This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council tracked during the 2013 session. This year is a "short" session, and began on January 8, 2013, adjourned on January 11 until February 5, when the General Assembly reconvened, and recessed on March 12 until March 25, and adjourned sine die on March 26, 2013.
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For a copy of any bill, visit the Legislature's 2013 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov /record/13RS/record.htm
Please note that the Council does not have a position on each bill listed. Some bills were tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they did not become vehicles for mischievous amendments. We have formatted this update to highlight in the first section, those bills on which KRC has taken a position. Where KRC has taken a position concerning a bill it is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and final status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.
H. State Govt = House State Government Committee
H. Ed = House Education Committee
H. Tourism Dev Energy= House Tourism, Development, and Energy Committee
H. Elections= House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs
H. Veterans= House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee
H. Judiciary = House Judiciary Committee
H. A&R = House Appropriations and Revenue Committee
H. Eco. Dev. = House Economic Development Committee
H. Ag Sm Bus = House Agriculture and Small Business Committee
H. Local Govt = House Local Government Committee
H. Trans = House Transportation Committee
H. H&W = House Health and Welfare Committee
H. L&O = House Licensing and Occupations Committee
H. NR Env = House Natural Resources and Environment Committee
H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee
S. State Local Govt = Senate State and Local Government Committee
S. NR Energy = Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
S. Ag = Senate Agriculture Committee
S. Judiciary = Senate Judiciary Committee
S. Eco Dev = Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee
S. Ed = Senate Education Committee
S. H&W = Senate Health and Welfare Committee
S. LO = Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee
S. Veterans = Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee
Bills on which KRC has taken a position
SB 46 (Smith)(Became Law)(+/-)
Act relating to biomass, designed to assist the EcoPower Generation facility proposed for Perry County, would allow the Public Service Commission to approve recovery outside of a rate case, of a request by a regulated electric utility to purchase power from a biomass facility that has been granted a siting certificate from the state merchant plant siting board (i.e. is less than , provided that the Commission determine the costs to be fair, just, and reasonable considering the cost of the entire term of the purchased power agreement.
SB 53 (Denton)(S. NR Energy)(-)
Act relating to "legacy" nature preserves, is directed at changing the management of the Blackacre Nature Preserve, and allowing a number of prohibited activities, including renting the property for weddings, historical reenactments (including camping and campfires), music concerts, a new parking area and additional paved walkways, and removal of existing buildings. While the Act states that these enumerated activities and others are to be consistent with the articles of dedication of the property, a number of the proposed activities are flatly inconsistent with the deed of conveyance and Articles of Dedication.
The Articles of Dedication intended that the property be used as a nature preserve, held in trust for the Commonwealth and overseen by the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, and used for passive outdoor recreation and interpretative nature education. The principal visitor activities were intended to be walking and observing, and activities and uses unrelated to observation and study are prohibited by the Articles of Dedication unless expressly permitted by the Nature Preserves Commission. Prohibited activities explicitly include camping, fires, games and sports, use of motorized vehicles, and removal of natural features, among others.
The Articles of Dedication / Deed expressly limit the use of the preserve must be consistent with those uses expressed in the Kentucky Nature Preserves Act, and vest the decision over what other uses to allow with the Commission. This bill, by removing the Commission control over the uses, and by expressly endorsing prohibited uses that are inconsistent with the Articles of Dedication and which would not be subject to approval by the Commission, would cause a violation by the Commonwealth of the restrictions in the deed of conveyance and articles of dedication and could provoke litigation to enforce those terms and restrictions.
Bill was heard in Committee, and then tabled. A version of the bill that would retain management with the Commission but would direct them to allow prohibited activities, was filed as a floor amendment to HB 150 and then withdrawn.
SB 80 (Schickel and Webb)(H. State Govt)(-)
Would prohibit a state agency or political subdivision of the state from implementing any part of the United Nations Agenda 21 that is contrary to the United States or Kentucky Constitution, or being a member of or expending any public funds on a group or organization that will implement any part of the United Nations Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, and has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences. The United States is a signatory. During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased and several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21. Some have criticized
Agenda 21 as a conspiracy by the United Nations to deprive individuals of property rights.
