Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
March 18, 2002
Twelve Days Will Decide Legacy of 2002 Session
With 12 legislative days left in the 2002 Session, House and Senate leadership and the Senates and Representative of both parties will determine how the session will be viewed by Kentuckians. In an environment where each action, each tone, each nuance is politically charged, it is important, as Marian Wright Edelman reflected in her Guide My Feet, for each of us to look beyond personal and political jockeying, individual and organizational agendas, and remember why we serve.
Help us, God, to overcome our selfishness and greed,
our political and personal jockeying, our individual
and organizational agendas, our need to be first, right, and
recognized, and to become humble like the child whom
Christ said is the "greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Below is the most recent update. For those bills that have not moved from committee, I have deleted the bill description and analysis, both of which can be viewed on prior updates at www.kyrc.org. This legislative update replaces the prior updates. Information about how to contact your legislator follows at the end. The Council does not have recommendations on each bill. Some bills are tracked for general interest; others simply to assure that they do not become vehicles for industry-sponsored amendments. Recommendations are indicated with a plus (+) or minus (-).
SB 1 (Williams)(H. State Govt., posted) (-)
Changes relating to Executive Branch power and regulation review. Requires legislative review prior to any Executive Order relating to all but listed minor matters to be reviewed by a legislative committee prior to becoming effective. Sunsets all administrative bodies created by Executive Order or by an executive branch official at the end of that administration unless enacted into law. SB 1 also modifies the composition of several standing and permanent committees of the legislature.
Concerning administrative regulations, in response to the Franklin Circuit Court decision voiding the current legislative regulation review process in part, the bill proposes that if the reviewing legislative committee finds a regulation deficient, that regulation will take effect but is included in legislation that will voted on by the General Assembly in the following session (and which can be amended to include or delete other regulations). If the finding of deficiency is ratified by the legislature adopting the resolution, the regulation sunsets and a similar regulation cannot be adopted for one year thereafter.
The bill lumps together into a single bill all regulations deemed deficient by any interim committee, and then provides that if the determination of deficiency is ratified by passing the bill, the regulation sunsets and cannot be repromulgated for a year. In order to assure proper consideration of each regulation by the General Assembly, KRC believes that deficient regulations should be individually presented to the full General Assembly in individual bills, or that related regulations addressing the same substantive areas should be grouped into bills by subject area, in order to assure more substantive scrutiny by the legislature and legislative committees during the time that the General Assembly is in session.
SB 12 (Boswell) (S. A&R) (-)
SB 13 (Jackson) (House Ag Sm. Bus, posted) The companion bill to HB 319, this bill seeks to encourage state agencies to purchase Kentucky-grown fresh produce, fresh seafood, eggs, fish and meat products if available.
SB 19 (D. Adams) (S. State & Local Government) (-)
SB 21 (D. Adams) (S. AgNR) (-)
SB 31 (Roeding) (To House State Govt) Increases legislative oversight over executive branch expenditures under contracts, personal service contracts and memoranda of understanding.
SB 33 (Roeding) (To House State Government, posted) (-) Similar to a bill by the same sponsor in the 2001 session, this bill seeks to curtail further the regulatory powers of the Executive Branch, preventing emergency regulations except where the threat to the public or environment is imminent,
The bill also modifies language in existing law so as to limit the ability of a state agency to adopt a regulation more stringent than a federal counterpart regulation, unlike existing law that requires only that the manner in which the regulation differs or is more stringent must be disclosed. The bill is contrary to the public interest in unduly hampering the executive branch from adopting regulations to address emergencies.
SB 34 (Harris) (recommitted to S. A&R) (+, with concerns) Creates the Kentucky-Clean program, with a statewide Board to coordinate and administer a funding program for litter abatement and prevention. Funded by as-yet identified general fund appropriation and voluntary state tax check-off.
The bill improves on an earlier version by recognizing the important role of the local solid waste governing body and solid water coordinator in any local solid waste anti-litter efforts, and building on existing programs, but suffers from a lack of a robust and durable source of funds.
SB 40 (Kelly) (recommitted to S. Eco. Dev., Tourism) (-)
Extends from one to two years after a county is decertified as one eligible for incentives based on high unemployment, the ability of a project to gain incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. Same as SB 20 except that it includes one additional statutory citation beyond SB 20.
