (H. Rules)

Amends existing laws on certification of landscape architects

HB 134 (Cherry) (H. Rules)

Would amend Executive Branch Ethics statutes to include unpaid executive officers under code, and make changes in personnel laws relating to merit employee protection.

HB 144 (Bratcher) (H. Local Govt)

Would limit development density to 5-acre lots on two-lane rural secondary roads designated as having scenic significance.

HB 145 (S. Lee) (H. Judiciary)

Increases penalty for torture of cat or dog to Class D felony.

HB 149 + (Nelson)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)

Would create state income tax credits for residential solar thermal and PV system, upgrading insulation, and energy-efficient windows, storm doors and geothermal heat pumps.

HB 153 + (Owens & Adkins) (H. A&R)

Appropriates an additional $10 million dollars for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

HB 159 (Dossett) (H. A&R)

Would appropriate $500,000 over the biennium to create matching grants for preservation of cemeteries.

HB 164 + (Pasley) (H. NR & Env)

The "streamsaver bill" would require spoil generated by mining activities to be disposed of on previously mined lands or other upland locations rather than in stream channels.

HB 176 (Owens) (H. Elections, Const)

Would create a provisional ballot process for voting by individuals whose eligibility to vote is in question.

HB 205 (Yonts) (H. NR & Env)

Would amend fish and wildlife statutes to establish process for landowners to receive permits to erect structures on banks of department-owned lakes.

HB 206 (Higdon) (H. Local Govt)

Intent appears to be to amend planning and zoning authority under KRS Chapter 100 to give additional discretionary authority to cities or counties to adopt zoning regulations addressing noise and dust from commercial developments in excess of fifteen acres. Language needs rewriting to clarify intent, and KRC is concerned that language may have the effect of restricting rather than adding to the city or county's authority, since it already has the authority to enact zoning regulations addressing activity on the land and its effects on neighbors.

HB 212 (Cherry) (H. State Govt)

Similar to HB 175 in that it would amend Legislative Ethics Code to broaden the definition of "legislation" to include regulations and legislative proposals, and to impose new limits on campaign contributions from lobbyist employers.

HB 213 (Riner) (H. Elections, Const)

Proposed constitutional amendment on restoring voting rights to persons convicted of non-violent, non-sexual felonies after completion of sentence, 100 hours of community service and three years without further offenses.

HB 214 + (Wayne, L. Clark, Henley, Weston) (H. A&R)

Would create tax incentives for vegetable oil-based fuels and conversion of vehicles to use waste vegetable oil fuel.

HB 215 (Gooch, Stewart) (H. NR & Env) (posted)

Would appropriate up to $15 million dollars each year to match monies deposited in the Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Fund.

HB 216 (Wayne) (S. Judiciary)

Would require that proceeds from donated easements that are part of the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) Program be paid to donor or donor's heirs after the easement is terminated.

HB 231 (Jenkins) (H. Health & Welfare)(posted)

Would prohibit sale or use of any lead-bearing substances on items that may be used by children, and would require labeling of products containing lead bearing substances.

HB 233 – (Simpson & Santoro) (H. NR & Env)(posted)

This session’s version of a bill that would allow coding as PETE plastic containers that have a barrier layer that is composed of nylon or another non-PETE substance. Under the bill, a plastic container with a barrier layer could be coded as a “1” rather than a “7” if the resin layer “is compatible with or removed from the recycling stream,” and must be coded a “7” if it is “not compatible for the purposes of recycling.

The bill presents several problems, both in drafting and substantively.

First, it appears that the manufacturer rather than the state agency would control the marking of a container as a “1” or a “7” based on whether the use of a nylon or other barrier layer in a container is “compatible for the purposes of recycling.”

Subsection (3)(a) allows coding as a “1” if the barrier layer of resin is compatible with the predominant resin or can be removed from the recycling stream.

Barrier bottles are not compatible with PET recycling, since they lessen the value of the PET by adding a contaminant which, after a certain percentage of saturation of the market (2% or above) will cause a yellowing or “hazing” of the resin and eliminate it’s use for a number of higher value aftermarkets.

Barrier beer bottles with amber tint present two problems – the amber coloration and the presence of a nylon or other barrier that makes them incompatible with current recycling processors and markets. Subsection (3)(b) requires coding as a “7” if the barrier layer is “not compatible for the purposes of recycling.” While the nylon layer "can be removed" through physical separation from the PETE bottle, the significant additional cost precludes the separation and removal of the barrier layer. Allowing a coding of “1” based on the possibility of removing the barrier layer is inappropriate, since the extra cost of such removal and of creating a separate line for handling such bottles will prevent that from occurring. The barrier bottles are landfilled by recycled material processors due to incompatibility of the nylon with end uses of the PETE.