SB 88 (Hornback, Carpenter, Higdon, Schickel)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(-)
AT&T drafted this bill, seeking to end its obligation to provide basic local exchange phone service for all new and all existing customers in areas with over 5,000 housing units. For exchanges with less than 5,000 housing units, AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell could require customers with stand-alone basic landline phone service to accept wireless voice service instead, and could cease offering basic phone service on an unbundled, stand-alone basis. The Public Service Commission would also lose regulatory powers over the quality and reliability of basic local exchange phone service.
SCR 273 (Seum)(Adopted by Senate)(-)
Would urge President to support oil production off Alaska coast and Keystone XL Pipeline.
SR 275 (Seum)(Adopted)(-)
Would encourage Congress and Secretary of State to support importation of Canadian oil and Keystone Pipeline project.
HB 111 (Nelson)(S. A&R)(+)
Would create registry for third-party certification programs for sustainable family forests. Original bill would have modified existing law concerning valuation of family forestlands certified as sustainable, but that was removed.
HB 126 (Yonts)(Became Law)(+)
Would amend laws governing Petroleum Tank Environmental Assurance Fund to extend the deadline for tank owners to register from July 15, 2013, to July 15, 2016 and also extend reimbursement and other programs for small operators to July 15, 2016.
HB 165 (Damron)(To Senate)(-)
Would exempt from permitting rock quarries dredging or excavating rock from "waterways" owned by those using the excavated rock solely on their own farm for "farm purposes". KRC is concerned that exempting quarrying operations from permitting and bonding requirements may allow off-site damage from erosion, sedimentation, and blasting that would otherwise be regulated under permit. Those impacts are not diminished by the end use of the quarried material.
HB 211 (Thompson and others) (H. Rules)(-)
Bill intended to assist the aluminum industry by allowing them to bypass the Big Rivers Coop and to purchase electricity from TVA or other suppliers. The most immediate effect would be to strand costs that have been incurred by Big Rivers in order to supply electricity to those industries, costs which were incurred on the reasonable assumption that the demand would be there, and the shifting of those costs onto the pocketbooks of the remaining customers, who would likely see sharp increases in their rates. Other major industries could utilize the bill, if adopted, stranding similar costs and shifting those costs to commercial, residential, and smaller industrial ratepayers. Floor amendment would eliminate current bar to approval of new nuclear power plants until a plan for permanent disposal of the waste exists.
KRC is on record opposing the shifting of costs to remaining ratepayers of the delivery of market power to Century Aluminum, and instead believes that tax incentives, rather than rate increases to remaining co-operative members, should be used if the General Assembly believes that some financial assistance is needed to help the industry remain viable.
HB 370 (Adkins and others)(To House for Concurrence With SFA)(+/-)
Would clarify that industrial revenue bonds may be issued to assist with developing and improving manufacturing facilities to increase the energy efficiency.
Senate Floor Amendment lifts ban on new nuclear power plants in Kentucky. House did not take up Senate amendment for concurrence.
HB 378 (Steele and Rudy)(Became Law)(+)
Would require Energy and Environment cabinet to maintain a listing of impaired waters placed on the 303(d) list and to make that list available on the cabinet's Web site and to include other methodological information associated with determining whether to place the water body on the list and with developing any total maximum daily load. Would also require notice to certain interested parties of a water body's listing on the 303(d) for effluent or thermal-based impairment and require annual reporting to the General Assembly. Committee substitute sought by KRC was adopted that clarifies extent of public involvement is required, and that measures needed to assure that rehabilitated waters do not again become impaired are not removed once a waterbody achieves attainment.
HB 392 (York and others)(To Senate)(+)
Would amend open meetings law to require agencies to consider adequate space, seating, and acoustics in selecting locations for meetings. The text of HB 392 was incorporated into House Bill 54, which was sent to the Governor.
HB 424 (Gooch)(S. NR Energy)(+/-)
Bill would create a mandatory bond pool for surface coal mining operations to supplement individual bonds posted for mining operations. Bill excludes long-term substandard water discharges and subsidence impacts from eligibility for bond pool coverage.
HB 66 was gutted and HB 424 was inserted and sent back to House for concurrence. It was concurred in by the House, sent to the Governor, and was signed into law.
HJR 41 (Combs)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Joint resolution would direct formation of a task force to conduct a study of the energy consumption in manufactured housing in Kentucky and to recommend actions to improve energy efficiency in manufactured housing.
HCR 42 (Combs)(S. NR Energy)(+)
Would establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force to study issues regarding timber theft and trespass and to develop consensus recommendations to address those issues.