SB 61 (Sanders) (Law) Amends existing law to provide for guaranteed energy savings contracts in which payment is made from verified energy savings as a result of efficiency measures.
SB 72 (Westwood) (Recommitted to S. A&R) (+) Provides a tax credit for restoration expenses for residential structures in zones identified by the Kentucky Heritage Council as restoration zones located in older neighborhoods.
SB 102 (Seum) (To House State Govt.)(-)
Bill would direct the Jefferson County Air Pollution District to develop a plan for meeting air quality goals without a vehicle emissions testing program. The bill is an unwarranted intrusion into the ability of the District and the community to determine for itself the most efficient and effective means of attaining and maintaining air quality improvements. It would require elimination of the VET program and would prevent the Air Pollution Control District from reinstating the program when Jefferson County is redesignated as non-attainment under the new ozone standard, with the effect of requiring more cuts in emissions from other sources, and jeopardizing federal transportation money.
SB 103 (Roeding) (S. State and Local Govt) (-) Bill would propose a constitutional amendment allowing the General Assembly to impose limits on recovery in lawsuits of punitive and exemplary damages. So-called tort reform measure such as this that would limit recovery for punitive damages would deprive injured parties and juries of the ability to affect illegal corporate behavior, and should be vigorously opposed.
SB 114 (Denton and McGaha) (S. State and Local Govt) (+)
SB 116 (Harris) (To Governor) Would amend existing law to clarify that Public Service Commission members serve on a full time basis.
SB 120 (Borders) (S. State Govt)(-) Proposed amendment to state Constitution to repeal 12 sections of the state Constitution relating to control over corporations and allowing instead the General Assembly to regulate corporations by general law.
SB 136 (Roeding)(to House State Govt)(-) Bill amends Open Records Act to provide new exclusions from disclosure to public of utility systems, airport security plans, radio and telecommunication emergency systems and public hospital terrorism response plans and government security systems.
SB 143 (Roeding)(To House Rules) Senate counterpart to House Bill 124, clarifying that a variance from zoning regulations under Chapter 100 includes length of structures as well as height, width and location of structures.
SB 144 (Sanders)(S. A&R) Executive Branch Budget
SB 154 (Miller and Blevins)(To House) Bill making several changes to Legislative Branch Ethics Code, including exempting transportation or lodging offered to legislators from being considered as "anything of value", prohibiting legislators from using public funds for mass mailings within 60 days of elections, and other changes.
SB 158 (R. Jones, Johnny Turner, Jackson & Mongiardo) (S. A&R) (+) Senate version of HB 556, establishing and defining the Pine Mountain Trail State Park, a 120 mile-long trail at the Kentucky-Virginia border.
SB 169 (Roeding and others)(To House Rules) Modifies frequency of testing of official vehicles from annual to the same frequency as other cars (biannual in northern Kentucky, annually in Jefferson County currently).
SB 175 (Seum and Denton)(Recommitted to S. A&R)
Extends designation of identified "enterprise zones" to July 1, 2004. Floor amendments seek to further extend designation to 2005 or 2006, and to designate Muhlenberg County as an enterprise zone until 2008.
SB 176 (Guthrie and others) (To House Rules)
Amends law to allow a city-owned utility to sell power not only to a utility regulated by the Public Service Commission but also to another city-owned utility.
SB 179 (Harris)(H. Rules) Amends existing definition of "agricultural land" for purposes of lower property tax valuation, allowing lands used for aquaculture to be assessed at lower rates provided the property is a minimum of 5 acres.
SB 193 (Sanders) (To House)
Bill amends various provisions of law addressing petroleum underground storage tank fund. The Senate Committee Substitute addressed a number of KRC's concerns; a Senate Floor Amendment extended the eligibility for the fund until July 2004.
SB 194 (Turner and others) (House Nat. Res.) (-)
Allows one-year extension to drilling permits for oil and gas. Current law sunsets drilling permits one year after issuance unless drilling is commenced within that year. The House version of this bill has been amended to protect surface landowners against retroactive application of this change. The Senate version should be amended in like fashion.
SB 197 (Leeper) (H. Rules) Amends planning and zoning laws addressing manufactured housing.
SB 199 (Neal) (S. Licensing and Occupations)(+) Counterpart of HB 572.
