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WEEK NINE: 1,012 BILLS AND 481 RESOLUTIONS; ONLY 18 LEGISLATIVE DAYS LEFT AND COUNTING!!!
On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. The General Assembly will be in session until March 27, 2005, and will break then until the veto days on April 10 and 11.
Each session has its own cadence, and this one is no exception. Starting slowly, as is the case during election years, it has picked up to a frenetic pace as legislators and lobbyists look at the calendar and realize that, with a vote on the budget bill by the House this week and the beginning of Senate deliberations next week on the budget, a bill that does not move from its originating committee this coming week is unlikely to make it through the process. With a total of 1,012 bills and 481 resolutions filed thus far this session, only 10 bills and 6 resolutions have passed both chambers. 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 polluter-sponsored amendments. KRC's position concerning bills is indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-). The primary sponsor and current status of the bill are also noted by Committee or chamber. Note also that the House has a requirement for posting a bill three days before it is heard in committee; the Senate does not and a committee can take up a bill assigned to it at any time.
SB 1 (Williams) (Defeated 21-15-2) (-)
Proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to cap noneconomic and punitive damages and to mandate alternative dispute resolution in cases involving health care providers licensed or certified by the Commonwealth (i.e. medical malpractice).
Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained. Appellate mechanisms within the judiciary already exist to assure that punitive damages bear a reasonable relation to the conduct of the negligent party, and mechanisms exist for courts to control and punish frivolous or meritless litigation.
SB 6 (Scorsone & Pendleton) (S. State & Local Govt) (+)
Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to clearly cover unpaid executive officers.
SB 29 (Carroll) (S. Judiciary)
One of a number of bills filed in response to the Supreme Court Kelo decision, this bill would to restrict the use of eminent domain by public entities to only "qualified public uses" involving public ownership and control; and prohibit eminent domain for private ownership or control including for economic development, unless approved by the voters.
SB 32 (Pendleton) (S. Transp) (+)
Would amend KRS 176.511 to add one representative of the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky and the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-road Motorcycle and ATV Commission.
SB 39 (Seum) (To House)(-)
Bill aimed at ending the STAR air toxics program in Jefferson County, would prohibit rules and regulations promulgated for air pollution control from being more stringent or burdensome that those impose by federal and state government.
The bill was approved by the Senate committee on February 23, and will be voted on by the full Senate on Monday, February 27. There are two floor amendments one from Senator Boswell, which would replace the text of the bill with a Commission to study the effect of the STAR program and to identify revisions that would be as protective of public health while providing greater regulatory certainty; and the second, an amendment drafted by the major polluting industries and filed by Senator Shaughnessy that would sunset the STAR program and require approval of any re-adopted program by the Metro Louisville Council.
Through parliamentary sleight-of-hand, the bill was recommitted to Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on February 27, where it was amended to kill the STAR program and to require a 3/5 supermajority of the Metro Louisville Council to reinstate it and to approve any air pollution district regulations in the future that are more stringent or burdensome than the state or federal rules. Once amended, it was brought to the floor with no opportunity to file amendments to the substitute, and after being mischaracterized as a compromise bill when it was the product only of those forces that want to kill the STAR program, was sent to the House on at 27-10 vote. The bill has yet to be assigned to committee in the House.
SB 50 (Kelly) (H. Rules)
Agency amendments updating solid waste laws to provide additional flexibility for cabinet in expenditures from Kentucky Pride Fund, and making recycling and household hazardous waste programs eligible for grants. At KRCs request a committee amendment was made restoring language that allowed the 25% county match funding to be in cash or in-kind.
SB 55 (Seum) (S. State & Local Govt)
Similar to SB 10, this bill proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the agenda of odd-year sessions to revenue and appropriation bills, matters that the Governor proposes, and two subjects agreed upon by House and Senate leadership.
SB 68 (Kelly)(H. Eco. Dev.)
Revamps the membership of the Commission on Small Business Advocacy.
SB 75 (Harris) (H. Rules) (+)
Agency bill reauthorizing the Hazardous Waste Assessment Fund until June 2008, and waiving generator fees for those owing less than $50 for the year; but requiring reporting by same. The transaction costs of processing the payments of $50 or less offset the income derived. KRC would hope that during the interim the agency will revisit the assessment amounts, to determine whether the fund is generating the necessary revenue to cover state superfund needs and federal superfund site matching costs.
SB 76 (Harris)(H. Rules)
Agency bill allowing the Cabinet to terminate post-closure monitoring and maintenance of hazardous waste disposal facilities before the end of the 30-year responsibility period.
KRC sought an amendment that would assure that the Cabinet could reassert jurisdiction and impose again the obligation to monitor, do site maintenance or require remedial action if needed. The Cabinet agreed to such language and KRC has withdrawn opposition to the bill. KRC will monitor implementation of the new flexibility to assure that any action to allow termination of post-closure responsibility for hazardous waste disposal site is strictly limited to the instances where the waste is largely inert and poses negligible risk if left unmanaged in place.
SB 82 (Tapp and Roeding) (H. L&O)(posted)(-)
Originally intended to bring state law into compliance with decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Granholm v. Heald, ___ U.S.___, 125 S.Ct. 1885, but bill includes other language that is a wholesalers dream since it deletes language in existing law allowing small wineries to ship directly to retail package or retail drink license holders at wholesale prices, requiring instead that the wineries distribute only through wholesale distributors to local wine shops, restaurants and stores, thus giving distributors complete control over whether and at what cost the products could get to market.
