2013 GENERAL ASSEMBLY REGULAR SESSION: Bills We're Watching: The Second 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, adjourned on January 11 until February 5, when the General Assembly reconvened, with a scheduled adjournment of March 30, 2013.
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WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?
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.
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. The potential downside of the bill is that once the PSC does approve a purchase power agreement, it could not revisit the agreement as would otherwise be the case, in order to assure that, over time, the continued purchase of power from this generating facility remained prudent for ratepayers relative to power purchases on the spot market. A time limit for purchase power agreements would help protect ratepayers from this possibility.
SB 53 (Denton)(S. Nat Res 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.
Additionally, there exists a Land and Water Conservation Fund easement held by the Secretary of the Interior that limits uses on the property to outdoor recreational use.
SB 88 (Hornback, Carpenter, Higdon, Schickel)()(-)
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.
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)(Posted)(-)
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 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)(+)(posted)
Would modify existing law concerning valuation of family forest lands certified as sustainable.
HB 126 (Yonts)(H. Nat Res Env)(+)(posted)
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 170 (Marzian) (H. Tourism Dev Energy)(+)
Clean Energy bill drafted by KRC for Ky. Sustainable Energy Alliance, would require graduated increases in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures by electric utilities.
HJR 41 (Combs)(H. Tourism Dev 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)(H. Nat Res Env)(+)
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.
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)(S. Agriculture)
Act would create framework for development of industrial hemp.
SB 55 (McDaniel, Thayer, Wilson)
Proposed constitutional amendment would schedule elections of constitutional officers in even-numbered years.
SB 63 (Parrett)
Would create a Committee on Legislative Redistricting, which shall be composed of state university faculty appointed by presidents of Kentucky's state universities to develop redistricting plans for state legislative and U.S. Congressional districts.
SB 65 (Leeper)(S Nat Res Energy)
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 68 (Palmer)
Would create a water vessel removal assistance fund to be administered by the Kentucky River Authority.
SB 71 (Bowen)
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 of other utilities.
SB 80 (Schickel and Webb)
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 91 (Neal)
Proposed constitutional amendment would allow persons convicted of a felony other than treason, intentional killing, a sex crime, or bribery the right to vote after expiration of probation or sentence expiration.
SB 99 (Higdon, Kerr, Denton, Gibson)
Would gradually raise compulsory school age from 16 to 18.
SB 111 (Bowen)
Would amend existing law to extend the severance and processing tax credit currently allowed for limestone sold in interstate commerce to any taxpayer who sells any amount of limestone, rather than only taxpayers selling sixty percent or more limestone, in interstate commerce.
SB 117 (Denton, Angel)
Would amend KRS 65.003 to include subpoena power in urban-county and consolidated local government ethics codes.
SR 2 (Stivers)(adopted)
Senate Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session
HB 1 (Stumbo and others)(To Senate)
Would strengthen reporting and accountability of special districts.
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)(posted)
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)(posted)
Would create a licensing program for cultivation of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth.
HB 34 (Riggs)(H. Rules, consent)
Would specify training requirements for local officials on interlocal agreements.
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 40 (Sinnette)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)
Would preclude recovery of franchise fees paid by a bidder for a utility franchise through a fee or surcharge on ratepayers.
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. Rules, Consent)
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)(posted)
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)(H. Local Govt)
Would update law on distribution of open meetings and open records information to local officials, to allow electronic distribution, and to provide timeframe for distribution of officials elected or appointed after most recent distribution.
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.
HB 145 (Yonts)(H. Judiciary)
Would provide a one-year statute of limitations for actions brought against professional land surveyors.
HB 147 (Koenig)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment would allow counties to eliminate the office of constable.
HB 148 (Koenig)(H. Eco. Dev.)
Would abolish the Kentucky Wood Products Competitiveness Corporation.
HB 150 (Denham)(H. Nat Res Env)(posted)
Would revise laws on taxidermist licenses and make changes in laws on migratory and waterfowl permits.
HB 154 (Couch)(H. A&R)
Would modify manner in which coal severance taxes are distributed to counties.
HB 163 (Koenig)(H. Local Govt)
Would create process for voluntary consolidation of counties.