SB 200 (D. Williams) (S. State and Local Govt) (-)
This bill is intended to trump the Patton v. Sherman decision by summarily voiding any administrative regulations that were identified as deficient by any legislative committee since 1988, and by prohibiting the publication of any administrative regulation that is identical or substantially similar to any such regulation.
A review of the regulations deemed "deficient" by the regulation review subcommittee and other legislative review committees over the past 13 years will reflect numerous environmental regulations that were fully consistent with state law but were struck down as deficient because a handful of legislators determined them to be so. The court decision striking that legislative power to delegate to a committee the power to directly or indirectly void regulations, restored the proper balance of power between the branches of government. This bill, by failing to individually review and ratify the decisions made by those committees in voiding agency regulations, and by instead summarily adopting and giving effect to those past committee actions over a 13 year period, does a great disservice to the public.
SB 209 (Harris) (S AgNR)
SB 237 (Leeper) (A&R)(+ with amendment needed)
SB 245 (Tori) (S. Ag. NR) Bill modifies laws governing utility rate changes, requiring 60 rather than 30 days notice before rate changes. Bill requires PSC to show "good cause" for suspending rate changes, which current law does not require.
SB 257 (Harris)(S. Ag. NR) (+/-)
The Senate counterpart to HB 540 contains improvements over HB 540, but needs revisions in eight areas to become a comprehensive bill:
1. Remove the special exemption for the Kentucky Pioneer Energy coal and garbage-burning power plant in Section 1(6)
2. Eliminate the language that allows a merchant plant to expand without siting review,
3. Apply siting and cumulative impact review to regulated utility units as well as merchant units, but allow those reviews to occur in the context of the existing PSC review process for regulated units.
4. Tighten the definition of "commence to construct" to require that all facilities that have not begun continuous physical construction under contract be included in the bill.
5. Revise time for review and criteria for approval of "transcos," independent non-regulated transmission lines to reflect the likelihood of greater controversy and multi-county impacts, by providing a 180/210-day review period and allowing the Board to demand changes in design and configuration of transmission lines in addition to routes.
6. Replace the terms "good cause" for waiving setbacks, and "good" environmental compliance history, with more precise definitions. Also, the siting board criteria for reviewing environmental compliance history needs to be reinstated (it is there for transfers but not original approvals).
7. Minimize gas-peaker NOx impacts by expressing their annual allowable emissions through monthly caps for minor sources of NOx, and require that any facility seeking to emit more than the monthly cap install Best Available Control Technology for NOx and do dispersion modeling to assure that the facility emissions will not interfere with attainment of healthy air quality in any downwind community. This seeks to prevent gas peaking plants from accepting "minor source" limits of 95 tons per year, and then emitting all 95 tons in the peak summer months when ozone is a concern, and to impose BACT controls on those facilities.
8. Clarify that zoning and planning applies to merchant plants.
One Committee Amendment and eight floor amendments have been filed to the Senate Committee Substitute, addressing some of these concerns. A separate flyer will be sent shortly on that bill, which will move to the House after Senate passage today.
SB 281 (Blevins) (-)
SB 287 (Mongiardo)(-)
This bill attempts to allow the Kentucky Pioneer Energy plant proposed for Trapp Kentucky to avoid review and local government approval as a solid waste disposal facility. The bill seeks to mandate exemption of this plant and its handling of wastes from local review and control. The plant proposes to "gasify" mixed solid waste and to combust the gases to produce electricity. Because the facility does not propose to remove recyclable materials, including paper and plastics, from the mixed wastes, current regulations do not allow it to be considered a "waste to energy" facility.
Under this bill, any incineration or gasification technology combusting solid wastes, including waste tires, for electricity would be considered a "waste to energy" facility and the facility siting and management of the wastes would be exempted from any waste management laws, including being exempted from local solid waste planning laws, which now require that the importation of wastes into a solid waste planning area for disposal be consistent with the local waste plan and receive local government review and approval.
SCR 17 (Brett Guthrie) (To Senate With House Amendments)(+)
Creates Kentucky Watershed Task Force to study the need for watershed management of Kentucky s waters. Report due November 30, 2002. The task force is a response to recent water conflicts with communities in adjoining states, which sparked an interest in a more systematic review of state policy. The study could be a vehicle for raising the legislative and public awareness of the importance of addressing water supply issues on a basinwide basis to complement watershed-based water quality efforts that are ongoing in the state. Amendments to the bill have added new members, including KRC and the Division of Water as participants.