HR 78 (Meeks)(Adopted)(+)
Simple resolution urging LG&E not to build coal ash landfill over Wentworth Cave near the Trimble 1 & 2 Power Plant. Cave is believed to have been used as part of the Underground Railroad.
HCR 109 (Gooch)(To Governor)(-)
Concurrent resolution would urge the United States Congress to persuade the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standard for Electric Generating Units.
SB 21 (Higdon)(Became Law)
Would amend existing law governing the Kentucky Housing Corporation regarding reporting requirements, use of fund monies for administration of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and to broaden organizations eligible for funding to include sponsors working with low-income rental housing developments controlled by non-profit organizations.
SB 32 (Buford)(Became Law)
Would allow resident nonprofit institutions to sell donated processed wildlife, and would amend existing law to require professional solicitors to post additional information on donation receptacles.
SB 50 (Hornback)(Became Law)
Act would create framework for development of industrial hemp. House and Senate worked through amendments to bill and passed it late on the last day of the session.
SB 55 (McDaniel, Thayer, Wilson)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment would schedule elections of constitutional officers in even-numbered years.
SB 65 (Leeper)(H. NR Env)
Would allow concurrent jurisdiction with the Department of the Interior over lands of the National Wildlife Refuge System and National Fish Hatcheries located in Kentucky for purposes of criminal law enforcement.
SB 117 (Denton, Angel)(H. Rules, recommitted to H. Local Govt)
Would amend KRS 65.003 to include subpoena power in urban-county and consolidated local government ethics codes.
SB 190 (Hornback, Givens, Parrett)(H. NR Env)(posting waived)
Would require Energy and Environment cabinet to maintain a listing of impaired waters placed on the 303(d) list and to make that list available on the cabinet's Web site and to include other methodological information associated with determining whether to place the water body on the list and with developing any total maximum daily load. Would also require notice to certain interested parties of a water body's listing on the 303(d) for effluent or thermal-based impairment and require annual reporting to the General Assembly. Same as House Bill 378, which was adopted and Law.
SR 2 (Stivers)(adopted)
Senate Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session
HB 1 (Stumbo and others)(Became Law)
Would strengthen reporting and accountability of special districts.
HB 27 (Thompson)(To Governor)
Would amend existing law to address extension and acquisition of and condemnation powers of city-operated natural gas distribution systems. HB 338 was gutted and replaced with the text of this bill, and is before the Governor after the House concurred with the change. This bill was then used as vehicle for allowing coal counties to shift severance tax monies where there is a shortfall in allocated amounts.
HB 31 (Wayne)(S. A&R)
Would create a voluntary funding mechanism for public financing for judicial campaigns.
HB 34 (Riggs)(S. Rules)(consent)
Would specify training requirements for local officials on interlocal agreements.
HB 44 (Rollins)(S. Ed)
Would encourage schools to use strategic placement of food in cafeterias to promote healthy food choices by students.
HB 55 (Meeks)(S. A&R)
Would create a state statutory definition of "American Indian" as any person with "origins" in any of the "original peoples" of the Americas who maintains affiliation or attachment to that community or tribe.
HB 56 (Meeks)(S. Rules)(consent)
Would designate the "Kentucky Long Rifle" as the official gun of the Commonwealth. Was included in a "mega" bill that was passed by the Senate as HB 167 that was signed into law by the Governor.
HB 60 (Steele)(Became Law)
Would allow hunters to take coyotes without bag limitation year-round and allow hunters to hunt coyotes at night using shotguns that are 10-gauge or smaller, and to use bait or electronic calls to attract the coyotes.
HB 66 (Riggs)(Became Law)
Would relax existing law requirements for errors-and-omissions insurance and bonding of certified radon contractors. Was gutted and replaced with House Bill 424.
HB 70 (Crenshaw)(H. Elections)(S. State Local Govt)
Proposed Kentucky Constitution amendment to provide for automatic restoration of voting rights for persons convicted of a felony other than treason, intentional killing, a sex crime, or bribery, after the expiration of probation, final discharge from parole, or maximum expiration of sentence.
HB 83 (Graham)(S. State Local Govt)
Would update law on distribution of open meetings and open records information to local officials, to allow electronic distribution, and to provide time frame for distribution of officials elected or appointed after most recent distribution.
HB 141 (McKee and others)(S. A&R)
Would create a tax credit for donating edible agricultural products to nonprofit food programs.
