2016 General Assembly in Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: The First Edition!

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2016 General Assembly in Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: The First Edition!  Posted: January 8, 2016

2016 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We?re Watching

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council is tracking during the 2016 General Assembly Regular Session.
This year is a “long” session, and will begin on January 5, 2016, with a scheduled adjournment of April 12, 2016.

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 2016 Session page at http://www.lrc.ky.gov

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. Transp = 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
H L&I = House Labor and Industry Committee
H. Tourism Dev Energy = House Tourism Development and Energy 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. L&O = Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee
S. Veterans = Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee

Bills And Resolutions On Which KRC Has Taken A Position

HB 79 (Wayne)(+)

Would create a refundable income tax credit for the costs of mitigating noise from a commercial airport.

HB 103 (Watkins)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)(-)

Would lift state prohibition on nuclear plant construction to allow construction of a nuclear power facility within 50 miles of a site previously used for the manufacture of nuclear products (i.e. Paducah and a 50-mile radius of the former facilities at Portsmouth and Fernald in Ohio). Would create a “special legislation” exemption for those areas that would likely not survive judicial challenge, exempting such facilities from the requirement that a permanent disposal or a storage strategy be in place for management of spent nuclear materials.

HB 104 (Gooch)(H. NR & Env)(-)

Would prohibit Energy and Environment Cabinet from adopting regulations under any federal rule or federal plan for controlling carbon dioxide emissions unless authorized by the General Assembly or if Congress lists CO2 as a criteria pollutant.

The effect of this bill, if enacted, would likely be that the Environmental Protection Agency would adopt and implement a “Federal Implementation Plan” requiring reductions in carbon dioxide emissions for Kentucky, and that Kentucky would not be able to seek a 2-year extension for development of a state-specific strategy for meeting the carbon emission reductions called for from electric generating units under the federal Clean Power Plan. While a Federal Plan would likely include a requirement for more renewable capacity to be installed, the loss of flexibility in designing a state-lead plan could increase electricity rates more steeply and could require earlier retirement and replacement of generating capacity. Like HB 388, this bill could have unintended dramatic economic impacts on ratepayers – more so than a state-lead plan that seeks to meet emissions targets through efficiency on both side of the meter, and through increase incorporation of renewables into utility portfolios.

HB 106 (Smart)(H. NR Env)(+)

Bill amends current state law regarding destruction of chemical weapons stockpile at Blue Grass Army Depot. Language has been negotiated among U.S. Army, a local monitoring group, the state Division of Waste Management and KRC to allow residuals after chemical decomplexing of unitary nerve and blister agents, to be recoded in order to reflect reduced toxicity so as to facilitate proper storage and disposal of such waste treatment residuals. Impact is limited to the demilitarization of those stockpiled chemical weapons.

HB 152 (Wayne)(H. NR Env)(+)

So-called “streamsaver bill” would amend surface coal mining laws to require on-bench disposal of excess spoil where feasible and to require valley fills to be constructed above rather than in waters of the commonwealth.

HB 168 (Floyd)(H. Elections)(+)

Constitutional amendment to Sections 211 and 242 of the Constitution of Kentucky to vest the power of eminent domain exclusively with the government; name Act the Kentucky Landowner's Bill of Rights.

HB 187 (Yonts)(+)

Would extend the date to participate in the petroleum storage tank fund from 2016 to 2021; amend KRS 224.60-130 to extend the date to perform corrective action using money from the petroleum storage tank account from 2019 to 2024; amend 224.60-145 to extend the date for the small operator assistance account from 2016 to 2021.


HB 14 (Wuchner)(H. Judiciary)

One of several bills arising from Rowan County marriage license case, would modify current law regarding freedom of religion, would declare the requirement to solemnize a same-sex marriage to be a substantial burden on freedom of religion and would immunize person from liability for refusing to do so. Similar bills include HB 28 (Dossett), HB 31 (Hale), which would transfer marriage license issuance from county clerk to state registrar for vital statistics. Also HB 17 (S. Lee).