SB 89 (Kelly) (H. Rules)
Administration bill that confirms the Executive Order abolishing the Kentucky Coal Council and Office of Coal Marketing and Export, and creating an Energy Policy Advisory Council.
SB 94 (Mongiardo)(S. Transp.)
Would include ATV riding within the definition of recreational purpose under KRS 411.190, which is the recreational use statute allowing a landowner who opens their land for recreational use to be shielded from most liability for any injuries sustained.
SB 96 (Roeding and others) (H. State Govt)(posted)
Would initially have modified administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. The Senate Committee Substitute removed the requirement for a cost-benefit analysis, thus addressing KRCs concern that cost-benefit analyses of health and safety legislation invariably overstate compliance costs and undervalue public benefits.
Bill also provides for each agency to appoint a small business ombudsman, and for centralized web-based access to proposed regulations and notices of proposed regulations.
SB 98 (McGaha)(H. State Govt)(posted)
Would amend existing law on administrative regulations to require consideration of costs to state and local government of regulations; and to require a fiscal note.
SB 99 (Scorsone and others) (S. Judiciary)
Senate counterpart to HB 369, would amend state civil rights laws to include protection against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
SB 131 (Stivers)(H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)(posted)
Would require the Public Service Commission to approve a long-term supply contract between a regulated gas utility and a producer of pipeline quality syngas from Kentucky coal if the price is no greater than the long-term market price for natural gas and the syngas is no more than 25% of the systems supply requirements.
SB 132 (Stivers)(To House)
Would authorize state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enter into reciprocal enforcement agreements with other states.
SB 136 (Jensen) (H. Nat Res & Env) (+)(posted)
Agency bill that removes language from the mining laws that had been disapproved by the federal Office of Surface Mining, and deletes historical language concerning 2-acre mining operations.
SB 137 (Jensen) (H. Nat Res & Env) (+)(posted)
Agency bill removing exemption for certified surface coal miners from the requirement that an applicant for renewal of a blasters license must attend blasters training within the preceding 3 years.
SB 138 (Jensen) (H. Nat. Res. & Env) (+)(posted)
Agency bill increasing fines for violating state blasting laws and providing a civil fine of up to $20,000 for any blasting operation resulting in death or serious injury that could result in death.
SB 140 (Jones)(Under review) (S. Transportation)
Would amend existing vehicle enforcement laws to include failure to have and maintain read impact guards and read end protection as among those criteria for truck safety inspections, and including violations of both in the list of criteria for placing a vehicle out-of-service; allowing livestock and perishable product loads on trucks in violation to continue to destination.
SB 147 (Jensen)(To House)
Agency bill updating Forestry Best Management Practices Board statute to clarify funding and timing of report presentations.
SB 163 (Jones)(S. Transp.)
Would require all persons under 16 years of age to wear helmets when riding ATVs on public property.
SB 164 (Jones)(S. Transp.)
Would prohibit, with certain exceptions, anyone younger than 18 from riding in the open cargo area of a truck.
SB 167 (Harris)(To House)
Establishes default widths of rights-of-way of public roads for which there is no record.
SB 178 (Seum, Roeding, McGaha, Tapp, Westwood) (S. Judiciary)(-)
Under the banner of promoting the uniform application of civil rights law in the Commonwealth this bill, among others filed this session, is intended to eliminate local fairness ordinances and other local civil rights enactments.
SB 184 (Pendleton)(S. State & Local Govt)(+)
Would propose a constitutional amendment allowing automatic restoration of voting rights for former felons upon completion of sentence, parole and restitution.
SB 187 (Denton)(S. Transp) (+)
Would require children under 16 years of age to wear a helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on an ATV, and prohibiting ATV operators under 16 from carrying passengers.
SB 188 (Denton)(needs amendments)(To House)
Would amend existing law concerning lead poisoning detection, reporting and remediation. Bill sets levels for agency action to investigate and order remediation at twice the recommended action level, which itself is not protective enough of at-risk infants, and is need of several other revisions. A letter has been sent to the sponsor and is posted to the website.
SB 200 (Stivers and Jones)(S. Ag & NR)
Administrations bill would reform mine safety laws in several ways, including mandating two-way communications, emergency plans, separating escapeways from return air courses, and requiring deployment of self-contained rescuers within 45 minute intervals, and other changes. counterpart to HB 607.
SB 201 (Stivers and Jones)(S. Ag. & NR)
Administration bill providing for drug testing of miners
SB 203 (Jones and Worley)(S. A & R)
Creates income tax credits for properties with solar, wind energy and geothermal energy systems. Also broadens net metering to include hydro, wind, landfill gas, biogas, fuel cell, and combined heating and power systems in addition to solar.
SB 219 (Jensen and McGaha)(S. Rules, Consent)
Would create an easement of necessity to conduct reclamation operations; intended to address bankruptcy situations where a party has acquired reclamation obligations but the leases allowing entry have expired or terminated and are held by another party. The bill is intended to address a unique problem created out of the Horizon bankruptcies affecting some 38 mine permits. Needs amendment to sunset after two years, since it is intended to address a unique circumstance arising from the bankruptcy proceedings.
SB 220 (Tapp)(S. Transp)(-)
Would allow existing billboards to be replaced with multiple message billboards that display a series of advertisements. Multiple message billboards create more driver distraction and increase road safety hazard, and KRC opposes these systems.
SB 223 (Denton)(S. Judiciary)
Would create new sections of Chapter 411 to establish procedures for civil actions arising from exposure to silica and mixed dust.