KRC is concerned that the coding of a multi-layer bottle containing a nylon barrier layer as a "1" will have a negative effect on the plastics recycling industry. The presence of nylon barriers is a problem for collection systems that separate plastics based on coding, and could cause the value of baled PETE to be lowered or the baled PETE to be rejected by intermediate processors since the nylon affects the clarity of the finished product or can cause a change in the intrinsic viscosity (IV) of the recycled PET that renders it unacceptable for certain end-use applications.

As the plastics industry introduces more clear barrier layer bottles, it will be very difficult to distinguish a multi-layer PET container from a single-layer PET container, and collection programs may find that the plastics loads they collect and attempt to sell as PETE are rejected by processors as contaminated due to the presence of such bottles. The widespread introduction of plastic bottles with nylon barrier layers coded as a “1” has the potential to undermine the current PETE recycling infrastructure by introducing contaminants to the recycled PETE resin, and increasing processing costs and lowering baled plastic receipts for curbside programs, recycling centers and plastics processors.

HB 246 (Wayne, Riggs) (Withdrawn)

HB 250 (Cherry, Vincent)(S. State & Local Govt)

Comprehensive reform of executive branch ethics code to include new restrictions on acceptance of awards and use of state time for certain purposes, on acceptance of donations to defense funds, and extending scope of persons covered by code.

HB 251 (Yonts) (S. State & Local Govt)

Would revise government contract review and reporting requirements, particularly with respect to higher education institutions.

HB 268 + (Nelson) (H. A&R)

Creates state income tax credits for installed cost of energy efficient windows and storm doors, geothermal heat pump systems, solar energy systems, small wind turbines, upgraded insulation, and amends state net metering law to include wind energy.

HB 271 (Meeks)(H. NR & Env)

Would adopt California greenhouse has motor vehicle emissions standards.

HB 274 (Marzian and others)(H. Judiciary)

Would amend state civil rights law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

HB 279 (Harmon, Simpson) (H. Judiciary)

Would require recordkeeping and reporting by dealers, collectors and vendors of scrap metals.

HB 286 - (Rudy & Nesler) (H. NR & Env)

House version of SB 54, would create a separate “limited” permit for sand and gravel mining operations under one acres in size. KRC is concerned that this limited permit process could be abused and that a “string of pearls” situation could be created where one entity contracts with numerous landowners to have multiple less-than-one-acre operations, and so evades the more rigorous standards and permit obligations. Any extraction of minerals for sale or commercial use should be fully permitted and bonded.

HB 291 (Adkins)(H. Transp)

Would create a state rail bank fund for management by the Transportation Cabinet of donated abandoned rail lines and rights of way from railroad companies.

HB 292 (McKee) (S. Ag NR)

Amends statutes governing agricultural districts to tighten standards for creation of an agricultural district, to provide for periodic reviews of districts of 10 acres of less, and to require compliance with conservation plans in order to receive lower agricultural tax assessment.

HB 295 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt)

Would create a permitting process for excavations of archaeological sites on private property and clarify disposition requirements for disposition of human remains discovered during archaeological investigation or inadvertently encountered in cemeteries. Would also clarify rights of descendants and relatives to access to cemeteries on private property.

HB 296 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt)

Comprehensive revision of state law addressing disposition of historic and prehistoric human remains.

HB 299 + (Moberly and others) (H. Tourism Development & Energy) (posted)

Would direct Governor’s Office of Energy Policy to produce a report and recommendations concerning adoption of a Renewable Portfolio Standard for electric utilities to include a certain percentage of renewables in their generation portfolio. Report would also include recommendations on funding mechanisms, such as Public Benefit Funds, for supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives and programs.

HB 312 + (Moberly and Pasley)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy) (posted)

Would amend the Kentucky River Authority statutory authority and mandate to include promotion of installation of hydroelectric units on the Kentucky River dams.

HB 313 + (Moberly, Pasley, Pullin)(H. Tourism Dev. and Energy)

Would amend net metering law to broaden availability of net metering of renewable power onto the electric grid to include wind, biomass, hydro and cogeneration, and would establish a statewide interconnection and net metering standard.

HB 315 (A. Smith and others) (H. NR & Env)

Amends law on mine safety to lower from two to one the number of EMTs required to be on a surface mine during production shifts with 10 or less employees.

HB 322 (Simpson) (H. Local Govt)(posted)

Amends Chapter 100 regarding land use planning to provide that legislative bodies must act on proposed comprehensive plan goals and objectives within 90 days of transmittal from a planning commission or those goals and objectives are deemed adopted.

HB 330 (Horlander and others) (H. Rules)

Amends open meetings law to allow notices of special meetings to be sent by email to agency members and media organizations that have requested such a method of notice rather than by fax or regular mail. Posting of written notice of special meetings is still required 24-hours before the meeting.

Bill would be improved by requiring posting of electronic notice of special meetings on the websites of those agencies in addition to posting written notice in the building, and KRC will be talking with the interested parties and the sponsor about a floor amendment to do so.

HB 337 (Wilkey) (H. Tourism, Dev. & Energy)

Would amend Public Service Commission statute to increase penalties for violations of regulations or orders of the Commission.

