2011 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: The First Edition

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2011 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: The First Edition  Posted: January 6, 2011
2011 GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION: Bills We?re Watching: The First Edition

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council will be tracking during the 2011 session.

This year is a “short” session, which began on Tuesday, January 4 and will recess on January 7, recommence on February 1 and will end on March 22.

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 2011 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11RS/record.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 1-866-840-2835.

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.

We’ve changed the format, so that bills we are opposing or supporting appear in the first section, followed by those that we are tracking.

Senate Bills:

SB 7(Thayer)(S. State and Local Govt)(+)

Would increase government fiscal transparency by making legislative, judicial and executive branch expenditure records, and certain records of higher educational institutions available on the web. Same bill as Rep. Cherry’s HB 24.

SB 10 (Thayer and others)(S. State and Local Govt)(-)

Would propose a constitutional amendment creating a “21st Century Bill of Rights” including prohibitions against laws and rules restricting the severing of coal, and restricting laws and rules regulating hunting and fishing unless there is a “compelling interest” found by the General Assembly.

The language in SB 10 providing that "no law or rule shall prevent, directly or indirectly, the severing of coal" is broad enough in scope to potentially sweep aside not only the state surface coal mining regulatory program but also mine health and safety regulation, and in so doing result in the loss of state regulatory authority over coal mine health, safety and the environment. The language could also dramatically affect the state budget, since it is facially broad enough to cover the coal severance tax (which might make certain coal reserves uneconomic to mine and in so doing, "indirectly" affect the severing of coal). Additionally, to the extent that application of clean air rules regarding control over sulfur dioxide and other pollutants of public health concern, affect the economics of extraction of certain coal deposits, an argument could be made for elimination of those controls as applied to coal combustion.

A similar concern arises regarding the language prohibiting laws and rules limiting hunting, fishing and harvesting of wildlife. Due to the lack of definition of what constitutes a "compelling interest," that would justify legislative action, depending on how that standard would be defined by the courts, state laws intended to allow management of hunting, fishing, and harvesting of wildlife in order to conserve the population and protect the health of the game species, might be at risk.

SB 30 (Pendleton)(S. Ag)(+)

Would create a licensing process for cultivation of industrial hemp.

SB 34 (Leeper)(S. Nat Res and Energy)(-)

This bill reprises SB 26 from last session, and would eliminate current prohibition on construction of new nuclear plants in the Commonwealth and allow the PSC to approve new nuclear plant construction with only an approved federal plan for storage of nuclear waste. Bill could also allow siting of low-level radwaste facility in Kentucky inasmuch as a nuclear plant would generate a new wastestream of low-level nuclear wastes that would need to be managed.

Administration officials and the sponsor have indicated that lifting the 25-year moratorium is necessary to “begin the conversation” about the role of nuclear energy in Kentucky’s energy future. KRC respectfully disagrees, and believes that allowing a new generation of nuclear power plants to be constructed without a permanent waste disposal strategy in place for wastes that include radionuclides with a half-life of 24,000 years, sends the wrong message to an industry that has seen no new plant construction since 1974, despite significant subsidies from the federal government.

SB 50 (Jensen)(-)

Similar to HB 213 from the 2010 Session, this bill would allow a private transmission pipeline company to condemn private lands in order to construct a pipeline for transmission of carbon dioxide for private use. KRC believes that irrespective of a legislative declaration that transmission of CO2 by pipeline is a "public use," the reality remains that it is unconstitutional under Sections 13 and 242 of the Kentucky Constitution to grant a nonutility company the power to condemn the lands of another private party where the public will not be able to use the easement that is condemned.

HB 24(Cherry)(H. State Govt)(+)

Would make legislative, judicial and executive branch expenditure records, and certain records of higher educational institutions available on the web.

HB 26(Belcher)(H. Local Govt)(+)

This bill contains the text of the House-passed version of House Bill 221, and provides the framework by with two or more wastewater utilities in the counties of Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, Meade, Nelson, Oldham and Spencer counties may elect to create a regional wastewater commission in order to better address the wastewater treatment needs of their residents. It is not a mandate, but an opportunity for regional cooperation in order to more cost-effectively treat wastewater generated by residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sources. It offers community utilities that increasingly face scrutiny from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Kentucky Division of Water for the treatment of wastewaters, including stormwater, a way to benefit from economies of scale in managing wastewaters. The bill as prefiled includes several amendments negotiated by KRC during the 2010 Session and accepted by the bill sponsor, to improve public accountability in the formation and operations of such a regional wastewater authority.