SB 237 (Jensen)(S. Ag & NR)(+)
Agency bill that would strengthen oil and gas bonding provisions, including denying new drilling permits where outstanding unabated violations or bond forfeitures have occurred.
SB 241 (Mongiardo & Stivers)(S. Ag & NR)
Would authorize public-private recreational land use agreements between private landowners and any unit of government for recreational use of the land, with the governmental unit becoming responsible for maintenance and upkeep, and providing liability protection for injuries occurring on the lands comparable to public recreational land liability limitations.
SB 251 (Neal)(S. Judiciary)
Proposed constitutional amendment on restoration of civil rights of felons.
SB 252 (Neal)(S. Ag & NR)
Would prohibit termination of heating utility service to a low-income customer for nonpayment between November 1 and March 31, and establish procedures for negotiating partial payment plans.
SB 255 (Worley & Mongiardo)(S. Health & Welfare)
Would require disclosure if a vaccine contains more than .5 ug/5ml of mercury (thimerosal) and if an alternative is available without it.
SB 257 (Williams)(-)
Would move the venue for numerous actions involving appeals of administrative agency actions and enforcement by administrative agencies of orders and determinations from Franklin Circuit Court. Among the adverse impacts of the bill would be a loss of continuity among judicial decisions interpreting and applying agency statutes, and significant additional costs to agencies of traveling to 120 venues in order to defend appeals and to enforce agency orders.
SR 1 (Kelly)
Rules of Procedure adopted for 2006 Senate Session.
SCR 98 (Buford)(H. Rules)
Would direct an LRC study of Kentucky bicycling and pedestrian activity and options for increasing tourism and improving public health through both.
SCR 130 (Buford)(To House)
Would encourage the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dry Stone Conservancy to document rock fences worthy of preservation and develop standards for same.
SCR 183 (Denton) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would direct the Program Review and Investigations Committee to study, evaluate, and make recommendations to improve the efficiency of the executive branch administrative hearings process.
SCR 198 (Scorsone)(S. State & Local Govt)
Would direct establishment of a task force to conduct a comprehensive study on the current administrative hearings process and the feasibility of a centralized panel for administrative hearings.
SJR 230 (Jones)(+)( S. Ag & NR)
Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection cabinet to publish regulations requiring submittal of Emergency Action Plans by owners of all significant or high hazard impoundments in the state.
SR 238 (Sanders)
Would request LRC to direct the Program Review and Investigations Committee to study the method by which siting decisions are made for electric transmission lines, in order to assure that adequate consideration is being given to alternative routes and to the needs of affected landowners to be heard during the siting process.
HB 9 (Marcotte) (H. Transp)
Limits use of cell phones in moving vehicles to hands free phones and emergency situations.
HB 38 (Lee) (H. Labor & Industry) (-) (posted)
Right to work law, aimed at weakening unions by prohibiting mandatory membership in a plant or shop that has voted to unionize.
HB 43 (A. Arnold) (H. Elections, Const. Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs)
Proposed constitutional amendment to extend terms of State Representatives from two to four years beginning in 2008.
HB 52 (Cherry) (H. Rules)
Would amend Executive Branch Ethics law to include Public Service Commission and its orders concerning utility rates or service within the code.
HB 53 (Vincent) (S. Judiciary) (+)
Would provide authority for Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission to file amicus briefs in cases involving the rights of bicyclists.
HB 66 (Yonts) (S. State & Local Govt.)
Amends various statutes relating to personal service and other government contracts.
HB 69 (Yonts) (S. State & Local Govt.)
Updates nuisance laws to reflect other forms of local governments and to impose personal liability on landowners for fines and court costs associated with nuisances.
HB 74 (Denham) (S. Ag & NR)
Would establish the Rural Enhancement and Development Committee as a permanent subcommittee of the Legislative Research Commission
HB 82 (Cherry) (H. Tourism Development and Energy)(posted)
Would authorize creation of a joint municipal power agency by two or more municipalities.
HB 83 (Pasley) (H. Nat. Res. & Environment) (+)
Would amend strip mining laws to require that overburden must be returned to mine area to the maximum extent possible and that other overburden is to be disposed of in permitted areas or previously mined areas, and that no overburden is to be disposed of in the waters of the Commonwealth. Bill seeks to minimize disposal of mine spoils in valley fills.
HB 85 (Vincent) (H. Transportation) (posted)
Would amend junkyard laws to require junkyard operators to report material quantities and income for taxation purposes, and would transfer junkyard regulation from the Department of Highways to the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.
HB 86 (Hoffman) (H. Rules) (+)
Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.
HB 95 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)
Establishes speed limit on state highways with four lanes at 65 miles per hour; 55 for state highways with fewer than four lanes, and 35 mph for residential and business districts; unless other speeds are set by state highway engineer based on safety conditions.
HB 103 (Marzian, Draud) (H.A&R)
Would raise the tobacco tax from 26 to 71 cents and increase the tax rate on other tobacco products to 32% effective July 1, 2006.
HB 106 (Wilkey) (H. Transp)(+)(posted)
Would allow primary enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law. KRC will suggest inclusion of language similar to that adopted in other primary enforcement states to report on and track enforcement of the law in order to allow detection of any discriminatory implementation.
HB 114 (Wilkey) (H. Judiciary)
Amends eminent domain laws to delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain; and to require that commissioners appointed to value property in eminent domain cases be real estate appraisers or realtors and to create a mechanism for their selection.
