2013 General Assembly Regular Session: The First Edition

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2013 General Assembly Regular Session: The First Edition  Posted: January 11, 2013

2013 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 is tracking during the 2013 session.

This year is a “short” session, and began on January 8, 2013, adjourning on January 11 until February 5, when the General Assembly will reconvene, with a scheduled adjournment of March 30, 2013.

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, visit the Legislature's 2013 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov /record/13RS/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. 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 current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber.

Committee Key:

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 Committee
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 29 (Stein)(S. NR Energy)(+)

The “streamsaver” bill, drafted by KRC for KFTC, would mandate upland disposal of coal mine spoil where possible, and prohibit disposal of spoil in streams, and would require use of compacted constructed valley fills.

SB 46 (Smith)(+)

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.

KRC has opposed past efforts by merchant power plants to require regulated utilities to purchase their output irrespective of the cost relative to the avoided costs of the utility. This language does not require approval, but rather gives the Commission discretion to approve such a purchased power agreement.

Additionally, KRC has endorsed a national platform on biomass use, which will be published on the website in January. KRC will review each project on its merits for consistency with those principles.

SB 53 (Denton)(-)

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.

Additionally, there exists a Land and Water Conservation Fund easement limiting uses on the property to outdoor recreational use, that is held by the Secretary of the Interior.

HB 53 (Nelson)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(+)

Would require AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell (as utilities that have “elected” to deregulate all but basic service), to make every effort to restore service within 24 hours and to report to the Public Service Commission on outages where 90% of outages are not cleared within 24-hours.

HB 86 (Wayne and others)(H. NR Env)(+)

The “streamsaver” bill, drafted by KRC for KFTC, would mandate upland disposal of coal mine spoil where possible, and prohibit disposal of spoil in streams, and would require use of compacted constructed valley fills.

HB 110 (Gooch)(H. NR Env)(-)

Would prohibit utilities from using the fuel adjustment clause for natural gas-fired electric baseload generating units, and require a full-blown rate case before an adjustment can be made to ratepayers rates due to changes in natural gas costs.

Fuel adjustment clauses allow utilities that are subject to the Public Service Commission’s jurisdiction to adjust the price of electricity in order to reflect fluctuations and changes in fuel costs (and costs for purchased power) on a real-time basis, without the necessity of a full base rate case. More predictable fixed costs are recovered generally in formal “base rate” cases (though costs for environmental compliance can be recovered through a surcharge mechanism rather than a full rate case).

By allowing fuel cost adjustments to occur outside of a formal rate case, this component of utility rates can change in a more contemporaneous manner to when the underlying costs are incurred by the utility. The utilities do not earn a profit on the use of a fuel adjustment clause (FAC), but instead pass through changes in fuel costs dollar-for-dollar. The FAC changes on a monthly basis, producing a credit or a surcharge on the bill reflecting higher or lower fuel costs incurred two months earlier.

Fuel adjustment clauses offer several potential benefits – first, by assuring that the changes in costs are paid or the benefits received by those customers whose demand resulted in the costs having been incurred and who benefited from the fuel purchase, rather than being borne at a later time by ratepayers who may not have created the demand that resulted in the fuel cost having been incurred. A more contemporaneous passing through of fuel cost changes equips ratepayers to better control their utility cost by adjusting usage or taking steps to become more efficient in the consumption of the fuel.

The decision to disallow fuel adjustment for baseload natural gas-fired utilities (but not those utilizing coal as a fuel, nor natural gas-fired peaking units, which would still be able to utilized the FAC) would affect those electric utilities under PSC jurisdiction who, utilizing the “least-cost alternative” analysis that has been imposed on them by the General Assembly and the PSC, have elected to replace existing coal-fired electric generation capacity with natural gas to meet base load rather than as peaking units. In the end, however, it is the ratepayers of these utilities who will pay the price for more frequent base rate cases, and in potential overpayment for fuel costs that are not allowed to be more timely adjusted.

HB 111 (Nelson)(H. Eco. Dev)(+)

Would modify existing law concerning valuation of family forest lands certified as sustainable.

