2017 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We're Watching: 6th Edition!

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2017 General Assembly Regular Session: Bills We?re Watching: 6th Edition!  Posted: March 16, 2017

This list profiles the environmental, conservation, consumer and general government bills that the Kentucky Resources Council is tracking during the 2017 General Assembly Regular Session, complete through end of session March 15, 2017.

This year is a “short” session, and began on January 3, 2015. The General Assembly has recessed until returning for two final days on March 29 and 30th.

With only two legislative days remaining, we’ve deleted those bills and resolutions we were tracking that have not had a first hearing in the chamber in which they were introduced. To read the full list of bills we supported, opposed, and tracked, read the 5th Legislative Update.

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 2017 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.

Here’s the key to understanding where a bill is in the process:
H. State Govt = House State Government Committee
H. Ed = House Education Committee
H. Tourism = House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation 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 & Workforce Investment Committee
H. Ag = House Agriculture
H. Sm Bus = House Small Business and Information Technology Committee
H. Local Govt = House Local Government Committee
H. Transp = House Transportation Committee
H. H&FS = House Health and Family Services Committee
H. L&O = House Licensing and Occupations Committee
H. Nat Res Energy = House Natural Resources and Energy Committee
H. B&I = House Banking and Insurance Committee
H. L&I = House Labor and Industry Committee
H. Rules = House Rules 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
S. B&I = Senate Banking and Insurance Committee
S. Transp = Senate Transportation
S. Rules = Senate Rules Committee

Bills And Resolutions On Which KRC Has Taken A Position

House Bills

HB 72 (J. Miller)(To Senate for receding)(-)

Would impose blatantly unconstitutional appeals bonds on of-right appeals of zoning decisions from Circuit Court to the Court of Appeals. Non-governmental parties who lose the appeal would have to forfeit the bond, whether the appeal was meritorious or not.

House-passed bill makes clear that the goal of the bill is to preclude even meritorious zoning appeals from going to the Court of Appeals.

The House refused to concur with the changes made by the Senate committee and floor amendment, and the bill has gone back to the Senate with a request that the Senate recede in its amendments.

HB 174 (Heath)(Became law)(-)

Would expand current law to allow vehicles transporting feed for livestock or poultry to exceed the axle weight provisions on non-interstate highways by 10%.

Also more than doubles the current allowance of 10% for farm trucks of 38,000 pounds or less, to include any motor vehicles hauling meat, agricultural crops, livestock and poultry, in trucks up to 80,000 pounds.

HB 184 (Miles and others)(To Governor)(-)

Would expand current program allowing overweight haulage of steel and steel products 150 miles or less in the state, to include all “metals commodities” and to eliminate 150 mile-limit. KRC is concerned with increasing overweight haulage on public roads that are already in degraded condition, when the law was originally intended to allow haulage from manufacturing and storage facilities to transportation hubs.

HB 246 (Miller and Riggs)(To Governor)(-)

Would amend solid waste laws regarding Metro Louisville’s Solid Waste Board to prohibit a county or waste management district from prohibiting or restricting materials recovery by a city in a county containing a consolidated local government; prohibit the consolidated local government or waste management district from hindering, delaying, impairing, prohibiting or impeding a city or its contractors from utilizing a solid waste management facility. Would also direct the manner and qualifications of the 109 Board members, and would require legislative approval of the appointees, and would sunset all regulations of the 109 Board and require approval of the legislative body of each city or county in which it is intended to apply.

Bill has numerous problems, including inviting the balkanization of waste management in Jefferson County by allowing cities to opt out, and to pick and choose which solid waste regulations of the waste district that they wish to follow. Bill is also “special legislation” in violation of Kentucky Constitution Sections 59 and 60, since it grants privileges to cities in Metro Louisville that are not available to similarly situated cities in other counties in the Commonwealth.

HB 332 (Wuchner, Fischer)(H. Rules)(-)

Would delay effective date of regulations with an impact of over $500,000 from taking effect until ratified by General Assembly.

KRC has posted testimony from the House State Government Committee on the KRC website. One sponsor filed floor amendment that does not cure the problem that existing regulations that are amended would become ineffective until ratified by the General Assembly.