HB 117 (Meeks) (To Senate) (+ with amendments needed)
Aimed at reducing blood lead poisoning in children, the bill would require testing for an elevated blood lead level as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) program; establish a statewide program for testing of at-risk persons and other target populations of children under age six years of age and pregnant women. House Committee Substitute removed amendments to existing law to increase the fine for the failure to remove hazardous lead based substances within 30 days of notice.
KRC supports many aspects of the bill; however KRC will seek amendments to assure screening is prioritized for all pregnant women since the third-trimester exposure to blood lead levels of as low as 1 6 ug/dl can cause lifelong damage to the baby.
HB 119 (Meeks) (H. Rules)
Amends existing laws to encourage interlocal agreements between counties for essential services.
HB 120 (Crimm) (H. Seniors, Mil. Affairs & Public Safety)(posted)
Would require bottled water distributed in the Commonwealth to identify the source of the water on a label affixed to the bottle.
HB 122 (Nelson, Higdon, Moberly) (H. Judiciary)
Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain.
HB 126 (Simpson) (S. Rules, Consent)
Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.
HB 145 (Pasley) (S. A&R) (+)
Would extend the waste tire fee until July 31, 2010; and require the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to report to the General Assembly by January 15, 2010, on the effectiveness of the waste tire program.
HB 164 (Burch) (H. Transp) (+)
Would require all ATV users to wear helmets and prohibit operation of ATVs by children under 16.
HB 165 (Floyd) (H. Judiciary)
Another eminent domain law; would define permitted and prohibited practices in the use of eminent domain.
HB 183 (Wilkey, McKee) (H. Judiciary) (posted)
Another eminent domain bill, would delineate allowable and prohibited public uses of property subject to eminent domain; amend KRS 416.540 to specify "public use" and not "public purpose" as the correct terminology in relation to eminent domain.
HB 187 (Wayne) (H. Local Govt) (posted) (+)
Would establish minimum standards for evictions from mobile home lots and extend protections of Uniform Landlord-Tenant Act, where adopted, to renters in manufactured home communities.
HB 192 (Denham) (Recommitted to House Judiciary)
Agritourism bill, limits liability of agritourism professionals and requires warning notices to be placed at the sites of agritourism activities.
HB 214 (Fischer & Harmon) (H. Elections & Const. Am) (-)
Proposed amendment to Kentucky Constitution to allow the General Assembly the power to limit damages for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to persons or property. Kentucky's Constitution protects against legislative limitation of rights of action available to persons injured through the tortuous conduct of another. Section 14 of the Kentucky Constitution guarantees that "All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rights and justice administered without sale, denial or delay." As has been the case in past sessions, KRC opposes any constitutional amendment that would seek to artificially limit for any class of injuries and for the benefit of one class of persons who have by definition inflicted harm on others, the right of any person to bring a civil action and to seek a jury trial for compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages for injuries sustained to person or property.
HB 215 (Fischer & S. Lee) (H. Judiciary) (-)
Bill aimed at voiding local fairness ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual preference or identity, by providing that state civil rights law preempt any local enactments. The measure is an unwarranted intrusion into the authority of local communities acting through their elected officials, to establish civil rights policies more protective of individual rights than state policy.
HB 226 (M. Harmon & J. Fischer) (H. Elections & Const. Am) (-)
Another approach to prohibiting state or local government from enacting any civil rights protections against sexual orientation-based discrimination, intended to achieve same effect as HB 215.
HB 229 (Jenkins & Wayne) (H. Local Govt) (posted)
Establishes a permitting program for development within noise sensitive areas around airports. KRC is working with bill proponents and with sponsors on clarifying amendments in order to protect rights of existing landowners to continue residential uses and modify or alter existing structures without requiring permits. Both the homebuilders and realtors have also expressed concerns regarding the bill.
HB 233 (W. Hall) (S. A&R)
Would establish a Kentucky Multiple-use Recreational Trail Commission, to be attached to the Commerce Cabinet, and set forth responsibilities to develop and implement a multi-county demonstration trail system project.
HB 239 (Gray) (H. NR & Env) (posted) (-)
Would amend KRS 350.010 to exclude sand or gravel from the definition of "strip mining," thus deregulating the environmental impacts of sand and gravel mining.
HB 252 (Burch) (H. Health & Welfare)( posted)
Would ban sales of competitive foods in vending machines in public schools, and would reimburse each school the average annual revenue generated in the past 3 years from such sales for the benefit of schools, academic and athletic programs.
HB 262 (Denham) (H. Local Govt)
Would authorize local governments with sufficient staff expertise to issue building permits to landowners seeking to develop land in a flood hazard area; and require the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to abide by local flood hazard area building permit determinations.
HB 268 (McKee) (To Senate)
Would amend existing law to allow Department of Agriculture to specify test methods to be used for testing of pesticides, and to set fees by regulation.
HB 275 (Lindsay)(Became Law)
Waives restrictions of sales of power from electric cooperatives to nonmembers for consumers of over 200 megawatts, and allows such sales to nonmembers to be treated as if a member sale.
HB 283 (Owens and others) (Became Law) (+)
Emergency appropriation of $5 million to help low-income energy assistance program; also amends existing law to require annual reporting by utilities of their efforts to meet low-income weatherization and heating assistance needs within their service area. Senate committee amendment increased appropriation to $10 million.
HB 289 (Webb and Turner) (H. N.R. and Env.) (+)(posted)
Would ban computer-assisted remote hunting.