HB 126 (Yonts)(+)

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.

Senate Bills

SB 21 (Higdon)(S. A&R)

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 22 (Webb)(S. Judiciary)

Would amend current law regulating scrap metal recycling to include “construction, industrial, lawn and landscape, and farm equipment” as restricted metals; and amend current regulatory requirements for secondary metals recyclers.

SB 28 (Stein)(S. Judiciary)

Would add prohibition on discrimination on basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, and extend existing civil rights protections under Kentucky law accordingly.

SB 30 (Stein)(S. State Local Govt)

Proposed constitutional amendment would require General Assembly to enact laws allowing local governments to impose sales and use taxes.

SB 32 (Buford)(S. NR Energy)

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 45 (Neal)(S. Judiciary)

Would abolish the death penalty. And commute existing sentences to life without the possibility of parole.

SB 50 (Hornback)

Act would create framework for development of industrial hemp.

Senate Resolutions

SR 2 (Stivers)(adopted)

Senate Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session

House Bills

HB 12 (Kim King)(H. A&R)

Would establishment requirements for General Assembly consideration of any revenue- or appropriation-related measure.

HB 27 (Thompson)(H. NR Env)

Would create a new section of KRS Chapter 96 to address extension and acquisition of, and condemnation powers of city-operated natural gas distribution systems.

HB 31 (Wayne)(H. Judiciary)

Would create a voluntary funding mechanism for public financing for judicial campaigns.

HB 33 (T. Mills)((H. Ag Sm Bus)

Would create a licensing program for cultivation of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth.

HB 36 (Meeks)(H Local Gov)

Would amend existing laws governing county interlocal services agreements to encourage and grant incentives for regional and other shared services agreements.

HB 38 (Steele)(H. A & R)

Would amend coal severance tax laws to provide that 100% of severance tax collected after July 2013 would be returned to coal-producing counties (50% currently goes into the General Fund) and that the monies would be allocated among the coal-producing counties based on the amount of coal severed or processed in each county.

HB 44 (Rollins)(H. Ed)

Would encourage schools to use strategic placement of food in cafeterias to promote healthy food choices by students.

HB 48 (Rollins)(H. Judiciary)

Would abolish the death penalty and convert existing death sentences to imprisonment for life without benefit of probation or parole.

HB 52 (Keene)(H. L&O)

Comprehensive gambling bill, would expand gambling option to include local options for casinos in some counties.

HB 55 (Meeks)(H. State Govt)

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)(H. State Govt)

Would designate the “Kentucky Long Rifle” as the official gun of the Commonwealth.

HB 60 (Steele)(H. NR Env)(posted)

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)(H. L&O)(posted)

Would relax existing law requirements for errors-and-omissions insurance and bonding of certified radon contractors.

HB 67 (Steele)(House Veterans)

Would add to the definition of restricted metals roofing materials, metal fencing, and equipment used in construction, agricultural, industrial, or lawn and landscaping operations and amend other current laws regarding reporting by secondary scrap metals recyclers

HB 70 (Crenshaw)(H. Elections)

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 93 (King)(H. Veterans)

Would create guidelines for activating outdoor warning siren systems to alert the public of severe weather conditions and require training of persons involved in activating the sirens.

HB 128 (Short and Collins)

Would direct hunting seasons and requirements relating to elk.

HB 129 (Wayne and others)

Would create a refundable state income tax credit for eligible persons who pay tolls to commute to work across an Ohio River bridge and exclude mass transit vehicles operated by a public agency or a subsidiary of a municipal government from paying tolls.

HB 134 (Horlander)

Would allow a state tax credit for renovating or demolishing a qualified industrial building.

HB 141 (McKee and others)

Would create a tax credit for donating edible agricultural products to nonprofit food programs.

House Resolutions

HR 1 (Stumbo)(Adopted)

House Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session

HCR 6 (Marzian)(House Elections)

A Concurrent Resolution urging Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution for election finance reform.

HCR 15 (Hall)(H. Tourism Dev 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.
By Kentucky Resources Council on 01/11/2013 5:32 PM
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