HJR 27 (Glenn)(H. Nat Res and Env)(+)

Would require public water systems to monitor and report levels of hexavalent chromium in drinking water.

Other Bills We’re Tracking

SB 1 (Williams and Leeper)(S. A&R)

Would establish a council to develop recommendations on revisions to revenue statutes, which would be subject to an up-or-down vote by the General Assembly.

SB 4 (Carpenter)(S. State and Local Govt)

Would prohibit lobbyist contributions to candidates for statewide office, change election filing deadlines, and amend contribution filing requirements.

SB 5 (Leeper, Hornback)(S. A&R)

Would require appropriations and revenue bills to be available for public review prior to certain legislative actions thereon.

SB 8 (Givens and Wilson)(S. Rules)

Would direct the Secretary of State to develop an electronic “one-stop” portal to facilitate interaction among businesses and governmental agencies in the Commonwealth.

SB 43 (Clark, Shaughnessy)(S. Transp)

Would prohibit imposition of tolls or fees on existing interstates – a response to one proposal to fund the Louisville Ohio River Bridges project.

SB 52 (Stein and others)(Senate)

Would require the Legislative Research Commission to post legislators' requests for reimbursement on the Internet.

SB 53 (Stein and others)(Senate)

Would expand prohibitions on lobbyist giving to include food and beverages (up to $100 per legislator is currently allowed.)

Senate Resolutions

SR 2 (Stivers)

Rules of Procedure for the 2011 Regular Session.

Adopted by voice vote

House Bills

HB 1 (Combs and others)(H. Elections, Const Ams)(Under review)

Would propose a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish and “harvest” wildlife and would preclude any city or county ordinances that had the effect of limiting such rights, by recognizing only state laws designed to promote wildlife conservation and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. It is unclear whether this amendment, if passed, would open all state owned lands to hunting and fishing.

HB 21 (Wayne)(H. Elections, Const Ams)

Would establish a public financing process for “clean judicial elections” for judicial candidates that choose to participate, managed by the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and would limit participating candidates to raising no more than $10,000 from at least 50 persons, after which time the fund would provide campaign support depending on the expenditures of nonparticipating opponent(s).

HB 22 (Coursey)(H. Nat Res and Env)

Would establish a certification program for persons installing, repairing, closing or removing petroleum underground storage tanks, managed by the state fire marshal’s office.

HB 29 (Henderson)(H. Ag & Sm Bus)

Would create a Historic Farms program allowing designation of heritage farms.

HB 33 (Richards)(H. State Govt)

Would limit mailing of state publications to parties to mailing on request, and provide that reports to the LRC be filed electronically.

HB 36 (Hoover and others) (H. Elections, Const. Ams)

Would amend state constitution to prohibit legislators from being paid for special sessions needed to enact a budget.

HB 37 (Hoover and others) (H. A&R)

Would require a 48-hour waiting period prior to a vote on an appropriation or revenue bill or amendment.

HB 44 (Meeks) (H. State Govt)

Would define who is an "American Indian" under Kentucky law.

HB 45 (Farmer) (H. Elections, Const Ams)

Constitutional amendment to eliminate the Office of County Judge in merged city-county governments.

HB 47 (Jenkins)(H. Local Govt)

Would allow local governments to collect “amelioration costs” for nuisances and to impose property liens for such costs.

HB 50 (Meeks)(H. State Govt)

Would establish a process for state recognition of American Indian tribes.

HB 51 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)

Would amend existing law concerning archaeological excavation on private property, landowner rights to access to cemeteries on private lands, reinterment of discovered human remains, and unlawful possession of human remains and burial objects.

HB 60 (Montell)(H. Nat Res & Env)

Would require internet posting or notification where requested, of certain violations of drinking water standards.

HB 70 (Crenshaw)(H. Elections, Const Ams)

Would amend Section 145 of the Kentucky Constitution to allow automatic restoration of voting rights to persons who have served their time, except those convicted of treason, intentional killing, sexual conduct with a minor or deviate sexual intercourse; those excluded could still request an executive pardon.