HB 299 (Adkins and others) (S. Ag & NR) (+)
Bill from House Leadership directs Office of Energy Policy to develop a strategy for increased research and development of low-emission transportation fuel technologies from fossil fuels and biomass and incentives for renewable energy use and fuels. Also requires in every bid for new construction or facility upgrades, that where feasible the Finance Cabinet solicit bids from 2 types of energy efficient HVAC (including geothermal), and grant a preference to the bid with lowest life-cycle costs.
Bill was amended in Committee to include language requested by KRC directing that the energy strategy include incentives for energy conservation as well.
HB 309 (Gooch & Brinkman)(H. Rules) (+)
Would add a representative from the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the Off-Road Motorcycle ATV Commission.
HB 327 (McKee and Pasley)(S. Rules, Consent)
Would allow the Board of Agriculture to withhold critical infrastructure information relating to agricultural or food data records. Critical infrastructure means is defined in section 1016(e) of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)) as ``systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.''
HB 329 (Nelson)(H. Health & Welfare)
Would allow the Transportation Cabinet and local governments to designate a route on public roads from a government-established ATV park to an off-site parking lot, provided that the route is marked, the vehicle operator has a drivers license and the ATV has lights.
HB 334 (Gooch and numerous others) (H. Rules) (+) Would amend existing law to require ATV operators and passengers under the age of 16 to wear approved protective headgear at all times the vehicle is in motion.
HB 337 (Jenkins and others)(H. Tourism, Dev. & Energy) (posted) (-)
Would largely deregulate local telephone services in the state without providing needed protection for the most vulnerable consumers. KRC has significant concerns with the loss of PSC oversight of local rates and service, and with the lack of transparency in allocation of costs among regulated and deregulated services.
HB 338 (Wayne and others) (S. Banking & Insurance) (+)
Establishes an affordable housing trust fund to assist in the development of affordable housing for very low-income households.
HB 348 (Riggs)(S. State & Local Govt)
Would establish a permanent legislative committee to study Metropolitan and Micropolitan Issues.
HB 368 (Burch)(H. Judiciary)
Would abolish the death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
HB 369 (Stein, Marzian, Meeks and Owens) (H. Judiciary)
Would amend state civil rights laws to include protection against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
HB 374 (Palumbo and others)(S. A&R)
Initial bill would have modify administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. KRC was opposed to with this requirement, since cost-benefit analyses tend to emphasize short-term cost and devalue long term benefits, and because the analysis focuses only on the regulated entity without regard for the impacts of non-regulation to the public. Working with the sponsor and state Chamber, language was inserted in HFA 3 to replace the cost-benefit analysis with a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the range and distribution of costs incurred, monetary and non-monetary public costs avoided and benefits, and limited the agency obligation to existing information and exempted all regulations adopted under delegated programs for which comparable analyses existed already. KRC appreciates Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbos efforts on this amendment.
HB 378 (Gray and others)(Recommitted to H. Labor & Industry)
Would increase the state minimum wage to $6.00/hour on passage, $6.50 on July 1, 2007 and would escalate state minimum wage if federal minimum exceeds the state amount.
HB 380 (Moberly & Hoover) (H. A & R) (-)
Governors Executive Branch Budget. KRC is extremely concerned with the removal of significant amounts of funds from both the Kentucky Pride Fund and the Petroleum Storage Tank Assurance Fund, both of which are dedicated funds intended to provide for remediation of orphan landfills and open dumps, in the case of the Pride Fund, and UST sites. The transfers will materially adversely affect the rate of cleanup of contaminated sites. An additional transfer of concern is the shifting of Air Quality funds to support the proposed delegation of the Section 404 water program. Appropriations of funds to implement a 404 program are premature, since further work remains among stakeholders concerning the details of such a program and the Administration has not yet determined whether to seek primary authority to manage the program. Additionally, the new budget omits language agreed upon by all parties to maintain the current rules blocking new mining permits for those with outstanding violations that own or control new permit applicants. Finally, language is needed to allow the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinets Departments of Natural Resources and of Environmental Protection, to waive salary caps for engineers in order to attract and retain engineers for environmental permitting and compliance.
HB 383 (Gooch)(S. Rules, Consent)
The bill alters the penalty assessment for persons failing to comply with water well drilling certification provisions. With floor amendment, the bill allows up to $5,000 for each occurrence of activity by an uncertified driller.
HB 390 (Barrows)(H. Rules)
Would provide additional limitations on the powers of the Governor to issue executive orders and provide a mechanism similar to KRS Chapter 13A regarding administrative regulations, for LRC review of executive orders and for subsequent filing of legislation to void orders objected to by interim committees.
HB 392 (A. Smith and others)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)
Would allow counties to create a damage stamp program with a $5 cost for all hunting licenses in a county, to compensate landowners and motorists for damage caused by deer, elk, bear and hunters.
HB 396 (Cherry)(H. State Govt) (posted)
Would revise numerous provisions of the current Code of Legislative Ethics, including a bar on lobbyists and employers of lobbyists furnishing or paying for out-of-state transportation or lodging for a legislator, and barring contributions from employers of lobbyists during legislative sessions. HB 398 (R. Adams)(S. Ag & NR)
Defines farmland, for purposes of hunting and trapping, as 10 acres and allows families and owners to hunt on that land without a hunting license.
HB 399 (Jenkins, Marzian) (H. Labor & Industry)(posted)
Would prohibit sex-based wage discrimination for jobs of comparable worth.