House Resolutions

HJR 56 (Webber and others)(Adopted)(+)

Would direct Energy and Environment Cabinet to conduct study of privately owned and operated small wastewater treatment plants and to recommend measures to ensure the sustainability of such systems and to mitigate the impact of failure or abandonment of such facilities.

HR 110 (Hatton and others)(Adopted)(+)

Sense of the House condemning the April 28-29 Pike County rally of the Traditionalist Worker Party, the Nationalist Front, and the National Socialist Movement, and condemning any form of racism and intolerance.

HR 136 (Harris)(adopted)(+)

Would urge Congress to enact the Miners Protection Act.

HR 176 (Adkins)(+)

Urges Congress and the President to extend tax incentives supporting carbon capture research and deployment.

Senate Bills

SB 38 (Embry)(To Governor)(+)

Would specify that any person, regardless of state of mind, who takes the timber of another without legal right or color of title, be liable for 3X the stumpage value of the timber and 3X the cost of any damages to the property.

SB 214 (Carpenter)(S. Nat Res Energy)(+/-)(Needs Significant Revision)

Would raise cap on net metering, but allow utilities to recover costs of service to net metering customers through discriminatory tariff without considering benefits provided by distributed generation.

Senator Carpenter indicated in Committee on March 1 that he was not comfortable moving forward with the bill, and that work will continue on the issue during the interim.

SB 215 (Smith, Stivers)(To House)(+)

Would create a Kentucky Coal Fields Endowment Fund to support efforts to diversify the economy of the coal fields. Text of bill was included in House Bill 156, which is pending a vote by the full Senate.

SB 222 (Seum, Adams)(To Governor)(-)

Would modify laws concerning Louisville’s governance to impose term limits on Mayor, to extend legislative powers over government functions. Scaled back from original bill that gave Governor appointment power over Mayor’s office and council seats.

SB 248 (Carpenter)(To Governor)(+)

Would amend definitions of NORM and TENORM to align them with commonly-accepted definitions of the terms, and to facilitate adoption of regulations addressing oil and gas-related TENORM.

SB 249 (Carpenter)(To Governor)(+/-)
Reorganization of Energy and Environment Cabinet would eliminate the Environmental Quality Commission, decouple Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship from the Cabinet, provide appeal rights for dam owner denied a variance request; eliminate Kentucky Forest Products Council; increase efficiency of fee collection for water discharge permits; adds operator to persons responsible for residential on-site sewage systems; eliminates advisory Mining Board to transfers functions to Mine Safety Review Commission; eliminates provision requiring consultation prior to development of groundwater regulations; eliminates Environmental Trust Fund that was established to fund research; eliminates Kentucky Recycling and Marketing Assistance program and advisory committee; eliminates noise control program (including prohibition on tampering with vehicle mufflers to increase noise); eliminate Solid Waste Management Legislative Task Force; eliminate Newsprint Recycling Task Force; eliminate technical and financial assistance program for development of local solid waste management plans; would eliminate Regional Integrated Hazardous Waste Siting Board and process for siting regional integrated hazardous waste facility; eliminate advisory committee for agricultural chemical and chemical container disposal; eliminates office of special mining investigation; eliminates Small Coal Operators Advisory Council; eliminates redundant regulation review provision for coal regulations; eliminates former bond pool administrator position; eliminates Mine Safety Review Commission and Mine Equipment Review Panel; eliminates prohibition of coercion of trade of miners.

KRC had a concern regarding a proposed revision eliminating all provisions related to excess noise. Committee substitute reinstated provision that KRC was concerned should not have been deleted.

The provisions of this bill eliminating the Environmental Quality Commission, after 44 years of existence, represent a sad day for the Commonwealth. Once a robust, open forum for citizens to interact with the Energy and Environment Cabinet, the Commission had been hobbled in recent years due to lack of funding and lack of appreciation by successive Governors of the value of public input of a non-regulatory nature. KRC recognizes and appreciates the many citizens who over many years, gave of their time and talents to create a public forum on environmental issues.

Senate Resolutions

SCR 21 (Thomas)(S. Nat Res Energy)(+)

Concurrent resolution would encourage the development of a statewide energy strategy to diversify energy sources for generating electricity in Kentucky.