HB 18 (Jenkins)(H. L&I)

Would expand state civil rights law to require reasonable accommodation for women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and for related conditions.

HB 22 (St.Onge)(H. Judiciary)

Would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using drones in most cases.

HB 23 (Steele)(H. A&R)

Would amend current law concerning unmined minerals tax to limit tax imposition to minerals under permit that would be mined within a year.

HB 24 (Steele)(H. A&R)

Would distribute 100% of coal severance revenues among the coal producing counties on the basis of the tax collected on coal severed or processed in each respective county.

HB 26 (Steele)(H. A&R)

Would create sales and use tax holidays for purchases of certain clothing items and school supplies.

HB 27 (Mills)(H. A&R)

Amend KRS 139.480 to exempt bees used in a commercial enterprise for the production of honey or wax for sale and certain items used in that pursuit.

HB 34 (Imes)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment would move state constitutional office elections to even-numbered years starting in 2024.

HB 35 (St. Onge)(H. Judiciary)

Would modify current firearms laws regarding unlawful possession of firearms, and include legislative declarations regarding the right to bear arms.

HB 38 (Donohue)(H. Ag Sm Bus)

Would authorize Commissioner of Agriculture to develop regulations for safety and siting of ziplines.

HB 45 (King)(H. A&R)

Would require roll call votes on any appropriation or revenue-raising measure voted upon in the Senate or House or a committee thereof.

HB 46 (King)(H. Judiciary)

Would establish legislative intent that the rights of an individual afforded under the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States take precedence over the application of any foreign law in any judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding; define specific terms; strictly construe waivers of constitutional rights.

HB 48 (King)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment would 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 50 (Flood)(H. Judiciary)

Would create “public benefit corporations” whose purposes could include public as well as shareholder benefit.

HB 52 (Denham)(H. A&R)

Would limit the amount of reduction in severance taxes paid to a county due to refund for any quarter.

HB 53 (Imes)(H. L&O)

Would modify current law concerning when local option elections may be held.

HB 55 (Wayne)(H. Local Gov)

Would amend current zoning law affecting counties with consolidated governments.

HB 67 (St. Onge)(H. Judiciary)

Would create a new crime of drone harassment.

HB 70 (Owens)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights for most felonies at end of probation or final discharge; exceptions for felonies with intentional killing and those involving sex crimes.

HB 78 (Imes)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on state representatives and senators of 8 and 4 terms, respectively, requiring a lapse of two years before they could run after serving 16 consecutive years.

HB 80 (C. Harris)(H. State Govt)

Would amend state open records law to limit a current exemption for funds paid for compensation for goods or services procured through competitive bid, so that funds paid by a public agency for utility and other public services would make the entity receiving at least 25% of its revenue from state or local government subject to state open records law.

HB 93 (L. Clark)(H. A&R)

Would include electronic cigarettes under cigarette tax.

HB 98 (Nelson)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)

Would limit electric utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission to a basic service charge of no more than 10% of usage billed.

HB 99 (Denham)(H. Ed)

Would amend current law regarding posting of the Bill of Rights in schools to require a copy of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and of the Kentucky Constitution to be posted in each public elementary and secondary school classroom.

HB 108 (Gooch)(H. Tourism Dev Energy)

Would allow municipal utilities to allow two or more municipal utilities to combine to create a municipal electric authority in order to provide electricity, including bonding for new generation facilities. Such authority would be exempt from Public Service Commission jurisdiction as to rates and service, as are municipal utilities currently.

HB 116 (DuPlessis)(H. Elections)

Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on state House and Senate seats of 6 and 4 terms, respectively.

HB 120 (Bechler)(H. Judiciary)

Would revise criminal statutes regarding use of drones for harassment, voyeurism, theft by taking or forcible entry.

HB 121 (Westrom)(H. Transp)

Would amend current traffic law to require 3-foot distance for vehicles overtaking bicycles moving in same direction.