HB 400 (Webb and others)(H. State Govt)(posting waived)
Would amend existing law relating to legislative oversight of Executive Branch personal service contracts and memoranda of agreement.
HB 408 (Gooch)(S. Rules)
Transfers administrative control over implementation of AHERA (Asbestos Emergency Response Act) from Department of Environmental Protection to the Environment and Public Protection Cabinet.
Was amended in the Senate Committee to include an agreed-upon amendment to the Voluntary Environmental Remediation Act clarifying that the level of remediation required under an approved remediation plan by the Cabinet is not subject to collateral challenge under state law, but that all remedies for enforcement of the plan, for review of the Cabinets approval of the plan, and all remedies for personal or property injury are preserved.
HB 437 (Simpson & Bowen) (S. State & Local Govt)
Enabling legislation for cities and counties other than consolidated local governments, urban-county governments or charter county governments that wish to create a unified local government.
HB 450 (Comer, Hall, Rudy) (S. Ag & NR)
Bill amending existing weak forest practices law to allow cease order after up to 1 weeks notice, for a logger with two bad actor designations who is violating best management practices and causing water pollution. Sponsor agreed to a floor amendment drafted by KRC to fix the proposed bill (HFA2), which was adopted by the House, since the bill without the amendment would have had the unintended effect of weakening existing authority rather than strengthening it, since under existing law Cabinet can act immediately to order cessation of activities causing water pollution.
HB 451 (Webb)(H. Rules)
Amends various sections of fish and wildlife resources governing laws.
HB 458 (B. Smith, Cornett, Hall, Meade)(S. Ag & NR)
Would amend mine safety laws to require underground conveyor belt inspections to be conducted by properly certified and trained individuals.
HB 470 (Gooch)(S. AG & NR)
Would amend the statute governing air, was, and water permitting and enforcement hearings before the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to establish a default 180-day period for completion of the hearing process and recommendation to Secretary on a case; would allow two-90 day extensions for cause. Also would allow Secretary to adopt regulations requiring pre-filing of direct testimony.
KRC requested and the Sponsor and Cabinet agreed to a floor amendment clarifying that the Secretary may by regulation provide for prefiled direct testimony in some classes of cases rather than all. The bill now goes to the Senate.
HB 473 (Stein)(H. Elections & Const.)
Proposed constitutional amendment would provide civil rights protection on the basis of raced, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
HB 474 (Stein) (H. Elections & Const.)
Proposed constitutional amendment would allow the state or local governments or agencies to provide for civil rights protection on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.
HB 480 (Crenshaw and others) (H. Elections & Const.)
Proposed constitutional amendment reinstating voting rights of convicted felons once the period of probation has ended or the final discharge from parole occurs, or the maximum sentence expires.
HB 501 (Collins, Hall, Belcher)(S. Transp)
Would define default width of road right-of-way in absence of any record.
HB 502 (Denham)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)
Would permit local governments to place liens on automobiles in order to collect solid waste bills.
HB 503 (Yonts and others)(S. Ag & NR)
Bill proposing reforms of existing coal mine safety laws to provide for wireless safety identification devices and other safety enhancements.
HB 507 (Rand and others)(Recommitted to H. Licensing & Occupations)
Would satisfy the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Granholm v. Heald, ___ U.S.___, 125 S.Ct. 1885without adversely affecting small wineries ability to market directly in state.
HB 508 (Wilkey and others)(S. State & Local Govt)
Another bill on eminent domain and likely the bill that will move through the legislative process, it delineates allowable public uses for eminent domain, clarifiers that condemnation is limited to public use rather than public purposes and restricts the ability to use eminent domain to condemn private land for private economic development that benefits the public only indirectly.
HB 521 (Wilkey & Hoover) (Recommitted to H. A&R)
Would establish a program for loan repayment assistance for attorneys who work for nonprofit legal services programs and certain other governmental legal positions.
HB 524 (Weaver)(To Senate)
Would amend existing law to establish procedure and timeframe for Attorney General complaints to the Public Service Commission.
HB 538 (Webb)(H. Tourism, Dev. & Energy) (posted)(Under review)
Would create separate process for cost recovery for clean coal technology meeting the standards of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, allowing a rate recovery mechanism similar to the Environmental Cost Recovery mechanism and bypassing a base rate case until completion of construction and beginning of operation of the coal-fired power plant.
KRC has proposed several amendments to the bill and is working to include consumer protections into a bill that would dramatically alter the manner in which ratepayers pay the cost of the construction of new plants.
HB 543 (Adkins)(H. Judiciary)(posted)
Consumer protection measure, would make illegal the fraudulent procuring of telephone records without the consent of the customer.
HB 554 (DeCesare) (H. Judiciary)
Another eminent domain bill, would remove the authority of local governments to exercise the power of eminent domain to eliminate blighted or slum areas while retaining other acquisition powers; limit eminent domain to situations involving public use; and amend various sections of the Eminent Domain Act of Kentucky to alter the pleading, trial, proof, procedure, and appellate provisions of a civil eminent domain action.
HB 558 (Barrows) (H. Ag & Sm. Bus)(posted)
Would allow local governments to establish programs for purchase of development rights through conservation easements.
HB 560 (Nelson) (H. Transp.)(+)
Would enhance enforcement of weight limits for overweight coal trucks by requiring shippers and receivers of coal to report shipment weights to the Department of Vehicle Enforcement, and by explicitly making shippers and receivers liable for penalties for violating reporting and weight limits.