HB 165 (Damron)(H. Nat Res Env)(posted)
Would exempt from permitting rock quarries owned by those using the excavated rock solely on their own farm.
HB 171 (Marzian)(H. Judiciary)
Would extend civil rights protections under state law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
HB 178 (Owens, Meeks)(H. Banking & Ins)
Would cap service fees and interest that could be charged by payday lenders.
HB 188 (Clark and Miller)(H. Local Govt)(posted)
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.
HB 190 (Westrom, Adams, Watkins) (H. Rules)
Would create a statewide ban on indoor smoking in businesses, places of employment, and other listed public places; exempt private residences, unless used for child care or adult day care.
HB 193 (Henderson)(H. Local Govt)
Would increase maximum annual compensation for water commission commissioners from $500 to $6,000.
HB 200 (Jenkins)(H. Local Govt)
Would amend existing laws to clarify, revise and expand the authority of land banks to acquire and manage tax delinquent properties.
HB 201 (Owens)(H. Local Govt)
Would allow a designee of the director of public works for a consolidated local government to be a member of the planning commission.
HB 202 (Owens)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment to allow voters who choose to do so to vote by absentee ballot in person on the days prior to the regular election.
HB 208 (King and Bunch)(H. Nat Res Env)
Would allow persons receiving disability insurance benefits from a private insurance company to be qualified for a senior/disabled combination hunting and fishing license.
HB 211 (Thompson and others) (H. Nat Res Env.)(posted)
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.
HB 212 (Hall and Riggs)(H. Tourims Dev Energy)
Would amend various laws to encourage purchase and retrofitting of motor vehicles fueled by natural gas.
HB 213 (Riggs)(H. A&R)
Would increase the tax credit amount to $500,000 for each qualifying property that has undergone environmental remediation.
HB 216 (Riggs)(H. A&R)
Would amend severance tax law governing limestone to include loading or unloading limestone that has not otherwise been severed or treated in the Commonwealth and allow an offsetting credit for taxes paid in another state.
HB 223 (Jenkins and Marzian)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)
Would revise laws governing disposal of coal combustion wastes and require emergency action plans for high-hazard coal ash impoundments.
HB 235 (Crimm)(H. Judiciary)
Would forfeit ownership of animals involved in cruelty or torture and ptohibit subsequent ownership of animals for two years.
HB 236 (Rollins)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)
Would require competing local communications companies reselling services of an unaffiliated company to offer basic local exchange service.
HB 242 (Clark and Donohue)(H. Eco. Dev)
Would increase transparency of cost and status of economic incentive programs.
HB 255 (Smart, Wayne, Graham)(H. Banking & Ins)
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 258 (Hall)((H. Tourism Dev Energy)
Would amend existing laws on establishment of tourist and convention commissions.
HB 261 (Stone, Bell, Greer, Quarles, Short)(H. Nat Res Env)
Would direct Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop regulations governing the purchase and sale of mounted wildlife specimens.
HB 262 (Koenig)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment to lower age for candidates eligible to serve in Kentucky House of Representatives from 24 to 18, and for Kentucky Senate from 30 to 18.
HB 269 (Rollins)
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 271 (Riggs)
Would allow the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund to make grants to private, nonprofit land trust organizations and require dollar-for-dollar match of funds allocated.
HB 277 (Sinnette)
Would establish standards for marina and boat dock owners and operators to prevent electrical shocks to persons in boats, in water, and on docks around the marina.
HB 281 (Hall)
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)
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)
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)
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 289 (King, DeWeese, Bunch)
Proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit members of the General Assembly from receiving legislative pay for a special session that has been called by the Governor because the General Assembly adjourned without passing a state budget.
HB 302 (Hoover)
Would permit a slate of candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor to appear on the ballot only in the general election, not in the primary.
HB 306 (Stumbo, Combs)
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.
HR 1 (Stumbo)(Adopted)
House Rules of Procedure for 2013 Regular Session
HCR 6 (Marzian)(House Elections)(posted)
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.
HCR 31 (Meeks)(H. Elections)
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)
Simple resolution promoting the benefits of green schools.