HB 128 (Crimm)(H. Elections)

Would revise state law concerning the manner in which a Lieutenant Governor candidate is designated and replaced.

HB 136 (Rowland)(H. A&R)

Would amend current state energy efficiency tax credits to extend the credits to year 2020 only for poultry and livestock facilities. A more general extension of those tax credits is needed.

HB 144 (Meeks)(H. L&O)

Would create a Kentucky Historic Cemetery Preservation Program and Board, revise state law concerning cemetery access and maintenance and relocation, create new voluntary tax check off to fund program.

HB 145 (Meeks)(H. Ed)

Would prohibit imposition of restrictions on free speech exercise at public postsecondary educational institutions subject to defined exceptions.

HB 146 (Meeks)(H. State Govt)

Would task the Historic Properties Advisory Commission and Tourism Cabinet to provide appropriate contextual information regarding the civil war and Confederate States of American statuary and other historical items.

HB 147 (Stumbo)(H. Elections)(posted)

Would raise campaign contribution limits and amend campaign contribution reporting laws.

HB 161 (Koenig)(H. Local Govt)

Process for voluntary consolidation of counties.

HB 176 (Imes)(Withdrawn)

HB 177 (Imes)(H. A&R)

Would transfer a portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in-lieu-of-tax payment to the regional development agency assistance fund to be distributed among fiscal court-designated local industrial development authorities for economic development and job creation activities.

HB 182 (Wuchner and others)(H. Judiciary)

Create new sections of KRS Chapter 237 to require the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent the enforcement of federal acts that violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

HB 188 (Koenig and Jenkins)

Proposed constitutional amendment to allow cities and counties to abolish the office of Constable and to reconstitute the office if they choose, by ordinance.

HB 192 (Meredith and others)

Would exempt drugs if used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, ratite birds, or equine from sales and use tax.

HB 193 (Meredith and others)

Would exempt bees used in a commercial enterprise for the production of honey or wax for sale or the pollination of crops the products of which constitute food for human consumption or are to be sold in the regular course of business, and certain items used in those commercial enterprises, from sales and use tax.
HB 195 (Short and others)

Would amend current law on unmined minerals tax to set a presumptive value of zero as the standard value for unmined coal reserves that have not been mined during the 10-year period immediately preceding the assessment date unless information is available that warrants any deviation.

HB 198 (Lee and Palumbo)

Proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the Office of Judge of County Court in merged county-and-city government.

HB 199 (Imes)

Proposed constitutional amendment imposing term limits on state Senators of 3 consecutive terms and on House members of 6 consecutive terms.

HB 202 (Adkins and others)

Would amend current laws to allow coal mining or processing companies to potentially qualify for sales and use tax incentives offered through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA) and the Kentucky Business Investment Act (KBI) and would direct the Cabinet for Economic Development to work with various agencies, foreign trade partners, and the Kentucky coal industry to promote increased exports of Kentucky coal.

HB 203 (Floyd)

Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole for inmates presently sentenced to death.

HB 205 (Floyd)

Would amend several statutes relating to expungement of criminal records.

HB 206 (Stone and others)

Would amend current law to provide that a portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in-lieu-of-tax payment made to the Commonwealth and deposited into the general fund shall be transferred to the regional development agency assistance fund to be distributed among fiscal court-designated local industrial development authorities for economic development and job creation activities.


HR 6 (Wayne)(H. Elections)

Simple resolution supporting UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

HCR 14 (Marzian)(H. Elections)

Simple resolution calling on Congress to propose Constitutional Amendment allowing Congress to impose restrictions on campaign spending.

HCR 27 (Koenig)(H. Transp)

Would create the Mileage-Based Transportation Funding Task Force to develop and study the implementation of a mileage-based transportation funding mechanism.

HCR 35 (Short and Combs)

Would direct the staff of the Legislative Research Commission to study the economic impact of adventure tourism in Harlan, Knott, Letcher, and Magoffin Counties.