HB 567 (Gray)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)(+)
Would authorize the Commissioner of Natural Resources to require use of rescue chambers in underground mines.
HB 568 (Wilkey)(H. Tourism Dev & Energy)(under review)
Would broaden the allowable purposes for rural electric cooperatives to allow any lawful business or activity as a secondary purpose to generating, purchasing, transmitting or distributing electricity. Bill is intended to address a state Supreme Court ruling prohibiting sales by a cooperative of propane.
KRC has agreed to several amendments to the bill and will remain neutral if those amendments are adopted.
HB 573 (Collins, Hall, Meade) (H. Rules with Committee Substitute)
Original bill would have amended existing law concerning on-site sewage systems, to eliminate review by Cabinet for Families and Health Services of on-site systems with over 10,000 gallons per day of design flow; and obligate CHFS to accept determinations by engineers that a site is suitable for an onsite system. KRC discussed these concerns with the sponsor and the agencies and the bill was amended by Committee Substitute to address the Councils concerns.
HB 574 (Simpson)(H. Nat Res. & Env.)(-)
Would amend existing law to allow plastic bottles and containers with labels, base cups, resin layers or other components that are not the same as the remainder of the container to nevertheless be coded as such if the other component is the same predominant resin as that in the bottle or container so as to be compatible for purposes of recycling.
The introduction of plastic bottles with barrier layers that are either not plastic or are a plastic or vinyl that is not PETE or HDPE, represent a problem under the current recycling framework. It has not been demonstrated that there is an aftermarket for these bottles, and their introduction under a coding that does not accurately reflect the content of the bottle may interfere with community collection and recycling systems.
KRC will discuss these concerns with the sponsor.
HB 591 (Pullin)(H. Seniors, Military Affairs & Public Safety)
Would create standards for remediation of contamination of properties by methamphetamine labs.
HB 598 (Hoover)(H. Rules)
Would prohibit, with certain exceptions, anyone younger than 16 from riding in the open cargo area of a truck.
HB 607 (Webb)(H. Nat Res. & Env.)
Administration bill would reform underground mine safety laws in several ways, including mandating two-way communications, emergency plans, separating escapeways from return air courses, and requiring deployment of self-contained rescuers within 45 minute intervals, and other changes.
HB 623 (Cherry)(H. Rules)
Would amend existing law to eliminate a number of commissions and agencies.
HB 626 (Pullin & Ballard)(H. Rules)
Would amend existing law to allow Public Service Commission to consider the interstate benefits to be achieved by proposed construction of electric transmission facilities.
HB 627 (Meeks)(H. Local Govt)(posted)
Would create new sections of state law address the management and disposition of historic and prehistoric human remains.
HB 628 (Meeks)(H. Local Govt)(posted)
Would create new sections of state law to require licensing of persons conducting archaeological investigations on private property and establish process for disposition of human remains.
HB 635 (Meeks & Marcotte)(H. Transp.)
Would ban, with certain exceptions, use of cell phones by drivers.
HB 642 (Adams and Webb)(H. Ag & Sm. Bus)(posted)
Would create a new tax credit for creation of conservation easements and increase the credits for allowing wildlife-associated access under agreements with state Fish and Wildlife Department.
HB 649 (Gooch)(H. Rules)
Would amend existing law to allow regulated water utilities to recover costs for investment in potable water transmission lines when the costs are not recovered in existing rates. Language appears broad enough to include recovery of costs for construction of lines from one water utility to purchase treated water from another utility. At KRCs request, narrowing language that limited the bill to replacement of existing lines was added.
HB 661 (Draud)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)
Would amend several existing statutes relating to sanitation districts, including the weakening of state oversight of local sanitation district regulations.
HB 663 (Brinkman)(H. A&R)(posted)
Would allow preapproval of tax credits for rehabilitation of historic structures.
HB 665 (Pullin & Lindsay)(H. Rules)
Intended to encourage U.S. Department of Energy to select Kentucky for the FutureGen coal to hydrogen & electricity project, the bill would exempt the proposed demonstration facility from the merchant plant generation siting process.
KRC is working with the sponsor on clarifying amendments to the bill.
HB 669 (A. Arnold & McKee)(H. Rules)
Would require state agencies to purchase Kentucky-grown agricultural products meeting quality and pricing requirements.
HB 671 (Pullin & Clark)(H. A&R)
Would create a development and investment fund to support bioscience research and commercial enterprises.
HB 678 (Pullin)(H. A&R)
Would exempt equipment and supplies used to construct intrastate gathering and transmission lines from sales and use taxes.
HB 679 (Pullin) (H. A&R)
Would establish an intrastate natural gas pipeline trust fund funded by a portion of the natural gas severance tax to be used to facilitate the construction of intrastate gathering and transmissions lines in Kentucky.
HB 693 (Gooch)(H. NR & Env) (posted)
Would establish fund to match costs of installation of mine rescue chambers in underground mines.
HB 695 (Pullin)
Expands eligible projects under the Gas Pipeline Authority to include, in addition to gas, petroleum or petroleum products.
HB 723 (DeWeese)
Requires that a sale of jointly owned property conducted by a commissioner receive at least 2/3 of appraised value.
HB 726 (Edmonds)(-)
Would direct the University of Kentucky to prepare and submit a petition to terminate the designation of UKs Robinson Forest as a land unsuitable for mining.