HB 76 (Meeks)(H. Judiciary)

Would amend existing law concerning disposition of historic and prehistoric human remains.

HB 88 (Wuchner and Burch)(H. Ed)

Would establish a goal of increasing time for physical activity to 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week in 100% of schools with kindergarten through grade 5 by November 1, 2013

HB 92 (Crimm)(H. Elections, Const Ams)

Proposed constitutional amendment to extend House terms to 4 years from two and Senate terms to six years from four.

HB 93 (Nelson)(H. A&R)

Would make all budget meetings of the General Assembly subject to open meetings laws.

HB 106 (Marzian and others)(H. Judiciary)

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

HB 109 (Pullin)(H. Transp)

Would create a passenger rail transportation advisory board.

HB 115 (Wayne)(H. A&R)

Would require annual reporting to legislature on economic development and tourism project tax incentives and expenditures.

HB 116 (Wayne)(H. A&R)

Would require systematic review by Program Review and Investigations Committee of all tax increment financing, tourism and economic development programs one year before any such program is scheduled to sunset.

HB 119 (Rollins)(H. Local Govt)

Would provide for optional adoption by cities of training programs for city officials, including incentives for those being trained.

HB 130 (Hall) (H. Tourism, Dev. & Energy)

Would create a Kentucky Mountain Trail Authority authorized to establish an area for tourism and outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors, to charge fees for access and parking, and to hire rangers for a Kentucky Mountain Regional Recreational Area.

HB 140 (Wuchner and Fischer)(H. State Govt)

Would amend state administrative regulation statute to delay effective date of regulations with a major economic impact to 60 days following adjournment of the next legislative session. “Major economic impact” is defined as an annual economic impact of $500,000 or more.

HB 151 (Riggs)(H. State Govt)

Would require state retirement systems divestiture of any investments in companies doing business in the Sudan.

HB 152 (Jenkins and others)(H. Mil Affairs and Public Safety)

Would require Energy and Environment Cabinet to develop a prescription drugs drop-off program.

HB 157 (Jenkins)(H. Ag and Sm Bus)

Would modify laws concerning impoundment and disposition of animals that are in imminent harm or are cruelly treated or tortured.

HB 158 (Stumbo)(Under review)

Proposed constitutional amendment would amend state constitution to create a right to hunt, fish, and
harvest non-threatened species of wildlife using traditional methods.

HB 159 (Stacy)(H. Elections and Const Ams)

Proposed constitutional amendment would amend state constitution to require General Assembly to remain in regular session during even-numbered years, without pay, if they cannot pass a budget within the 60-day period.

HB 161 (Stumbo)(H. Elections and Const Ams)

Proposed constitutional amendment that would amend state constitution to require General Assembly to remain in regular session during even-numbered years if they cannot pass a budget within the 60-day period. Is silent concerning pay for that extended period.

HB 163 (Wayne and others)(H. Transp)

Would require helmet for motorcycle riders.

HB 165 (Koenig and Edmonds)(H. Local Govt)

Would create process for optional consolidation of counties.

HB 166 (McKee and Denham)(H. Ag and Sm Bus)

Would mandate that state parks promote the sale of Kentucky Proud agricultural products.

HB 179 (Nelson)(H. A&R)

Would make legislative conference and free conference committee meetings open to the public.

House Resolutions

HR 1 (Stumbo and Adkins)

House Rules of Procedure for 2011 Session.

HJR 5 (Clark)(H. Eco Dev)

Would direct a study be contracted of the effectiveness of economic development incentive programs.

HJR 6 (Lee)(H. Elections, Const Ams)

Would declare state sovereignty over powers not given the federal government by the Constitution.

HJR 10 (Stacy and others)(H. State Govt)

Would direct the Governor to cease furloughing state employees during 2011-2012 biennium.

HJR 11 (Nelson)(H. State Govt)

Same as HJR 10 but with an emergency clause.

HCR 13 (Wuchner and DeWeese)H. Health and Welf)

Concurrent resolution would establish a legislative task force on childhood obesity.

HR 14 (Rollins)(H. Elections, Const Ams)

Simple resolution urging Congress to act to amend the U.S. Constitution to prevent corporate control of elections.
By Kentucky Resources Council on 01/06/2011 5:32 PM
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