HB 39 (Mayfield)

Simple resolution would recognize Boone Trace as a road of historical significance; encourage the Transportation Cabinet to seek funding to mark Boone Trace; encourage the Tourism Cabinet to continue its work in developing Boone Trace as a major route in the Cross Kentucky Master Trail Plan.


SB 8 (Schickel)

Proposed constitutional amendment to require the Supreme Court of Kentucky to recommend to the General Assembly a proposal to adjust Circuit Court and District Court districts based on caseload and population and Supreme Court districts based on population only.

SB 10 (McDaniel)(S. State Local Govt)

Constitutional amendment would move state constitutional office elections to even-numbered years starting in 2024.

SB 13 (P.Clark)(S. L&O)

Would legalize possession of marijuana, license, regulate, and tax cannabis production and distribution.

SB 14 (Hornback, Thayer)(S. Ag)

Would amend current law to include the owning, possessing, keeping, breeding, training, selling, or transferring of dogs for fighting purposes within the offense of cruelty to animals in the first degree.

SB 21 (Jones and Turner)(S. A&R)

Would amend severance tax statutes to return 100% of collected taxes to coal-producing and coal-impact counties.

SB 26 (Carroll)(S. NR Energy)

Would prohibit any person doing business within the Commonwealth from changing the substance or direction of flow of any pipeline, including changes to the chemical makeup, temperature, or pressure of any pipeline's contents in such a way that public safety is negatively affected. PSC would be given responsibility to enforce the requirements.

SB 27 (Bowen)(S. Transp)

Would impose annual $100 registration fee on plug-in electric vehicles as in-lieu contribution to road fund.

SB 36 (Schickel)(S. State Local Govt)

Would amend currently law regarding revisions to judicial redistricting.

SB 38 (Humphries)(S. A&R)(posted)

Would transfer a portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in-lieu-of-tax payment to the regional development agency assistance fund to be distributed among fiscal court-designated local industrial development authorities for economic development and job creation activities.

SB 41 (Neal)(S. Judiciary)

Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without parole going forward and for inmates presently sentenced to death.

SB 49 (Thomas)(S. State Local Govt)

Would require witnesses appearing before a committee to take an oath prior to giving testimony.

SB 62 (Webb)(S. NR Energy)

Would prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft systems to track, hunt, or harvest wildlife or to do surveillance on persons lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping, or fishing.

SB 71 (Alvarado, Thayer, Schickel)(S. State Local Govt)

Would require that proposed increases in ad valorem taxes and certain fees, and the levy of new ad valorem taxes or fees by special purpose governmental entities to be submitted to the legislative body of the county or city where the special purpose governmental entity is located for review.

SB 76 (Hornback, Humphries)(S. Ag)

An act relating to overdimensional vehicle loads, would add a definition of the term "nondivisible load." The definition differentiates between loads that can be divided without affecting the value or physical integrity of the load (such as aggregates, garbage, etc.) from those where dividing the load would compromise the load integrity (such as a girder, beam, pole or truss). The definition proposed is similar to the federal counterpart except for the number of hours (4 v 8) required to dismantle the vehicle.

SB 79 (Embry, Bowen, Carroll)(S. NR Energy)

Would allow municipal utilities to join together to buy and sell electricity and natural gas; specify elements of an agreement to create a municipal electric authority; determine what powers an authority will have, including the power to undertake projects, bonding, and other borrowing power; specify limits to financial transactions.

SB 80 (Webb and others)(S. Transp)

Would require operators of bicycles to travel upon the right- hand side of the traveled portion of a highway; provide that bicyclists shall not have to ride on the shoulder of the highway; require vehicles overtaking bicycles to pass at a distance of at least three feet; specify when a motor vehicle may pass a bicycle to the left of the center of a roadway.

SB 84 (Harris)

Would provide an exemption from prohibition against stopping on highways for vehicles operated by a collection service registered under KRS 224.43-315 or an Adopt-a-Highway Program, provided the vehicles are stopped for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
By Kentucky Resources Council on 01/08/2016 5:32 PM
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