This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills being tracked by the Council during the 2008 session. This is the third of many updates, covering the first two 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!)
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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 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.
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.
SB 3 (Williams)
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) (S. State & Local Govt)
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. State & Local Govt)
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 33 (Carroll) (S. Transp)
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 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.
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. 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)(S. Ag & NR)
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.
SR 1 (Williams, Kelly, Worley)
Senate Rules of Procedure for 2008 Session.
HB 3 (Marzian, Jenkins) (House)
Would require Governor to achieve all possible gender equity in board and commission appointments.
HB 18 (Owens, Cherry, Larry Clark) (H. Elections & Const.)
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)
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. Transportation)
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. Elections, Const)
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)(H. Rules)
Would amend state law to encourage interlocal agreements for cooperation in provision of emergency services among counties.
HB 81 (Wilkey, Hoover) (H. Judiciary)
Would create student loan forgiveness program for lawyers working for certain agencies and for legal services organizations.
HB 83 (Yonts) (H. Local Govt) (posted)
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) (H. Local Govt) (posted)
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) (H. Education)
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)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)
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)
Would create and define a crime of agroterrorism against an agricultural facility or product.
HB 100 (Denham) (H. Local Govt) (Posted)
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)
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. Licensing & Occup)
Amends existing laws on certification of landscape architects
HB 134 (Cherry) (H. State Govt) (posted)
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 175 (Cherry) (H. State Govt)
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) (H. Ag & Sm. Bus)
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) (H. NR & Env)
This sessions 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 payer 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.
The second concern is that the bill is internally inconsistent. The use of such layers is not compatible for the purposes of recycling since barrier layers composed of nylon and other non-PETE resins are considered contaminants in the recycling of PETE. While the new 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, subsection (3)(b) requires coding as a 7 if the barrier layer is not compatible for the purposes of recycling.
Finally, and most significantly, the coding of a multi-layer bottle containing a nylon barrier layer can have a negative effect on the plastics recycling industry. The presence of nylon barriers is a problem for some reclaimers as it effects 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. It is very difficult to distinguish a multi-layer PET container from a single-layer PET container, and intermediate 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.
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. A survey of processors conducted by KRC this past year indicates that multi-layer bottles containing nylon barrier layers are considered contaminated and are sent to the landfill rather than being processed to recover the PETE and separate the barrier layer.
Below a certain percentage, multi-layer barrier bottles containing non PETE barrier layers are considered a manageable contamination of the PETE processing stream, according to the survey, and there are certain plastic containers in Kentuckys market that are miscoded as 1 despite the presence of a nylon barrier layer, which should yield a 7 coding. 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; increasing processing costs for curbside programs, recycling centers and plastics processors: and increasing the supply of post consumer PETE without addressing the demand for post consumer PETE.
HB 246 + (Wayne, Riggs) (H. Local Govt)(posted)
Would amend existing land use statutes and ethics law to extend ethics code to planning commission members and employees, require financial disclosure, require consultation in development of comprehensive plans and extend planning horizons to 20 years.
HB 250 (Cherry, Vincent)(H. Rules)
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 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 251 (Yonts) (H. State Govt)
Would revise government contract review and reporting requirements, particularly with respect to higher education institutions.
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) (H. Ag and Sm. Bus)
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)
Would direct Governors 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)
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 and Pasley)(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)
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) (House)
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)
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 suggest that addition to the sponsor.
HR 3 (Richards)
House Rules of Procedures for 2008 Session.
HJR 6 (Marzian) (H. Rules)
Would create study group to develop Holocaust curriculum guidance for schools.
HJR 54 + (Pasley, Moberly, and others)
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) Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to develop regulations requiring emergency action plans for all high and significant hazard impoundment dams.