SR 76(Jones and others)(Adopted)(+)

Would condemn the April 27-28, 2017 rally in Pike County by the Traditional Worker Party, the Nationalist Front, and the National Socialist Movement, and would condemn any form of racism and intolerance.

SR 182 (Ridley and others)(+)

Urges Congress and the President to extend tax incentives supporting carbon capture and deployment.


House Bills

HB 1 (Hoover)(Became Law)

Right to work bill, would allow non-union workers to share in the benefits that the union negotiated in a workplace without paying for those benefits as do union workers.

HB 3 (Hoover)(Became Law)

Would repeal the prevailing wage.

HB 35 (J. Miller)(To Governor)

Would allow creation of public benefit corporations.

HB 50 (Imes)(To Governor)

Would impose 7-year sunset on regulations and establish a requirement that each agency amend or renew the regulations that an agency doesn’t want to expire. Committee Substitute will allow existing regulations to remain in effect upon filing of a certification every 7 years; addressing KRC’s concerns with the burden that the bill would put on already-strapped agencies. Thanks to the sponsor for working out the issues KRC was concerned with.

HB 119 (Gooch and Castlen)(To Governor)

Would prevent local governments from displacing a current provider of solid waste management services without notice and a hearing unless services pose a risk to health and safety of residents or there is a material breach of the contract.

HB 122 (Bunch)(S. Transp)

Would direct Transportation Cabinet to include a requirement for bicycle helmets for operators and passengers under age 12.

HB 156 (Fugate and others)(S. Rules)

Would establish the Kentucky Mountain Regional Recreation Authority to promote outdoor recreation and tourism by developing a recreational trail system, prioritizing locations on private property made available by license or easement by willing landowners. Bill was amended in Senate Committee to include provisions of Senate Bill 215.

HB 177 (DeCesare)(S. Transp)

Would amend current law regarding idling unattended vehicle, imposing 15 minute cap and requiring all doors be locked.

HB 189 (DeCesare and Westrom)(To Governor)

Would revise manner in which Executive Directors of Area Development Districts are selected.

HB 226 (Wuchner and Prunty)(To Governor)

Would codify Executive Order reorganizing several departments and offices within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

HB 234 (Gooch and Miles)(To Governor)

Would eliminate current requirement that “shadow” areas overlying underground coal mines be permitted. Current law requires that areas to be permitted, but not bonded nor subject to payment of a permit fee. Federal law does not require shadow areas to be permitted. Sponsor agreed to technical amendment sought by KRC.

HB 237 (Pratt and others)(To Governor)

Establishes liability protection for those nonprofits distributing donated food unless the food is not apparently wholesome or apparently fit, absent intentional misconduct.

HB 265 (Thomas and Dossett)(To Governor)

Would define “nondivisible loads” for purposes of overweight vehicle laws.

HB 276 (Moffett)(To Governor)

Would abolish a score or more of inactive boards and commissions.

HB 281 (Nemes)(S. Judiciary)

Would amend existing law to provide limits and additional accountability in personal service contracts for legal services, entered into by the Attorney General’s office, and to be paid by contingency fees.

HB 282 (Petrie)(S. Rules)(consent)

Would codify executive order reorganizing Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.

HB 293 (Rothenburger)(To Governor)

Would codify executive order reorganizing Labor Cabinet.

HB 309 (Prunty and others)(S. Rules)

Would provide residential tenants holding domestic violence or protective orders to terminate leases as to that tenant with 30 days’ notice and authorize recovery of financial losses to landlord from the person restrained by the order.

HB 310 (Jenkins and others)(S. State Local Govt)

Would clarify existing laws concerning acquisition of blighted properties by land bank authorities.

HB 318 (Meredith)(To Governor)

Would allow for appointments and service of notices of violation by local code enforcement boards operating under interlocal agreements.

HB 323 (Benvenuti, Reed)(S. Nat Res Energy)

Would require Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer hunting and fishing licenses to active duty military at same cost as to Kentucky residents.

HB 360 (Miles, DeCesare)(S. Rules)

Original bill would have revised definition of agricultural use for purposes of zoning exemption, to include properties of at least 5 acres devoted to agritourism activity. Substitute passed House removed reference to zoning exemption and instead exempted buildings from seismic and other building code requirements.