HB 347 (Greer and Butler) (H. Ag & Sm. Bus)

Would require setbacks of 3,000 feet between new or expanded industrial poultry production operations (20,000 or more birds) from land on which a school, nursing home, church, day care center, or hospital is located.

A more comprehensive revision to state laws is needed to demand full accountability of industrial poultry and livestock operations for their air, land and water impacts and impacts on the use of nearby properties and structures.

HB 361 (Stein) (H. Elections, Const. Amendments)

A constitutional amendment allowing legislature to authorize cities or counties to impose sales and use taxes if approved by the voters of that jurisdiction, and purposes and duration are specified.

HB 406 (Moberly and others)(H. A&R)

The Governor’s proposed Executive Branch Budget for 2008-2010. KRC is very concerned with the transfer of millions of dollars from the Kentucky Pride Fund, Petroleum Storage Tank Environmental Assurance Fund, and the Kentucky Stream and Wetland Restoration Fund - all supposedly dedicated funds whose remedial and restorative purposes are potentially compromised by these large-scale diversions of funds to the general fund.

KRC is very concerned with the loss of general fund dollars in the Department of Environmental Protection, and with transfers of funds from “trust” accounts to the General Fund.

KRC has communicated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers concerning the removal of $10 million dollars of "in-lieu" mitigation fees from the restoration fund and Governor's proposal to bond back $5 million each year of the biennium, since there will be both a loss of access to the funds and concomitant delay in ability to fund compensatory mitigation and restoration projects, and also a loss of interest receipts. In response to KRC’s communication, the Corps has informed the House leadership that removal of those funds is inconsistent with the state’s obligations concerning the management of the in lieu fund.

KRC will be reviewing the impacts of the other fund diversions and will oppose any diversion that will slow reclamation of underground storage tank sites, old landfills, or litter programs. The loss of tens of millions from the storage tank fund and bonding back a fraction of the funds removed, may compromise both the ability to timely remediate contaminated sites, and the ability of the fund to be used as financial assurance for permitted USTs.

KRC testified before the Environmental Quality Commission this week and suggested that the fee structure for waste and water permits should be raised in order to fully capture the actual costs of processing pollution permits and of routine inspections of permitted facilities, since current fees recover only a small fraction of those costs and represent a hidden taxpayer subsidy of the use of air, land and water resources for waste disposal.

HB 434 (Damron)(H. NR & Env)(posted)

Would direct the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to establish standards for remediation of mold in private and public settings.

HB 484 +(D. Butler, Hoffman)

Would require public postsecondary institutions purchasing agricultural products to purchase Kentucky agricultural products.

HB 486 (Simpson)

Would define "executive authority" under various local government forms, for purpose of code enforcement boards.

House Resolutions

HR 3 (Richards)

House Rules of Procedures for 2008 Session.

HJR 6 (Marzian) (S. Education)

Would create study group to develop Holocaust curriculum guidance for schools.

HJR 54 + (Pasley, Moberly, and others)(H. Rules)

Resolution encouraging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to promote private investment in the installation of hydroelectric generating units on all existing dams within and abutting the Commonwealth of Kentucky under its jurisdiction, by developing a memorandum of agreement with other federal and state agencies for prioritization of review and action on applications to install hydroelectric generating units.

HJR 60 + (Webb)(H. NR & Env)

Would require high and moderate hazard impoundments to develop Emergency Action Plans meeting requirements of the Federal Emergency Management Agency,

HJR 68 (McKee and others)(S. Ag NR)

Resolution would reauthorize the Kentucky Aquaculture Task Force and require an updated state plan by November 1, 2008.

HJR 81 (Moberly and others)(H. A&R)

Would provide that the mandates and directives of the 2008-10 Executive Branch Budget have the effect of law.

HR 91 (Wayne and Clark)(To Floor)

Would urge Congress to encourage EPA to establish standards for certification of conversion kits to allow use of vegetable oil for diesel engines.

HCR 93 (Webb & Osborne)(H. NR & Env)(posted)

Would reauthorize the Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force.

HJR 103 - (Edmonds and A. Smith)

Directs UK Department of Mining Engineering to develop a report on the amount of coal that could be removed from UK’s Robinson Forest with “the most minimal surface and stream disturbance” and royalty income that could be expected.

Also directs UK Department of Forestry to recommend research that could be done on the reclaimed area, with an emphasis on replanting of American Chestnuts.

Finally, the resolution directs the University of Kentucky to make recommendation on establishing a perpetual trust fund for the Robinson Scholars Program for receipt of all royalties from mining and logging the forest.

KRC opposes any study contemplating mining the main block of the Robinson Forest, inasmuch as the area has been designated as unsuitable for mining, and mining would inalterably damage decades of baseline hydrologic monitoring and the research value of the forest. The logging of the forest to support the scholars program is likewise an inappropriate use of a unique research forest, and the University should develop other methods to provide sustainable support for that program.

By Kentucky Resources Council on 02/08/2008 5:32 PM
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