HB 9 (Haydon) (H. Elections, Const. Affairs) (+)
HB 12 (Lee) (To Senate Rules)
Allows any vehicle hauling building materials to a home to exceed weight and dimension limits of the road.
HB 15 (Cherry) (Recommitted to H. A&R) (-)
Amends economic development statutes to redefine manufacturing to include limestone mining and processing. Currently all mining and mineral processing is exempted from manufacturing.
HB 28 (L.Clark) (HNREnv) (+ but amendments needed)
HB 40 (Tapp) (To Senate AgNR)(+)
Bill attempts to encourage use of biodiesel fuel (fuel made from renewable fats and vegetable oils). Has been modified from earlier version mandating biodiesel content for all diesel fuel sold in the state, to now require that diesel that is reformulated after January 1 2006 to achieve sulfur reductions shall use at least 2% biodiesel blend. Using biodiesel fuels may marginally increasing fuel costs at the pump, but lowers overall environmental costs by reducing air toxics and criteria air pollutants from diesel engines while creating new markets for Kentucky agricultural products.
HB 43 (Tapp) (Became Law)
HB 46 (P. Clark, Marcotte) (H. Transp)
HB 48 (Riggs) (To Senate Judiciary)
Would amend existing law to eliminate County Debt Commission and would modify appeal procedures for county bonds under KRS Chapter 300.
Working with the Department for Local Government, KRC obtained revisions to the proposed bill that assure a fair hearing before bond issues affecting county finances are approved, and which remove archaic language that posed an impediment to appeals of bond issuance decisions.
HB 61 (Denham) (H. A&R)(posted)
Would exempt straw, wood shavings, and sawdust used in agricultural pursuits from sales and use taxes.
HB 63 (Damron and Belcher) (H. Transp.)(+)
HB 64 (Damron) (H. Elections & Const.)
HB 75 (L. Belcher) (Senate)(-)
Exempts sewage services provided by a fiscal court from regulation by the Public Service Commission as a utility.
HB 88 (Burch) (To Senate Rules)
Provides additional specific authority to the Division of Emergency Management in conjunction with Department of Public Heath to assess statewide risks and preparedness to address biological and chemical agent terrorism; requires report to legislative committees.
HB 108 (Lee) (Recommitted to S. A&R)
Amends KRS Chapter 211 to outline the core mission of the Department for Public Health and to provide enabling authority.
HB 118 (Marcotte) (H. NREnv) (+, with revisions)
HB 121 (Tom McKee) (H. A&R)
HB 124 (Draud) (Senate State & Local Govt)
Clarifies that a variance from zoning regulations under Chapter 100 includes length of structures as well as height, width and location of structures.
HB 125 (Stein and Marzian) (H. Judiciary)(+)
HB 137 (Gooch) (-)(H. Elections & Const.)
Proposes an amendment to the Kentucky constitution to exempt unmined minerals, including oil, gas and coal, from property taxation.
HB 151 (Brandon Smith) (H. A&R)
HB 166 (Comer) (To Senate Floor)
Requires Cabinet for Economic Development to prioritize efforts towards counties with 15% or higher unemployment.
HB 174 (Stumbo) (To Senate Ag NR)(+)
Imposes an environmental impact fee of ? of 1 cent on disposable cups and fast food packaging, and a $1 per ton tipping fee on municipal solid waste disposed at landfills, to fund the Kentucky Pride Fund."
The House Committee Substitute restructured the amounts and recipients of the monies generated by these fees, to reflect the Patton Administration's concerns. Under the modified bill, $9 million will go to the Cabinet to close former solid waste landfills; $9 million will be distributed per capita to counties that are free of open dumps, or which have and enforce mandatory collection, or which have effective universal collection programs. $10.5 million goes for anti-litter programs, with 1/3 to counties based on lane-miles for litter collection; 1/3 based on rural population and 1/3 on total population. Additionally, 1.5 million is allocated to the environmental education master plan. Surplus monies will go in part to Kentucky Parks and Fish & Wildlife Resources.
Additionally, authority to collect delinquent waste fees with property taxes is provided. The bill is supported by city and county organizations, KDFWR and the Tourism Cabinet, and Governor Patton.