HB 369 (St. Onge)(H. Rules)

Attempts to cap liabilities of corporations succeeding to companies with asbestos-related liabilities.

HB 384 (Benvenuti)(To Governor)

Original bill would have reduced frequency of mine inspections for underground mines, and was opposed by KRC. Floor amendment adopted by House replaces original text with discretion for Commissioner of Department for Natural Resources to replace up to 3 of the 6 required inspections of underground mines with mine safety analysis visits.

HB 390 (Prunty)(To Governor)

Would codify executive order reorganizing the Kentucky Arts Council.

HB 392 (Rothenburger)(H. Rules)

Would amend KRS Chapter 100 to require zoning compliance for non-baseload generation facilities of under 10 mW. Likely intended to require community solar arrays such as that proposed for Shelby County to have zoning review.

HB 395 (Elliott)(To Governor)

Would codify executive order reorganizing Finance and Administration Cabinet.

HB 448 (Johnson)(S. Ag)

Would align state industrial hemp definitions with federal counterparts.

HB 495 (York, Bunch)(H. Rules)

Would require elementary schools to teach cursive writing.

HB 525 (Hoover)(S. Judiciary)

Would create a citizens commission on judicial compensation to make recommendations on judicial salaries.

House Resolutions

HR 9 (Couch)(Adopted)

Simple resolution urging EPA to emphasize compliance assistance over enforcement practices.

HR 11 (Riggs)(Adopted)

Simple resolution would urge Ky. Local Government, KACO, and League of Cities to conduct annual training on the benefits and best practices of interlocal agreements.

Senate Bills

SB 4 (Alvarado and others)(To Governor)

Would require any claim for medical malpractice to be submitted to a review panel prior to initiation of a lawsuit.

SB 6 (Stivers)(Became Law)

Would require annual opt in by workers to paying union dues or fees, and would restrict expenditures of union funds for political purposes.

SB 10 (Hornback)(To Governor)

ATT bill would remove carve-out protections for smaller phone exchanges and complete the deregulation of ATT’s retail services.

SB 11 (D. Carroll)(To Governor)
Would lift ban on new nuclear power plants and allow new plants to be approved provided that they have a means for storage rather than permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuels and other waste. Sponsor agreed to include language drafted by KRC to assure full-cost accounting for any proposed plant certificate of need.

SB 12 (Alvarado)(Became Law)

What began as an act defining who qualifies as a dog owner, became in Senate Committee a bill addressing the governance of the University of Louisville.

SB 19 (Alvarado)(To Governor)

Would require consumer reporting agencies to place a security freeze on the records of any person under 16 years of age or is incapacitated or under the care of a guardian or conservator.

SB 56 (Webb)(H. Transp)

Would establish three-foot safe distance for vehicles overtaking bicycles.

SB 62 (McGarvey)(To Governor)

Would exempt health savings accounts from execution, attachment and garnishment.

SB 83 (Buford)(To Governor)

Would require Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to undertake measures if deer and elk pose a significant risk to human safety from automobile accidents.

SB 99 (Alvarado)(H. Judiciary)(Posted)

Bill clarifying dog ownership.

SB 107 (Stivers)(To Governor)

Would allow the Governor to remove and replace Board and Council appointees to comply with statutory proportional representation requirements or if Board or council is unable to perform duties.

SB 139 (Webb)(To Governor)

Amends various statutes to include definition of livestock as including “cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, alpacas, llamas, buffaloes, or any other animals of the bovine, ovine, porcine, caprine, equine, or camelid species.”

SB 177 (Girdler)(To Governor)

Would codify executive order reorganizing Personnel Cabinet.

SB 187 (Wise)(S. Rules, recommitted to S. State Local Govt)

Would eliminate requirement for General Assembly authorization of capital projects using private-public partnership.

SB 188 (Hornback)(H. Local Gov)(posted)

Would bar General Assembly from imposing non-federal mandates on cities that require taxes or levies unless the mandates are either state-funded or are accepted by the cities.

Senate Resolutions

SR 2 (Thayer)

Rules of Senate for 2017 Regular Session
By Kentucky Resources Council on 03/16/2017 5:32 PM
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