KRC was a joint petitioner with UK in the designation of this research forest as unsuitable for mining, and will vigorously oppose this bill and any effort to undermine the protections of the forest. Destruction of decades of water quality and forest research in order to provide short-term royalties to the University is short-sighted, and whatever short-term financial gain realized will be offset both by the unseemly destruction by a research and educational institution of a long-term research forest, and by the negative impact on donor confidence that earmarked contributions in kind and in cash to the University will be used for their intended purposes.
HB 728 (Stacy)
Would convert pipelines abandoned or released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission into common carrier public interest pipelines with an obligation to provide reasonable cost-based service to all companies seeking to transport gas.
HB 742 (Wuchner and others)
Would require utilities that do not have mandatory low-income home heating energy assistance funds to establish voluntary fund programs.
HB 746 (Webb)
Would create a watershed-based planning program for water quality and wastewater planning.
HR 3 (Richards) Adopted
Rules of Procedure to govern the 2006 Regular Session of the House of Representatives.
HJR 7 (Cherry) (S. Transp)
Would direct the Transportation Cabinet to include the Cumberland Gap and Trail of Tears automobile tours on the official Kentucky road map.
HCR 12 (Meeks) (S. State & Local Govt)
Would establish a task force to study the problem of urban violence in communities with consolidated governments.
HJR 20 (Meeks) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)
Resolution asking Kentucky Congressional delegation to support legislation calling for federal approval of extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
HCR 21 (Pullin) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy) (posted)
Urges Congress to tax the excess profits of oil companies.
HCR 24 (Brinkman, Bowen) (H. Judiciary)
Urges Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution to protect the rights of citizens in their private property from government takings for private economic development.
HCR 26 (Nelson) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)(posted)
Request and petition the Kentucky Public Service Commission not to authorize utility rate increases in 2006.
HR 27 (Wayne & Stein) (House Floor)
Resolution urging car manufacturers to install safety devices on cars alerting individuals that a child has been left in a locked car.
HCR 28 (R. Webb) (S. Ag & NR)
Would create an E-scrap Task Force, to study ways to increase recycling of electronic waste; report findings and recommendations to the Legislative Research Commission by December 1, 2006.
HCR 34 (Webb) (+) (H. State Govt)(posted)
Would establish a task force to assess the utilization of privatization in Kentucky state government.
HJR 47 (Meeks and others) (S. Eco Dev. Tourism & Labor)
Resolution urging Kentucky Congressional Delegation to support legislation calling for the extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to the east.
HJR 93 (Moberly and Hoover)(H. A&R)(posted)
Gives legal effect to any budget mandates, directives or initiatives in the Executive Branch Budget when it is adopted.
HJR 94 (Moberly)(H. A&R)(posted)
Gives legal effect to any budget mandates, directives or initiatives in the Legislative Branch Budget when it is adopted.
HJR 95 (Moberly & Lindsay) (H. A&R)(posted)
Gives legal effect to any budget mandates, directives or initiatives in the Judicial Branch Budget when it is adopted.
HJR 101 (Meade and others) (S. Ag & NR) (+)
Would establish May 1 as a day of recognition and commemoration of coal miners.
HCR 115 (Adams)(S. A&R)
Would reauthorize the Task Force on Funding for Wildlife Conservation.
HCR 120 (Webb and others) (S. Ag & NR)(+)
Would create a Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force to study strategies for protection of natural areas, farmlands, habitats and forests.
HCR 137 (Denham)(S. A & R)
Would require the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources to investigate the necessity of creating a State Rural Development Council.
HR 149 (Marzian)(Adopted)
Resolution urging creation of a dedicated source of funding for public transportation.
HR 150 (Edmonds)(House Floor)
Resolution urging the creation of an Office of Energy Accountability in the Attorney Generals office to monitor gasoline and natural gas transactions for evidence of price gouging.
HR 155 (Riggs)(Adopted)
Would urge the Division of Water to submit a report summarizing the status of Kentucky water quality from the 303 and 305 Reports under the Clean Water Act to the legislature, counties and the public.
HCR 161 (Thompson & Cherry)(H. State Govt)
Recognize the Kentucky Heritage Council for its 40 years of service.
HCR 174 (Clark)(S. State & Local Govt)
Would encourage Metro Louisville state and local officials to meet with Ford Motor and union representatives concerning the impact of the STAR air toxics program on Ford.
HJR 188 (Nelson)(H. Nat. Res & Env.)
Would reauthorize the Forest Health Task Force for two years.
HCR 189 (Marzian) (Adopted)
Would ask Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare to hold hearings regarding the overuse of antibiotics and the health consequences of emergence of antibiotic resistance.
HJR 193 (Webb)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)(+)(posted)
Would direct the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to publish administrative regulations requiring emergency action plans to be developed for all high and significant hazard impoundments.
HJR 202 (Webb)(Under review)
Billboard industry bill would direct Transportation Cabinet to undertake a pilot project to cut trees in public rights-of-way in order to increase visibility of private billboards. KRC has opposed any program in the past that would destroy public property to assure that a captive motoring population is exposed to billboards, and will consult with other organizations and communicate with the bill sponsor and supporters prior to taking formal position on this iteration of the bill.
HCR 217 (McKee and Adkins)(H. Ag & S. Bus)
Resolution expressing support for the 25 by 25 initiative whereby agriculture will provide 25 percent of the nations energy needs by year 2025.
HJR 219 (Ballard)(H. Local Govt)
Would direct LRC to establish a task force on county consolidation with a goal of recommending to the 2007 General Assembly methods and procedures for reducing to 100 the number of counties in the state.