HB 176 (Meeks)(H. State Govt.) (+)
HB 185 (Cherry) (H. A&R)
HB 186 (Cherry) (H. Transp)
HB 192 (G. Graham) (To Senate State & Local Govt)(+)
For any state-sponsored capital projects of over 6$ million dollars, this bill would require public notice and a public hearing on the scope and potential location of the project, written consideration of all comments received, and a report to the legislative oversight committee concerning the hearing, comments and responses.
HB 214 (Riggs) (H. State Govt) (Senate Version Became Law)
HB 225 (Wayne) (H. State Govt) (+)
HB 227(Wayne) (H. State Govt) (+)
HB 243 (Gooch and others) (To Senate) (-)
Amends current law assessing unmined minerals as a distinct interest in property for property tax purposes, by eliminating the assessment if the land is classified as agricultural or horticultural and the minerals and surface are owned by the same taxpayer. Appears broad enough to allow a mineral holding or mining company to avoid mineral taxation on lands held for future mineral production for all years up to the date of mining or mineral production provided that the lands are used for agricultural, timber or horticultural purposes in the meantime.
HB 244 (Wilkey) (Will Become Law)
Removes the sunset clause on the state hazardous waste assessment fund. A House floor amendment extends the life of the fund for 2 years unless reauthorized. A Senate committee amendment exempts steel industry wastes from assessment.
HB 248 (Branham and K. Hall) (H. Tourism, Eco. Dev. & Energy)
HB 250 (Geveden and Crenshaw) (Recommitted to S. A&R)
Confirms Executive Order 2001-1215 establishing Office of Financial Management in Natural Resources Cabinet.
HB 256 (John Adams and others) (H. Judiciary)
HB 257 (Riner and Richards) (H. Trans)
HB 275 (Gooch) (H A&R) (-)
HB 294 (Geveden and others) (House Floor)
Would exempt from sales and use tax the gross receipts from the sale of uranium purchased for storage, use or consumption outside of the state.
Any taxation exemption reflects a decision to create an incentive for the sale of a product by lowering the sale price. In a state where the general fund is supported by income and sales taxes, it is a legitimate question as to whether such an exemption is needed or will affect the market for and marketability of the product, and whether the corresponding benefit to the public offsets the exemption. As with any of the numerous bills introduced this session seeking sales tax exemptions for one or another industry or commercial venture, it is appropriate to demand rigorous scrutiny of the public costs and benefits, including environmental costs and benefits, associated with the proposed exemption.
HB 311(Upchurch and others) (H. State Govt)
HB 314 (Hoffman and others) (Passed Both Houses, in House for Concurrence)
Establishes a process for cities and counties to negotiate a tax base coordination agreement to resolve conflicts concerning allocation of revenues from occupational license and insurance premium taxes.
HB 317 (Kerr) (H. Local Govt) (posted)(-)
HB 319 (A. Arnold and others) (To Senate Ag NR)
Gives a cost preference for state purchase Kentucky-grown fresh produce, fresh seafood, eggs, fish and meat products if available.
HB 323 (Stumbo) (H. Elections, Const Amend) (+)
Would amend Kentucky Constitution to provide for a referendum on whether to require a statewide container deposit program.
HB 345 (Nunn) (H. Local Govt)
Broadens those agencies that can enter into interlocal agreements; enables the management of interlocal agreements by joint boards, and authorizes the issuance of bonds and incurring of obligations by such joint boards.
HB 352 (Crenshaw) (H. State Govt) (+)
HB 354 (Wayne and 25 others) (H. A&R) (+) State EITC Bill
HB 355 (Wayne) (H. Elections & Const. Amends) (+)
HB 357 (J.Adams) (to Senate A&R)
Bill concerns ethics codes for jointly created agencies of city or county government. Bill authorizes cities and counties to enter into memoranda of agreement or interlocal agreements for joint adoption of ethics codes.
Unclear from text whether intention is that ethics codes will apply to all jointly created agencies (line 5, p.1) or whether it is intended that the extension of ethics codes to joint agencies is discretionary (lines 9-10, p.1.) Clarification will be sought from the sponsor. The Council favors mandatory extension of the requirement for adoption of ethics codes to all joint agencies of city and county governments.
Another concern is the proposed exemption of nonpaid members of joint agencies from disclosure of financial details. (p.2 lines 18-19). Sufficient disclosure of financial interests is necessary in all appointed members of local government agencies to assure that conflicts of interest are disclosed and appearances of impropriety avoided.