HB 145 (Yonts)(Became Law)
Would provide a one-year statute of limitations for actions brought against professional land surveyors.
HB 147 (Koenig)(H. Rules)
Proposed constitutional amendment would allow counties to eliminate the office of constable.
HB 148 (Koenig)(Became Law)
Would abolish the Kentucky Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation.
HB 150 (Denham)(Became Law)
Would revise laws on taxidermist licenses and make changes in laws on migratory and waterfowl permits. Senate Floor Amendment would add a version of Senator Denton's bill to mandate that the Nature Preserves Commission allow activities to occur on the Blackacre Nature Preserve that specifically violate the Article of Dedication of the preserve to the Commonwealth. Floor amendment was withdrawn, and bill was passed.
HB 188 (Clark and Miller)(S. State Local Govt)
Would prohibit consolidated local governments from providing legal representation for any elected official, appointed official, or employee who is the subject of an ethics complaint, and would prohibit payment for counsel to file ethics complaints.
HB 212 (Hall and Riggs)(To Governor)
Would amend various laws to encourage purchase and retrofitting of motor vehicles fueled by natural gas.
HB 242 (Clark and Donohue)(S. Rules)(consent)
Would increase transparency of cost and status of economic incentive programs.
HB 255 (Smart, Wayne, Graham)(S. Licensing)
Would amend existing law to allow the Kentucky Housing Corporation to process mortgage loans and to administer federal or state program contracts, as well as performing other housing-related activities, for entities located inside or outside the boundaries of the Commonwealth.
HB 261 (Stone, Bell, Greer, Quarles, Short)(Became Law)
Would direct Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop regulations governing the purchase and sale of mounted wildlife specimens.
HB 269 (Rollins)(Became Law)
Would amend current law to clarify that the Kentucky Environmental Education Council will include the central office of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in the coordination of postsecondary education environmental activities.
HB 279 (Damron and others)(Became Law Notwithstanding Governor's Veto)
Would modify statutes concerning construction of laws to prohibit government "burdening" a person's or organization's freedom of religion absent a compelling governmental interest and use of the "least restrictive means" to advance that interest; burdening defined to include indirect burdens such as the withholding of benefits, assessment of penalties, and exclusion from facility access. Governor vetoed bill, and veto was overridden on last day of session.
HB 281 (Hall)(Became Law)
Would allow the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund to make grants to private, nonprofit land trust organizations; require dollar-for-dollar match of funds allocated. Same as HB 271.
HB 282 (Hall)(S. Transp)
Would amend and clarify existing law to require booster seats to be used by children who are less than 9 years old and are between 40 and 57 inches in height.
HB 287 (Marzian, Palumbo)(H. Rules)
Would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any infant formula or baby food reusable food or beverage container containing bisphenol-A.
HB 288 (King)(S. A&R)
Would amend KRS 56.770 relating to the Energy Efficiency Program for State Government Buildings to expand definitions of "building" and "energy efficiency measure."
HB 306 (Stumbo, Combs)(S. NR Energy)
Would amend current law to include geothermal borehole drilling and geothermal vertical closed loop well installation under the regulatory authority of the Cabinet for Energy and Environment and the Kentucky Water Well Certification Board.
HB 338 (Horlander)(Became Law)
Would modify law concerning formatting of changes in local ordinances, and allow electronic reporting of audits. Senate gutted bill and replaced it with House Bill 27.
HB 441 (Clark)(Became Law)
Would amend current law to authorize administrative regulations establishing toll collection procedures and appeals procedures.
HR 1 (Stumbo)(Adopted)
House Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session
HCR 6 (Marzian)(H. Rules)
A Concurrent Resolution urging Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution for election finance reform.
HCR 15 (Hall)(S. NR Energy)
Concurrent resolution to urge Energy and Environment Cabinet to develop an action plan for energy efficiency with a voluntary minimum goal of one percent per year energy- use reduction through 2025.
HCR 31 (Meeks)(H. Rules)
Would direct LRC to study whether counties should be offered the option of conducting elections in centralized voting centers rather than in voting precincts.
HR 69 (Smart, Marzian, Flood, Jenkins, Overly, Wayne) (Adopted)
Simple resolution promoting the benefits of green schools.
HJR 104 (McKee, Stone)(S. Ag)
Would direct Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University to report their most recent research on cellulosic ethanol, including sweet sorghum, switchgrass, wood, and miscanthus to the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Small Business by January 7, 2014.