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For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, to track which committee it has been assigned to for hearing, and other legislative information, visit the Legislature's Homepage at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us
The phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100 (this is not toll-free).
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WEEK FOUR: 595 BILLS AND 254 RESOLUTIONS AND COUNTING
On January 3, 2006, the General Assembly convened in Frankfort for the regular "long" legislative session. At the end of the fourth week of the session, many bills relating to the environment have already been filed. The General Assembly will be in session until March 27, 2005, and will break then until the veto days on April 10 and 11.
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) (-) (S. State & Local Govt)
Proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the General Assembly to cap noneconomic and punitive damages and top 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) (-) (S. Ag NR)
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. While the sponsors intent is clear, the effect of this bill on the STAR program is less so.
SB 50 (Kelly) (H. Nat Res. & Env)
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)(S. Rules)
Revamps the membership of the Commission on Small Business Advocacy.
SB 75 (Harris)(+) (S. Rules, on consent calendar)
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)(S. 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 had expressed concern regarding the bill, and 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 89 (Kelly) (S. Eco. Dev., Tourism & Labor)
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)(-)(S. Eco. Dev.)
Senate counterpart to HB 374, would modify administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. KRC is very concerned 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. KRC will discuss these concerns with the sponsor and hopefully achieve some amendments to make any cost-benefit analysis more comprehensive and to avoid wasteful duplication of analyses.
SB 98 (McGaha)(S. State & Local Govt)
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.
SR 1 (Kelly)
Rules of Procedure adopted for 2006 Senate Session.
SCR 98 (Buford)(S. Eco. Dev. & Tourism)
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)
Would encourage the Kentucky Heritage Council and Dry Stone Conservancy to document rock fences worthy of preservation and develop standards for same.
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) (-)
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. State Govt)
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) (H. Rules) (+)
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) (H. Rules)
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) (H. State Government)
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)
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)
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. Transp) (+)
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)(+)
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) (H. Health and Welfare)(+ 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; and amend existing law to increase the fine for the failure to remove hazardous lead based substances within 30 days of notice.
In principle, KRC supports many aspects of the bill; however KRC will seek amendments to protect renters from retaliatory eviction by landlords who are notified of lead hazards and fail to correct them, and to provide the cabinet with authority to seek injunctive relief to compel remediation of lead hazards rather than merely imposing fines or determining a dwelling unfit for habitation.
HB 119 (Meeks) (H. Local Govt) (posted)
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) (To Senate)
Allows for creation of Joint Code Enforcement Boards by 2 or more cities for enforcement of local ordinances.
HB 145 (Pasley) (To Senate) (+)
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 152 (Yonts) (H. Rules)
Would modify existing law concerning procedures for adoption of ordinances by cities and counties.
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. Of all of the eminent domain bills, this is the one likely to move through the House.
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) (H. Tourism Dev. & Energy)(posted)
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. H&W, 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) (H. Rules)
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)(To Senate)
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) (+)(To House for Concurrence with Senate Committee Sub)
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.)
Would ban computer-assisted remote hunting.
HB 299 (Adkins and others) (+) (To Senate)
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. Health & Welfare) (+)(posted)
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)(To Senate)
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. Health & Welfare)
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) (Under review)
Would alter the current regulatory framework for local telephone services in the state.
HB 338 (Wayne and others)(+)(H. Local Govt)(posted)
Establishes an affordable housing trust fund to assist in the development of affordable housing for very low-income households.
HB 348 (Riggs)(H. Rules)
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)(-) (H. Rules)
Would modify administrative regulation process to require a cost-benefit analysis, limited to impact on and benefit to the regulated entities. KRC is very concerned 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. KRC has discussed these concerns with the sponsor and has offered language to replace the cost-benefit analysis with a qualitative assessment of the range and distribution of costs incurred, costs avoided, and benefits, and has exempted all regulations adopted under delegated programs. Negotiations are ongoing.
HB 378 (Gray and others)(H. Rules)
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. KRC will be providing a separate analysis and Action Alert on the budget. An additional transfer of concern is the shifting of Air Quality funds to support the proposed delegation of the Section 404 water program.
HB 383 (Gooch)(H. Nat. Res. & Env.)(+) (posted)
Would increase penalties for persons failing to comply with water well drilling certification provisions, and allow more flexibility in the selection of active drillers to the Board.
HB 390 (Barrows)(H. State Govt)
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. Rules)
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)(H. Nat Res. & Env) (posted)
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)
Would amend existing law relating to legislative oversight of Executive Branch personal service contracts and memoranda of agreement.
HB 408 (Gooch)(H. Nat Res. & Env.) (posted)
Transfers administrative control over implementation of AHERA (Asbestos Emergency Response Act) from Department of Environmental Protection to the Environment and Public Protection Cabinet.
HB 437 (Simpson & Bowen) (H. 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) (Nat. Res. & Env.)
Agency bill amending existing weak forest practices law to allow immediate cease order for logger with two bad actor designations who is violating best management practices and causing water pollution.
HB 451 (Webb)(Nat. Res. & Env.)
Amends various sections of fish and wildlife resources governing laws.
HB 458 (B. Smith, Cornett, Hall, Meade)(Nat. Res. & Env.)
Would amend mine safety laws to require underground conveyor belt inspections to be conducted by properly certified and trained individuals.
HR 3 (Richards) Adopted
Rules of Procedure to govern the 2006 Regular Session of the House of Representatives.
HJR 7 (Cherry) (H. 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)(posted)
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) (H. NR & Env)(posted)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Gives legal effect to any budget mandates, directives or initiatives in the Judicial Branch Budget when it is adopted.
HJR 101 (Meade and others)(+) (H. Labor & Industry)(posted)
Would establish May 1 as a day of recognition and commemoration of coal miners.
HCR 115 (Adams)(H. NR&Env) (posted)
Would reauthorize the Task Force on Funding for Wildlife Conservation.
HCR 120 (Webb and others)(+)
Would create a Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force to study strategies for protection of natural areas, farmlands, habitats and forests.