HB 367 (Gooch and others) (Senate AG. NR)
Bill originally proposed to exempt any documents relating to an agricultural operation submitted to a local conservation district office or Division of Water, unless the agricultural operator is deemed a bad actor under the Agricultural Water Quality Act. As initially proposed this bill would have created a wholesale exemption from disclosure for information relating to the compliance of an agricultural operation with air, water and waste laws, interfering with the public s right-to-know regarding compliance with the Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality law and plans. After opposition testimony by KRC, the bill was amended to narrow the scope, assuring that any agency-generated documents relating to compliance would not be confidential. As amended it is clear that the bill only applies to documents submitted by the agricultural operation, and does not apply to applications for cost-share financial assistance. KRC still believes the bill to be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest but is not actively opposing the bill after the amendments.
HB 392 (Fischer and S. Lee) (H. Judiciary) (-)
HB 400 (Wilkey and Thomas) (To Senate Floor)
Original bill exempted annual sales of less than 500 gallons of honey from permitting by the state and from the requirement of processing the honey in a certified honey house. Amended in committee to reduce amount to 150 gallons.
HB 405 (Johnnie Turner and others) (To Senate) (needs amendment)
Bill creates a new exemption from surface coal mining laws allowing individuals, nonprofit corporations and partnerships to extract up to 5,000 tons of coal without obtaining a mining permit or mining license if the coal is donated to a charitable organization or sold with all proceeds donated. It is intended to address situations where coal is encountered as part of a legitimate construction project.
In response to concerns voiced by KRC and the state, the sponsor tightened up language in the bill to lessen the possibility of abuse of the law by wildcat miners, and the bill is improved over the introduced version. It is highly doubtful that the bill will be approved by the federal Office of Surface Mining, since federal law requires a permit for coal removal, regardless of the intent, over 250 tons.
The Council has suggested that the state receive prior notice and be able to review the site prior to any coal removal, and to impose best management practices, and the sponsor is considering these proposals. The sponsor has also agreed to insert a clause that prevents this bill from taking effect unless and until approved by OSM or July 2004.
HB 408 (Gooch) (H. Rules with committee sub) (-)
Committee substitute seeks to increase the market share of Kentucky coal by amending Public Service Commission regulations and laws governing rate setting and costs. Bill will likely increase costs to ratepayers.
HB 417 (Damron, and others) (To Senate Rules)
Amends existing law governing permitting of mobile home and manufactured communities (parks).
HB 418 (Crenshaw) (Senate Ag. NR))
Allows Public Service Commission to maintain records of contested proceedings in videotape or other format other than stenographic transcript. Any party to a proceeding may request that the hearing be transcribed at that party s expense.
HB 420 (Belcher and Butler) (H. Ag and Sm. Bus) (posted)
Removes caps on Department of Agriculture expenditures from pesticide registration program for education and farm chemical disposal programs. The current allocation of fees caps expenditures on these programs at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively, with 550,000 going to cost-share conservation measures and the remaining funds going to pesticide program enforcement.
It is of concern that the caps are removed on expenditures for the education and container disposal programs with no indication of how much more of the pesticide fee money will be used in either program and the effect that the increase in those programs might have on decreasing the availability of money for the cost-share program or pesticide program enforcement.
HB 422 (Pasley and others) (Passed Both Houses)
Reauthorizes the waste tire fund until July 31, 2006, and authorizes a waste tire amnesty program.
HB 425 (Crenshaw)(H. Tourism, Energy)(+)
HB 437 (Simpson) Would have placed northern Kentucky s Sanitation District (sewage agency) under PSC jurisdiction. Was defeated in committee.
HB 441 (Gooch)(HnrEnv)(Posted)(-)
HB 460 (Bratcher)(H. Judiciary) (+ in concept but needs substantial work)(posted)
HB 465 (Wayne) This "Smart Growth" bill was defeated in a committee vote 8-6.
HB 496 (Gooch) (Recommitted to H. A&R)(--)
The bill mandates that the state Natural Resources Cabinet, on finding a violation of air, water or water laws, issue a preliminary written notice to violators of state air, waste and water laws and give time in which to correct the violation before issuance of a notice of violation. It is expected to remain in committee.
HB 507 (Moberly)(Senate)
Executive Branch Budget
HB 517 (McKee and Gray)(Senate A&R)
This bill exempts from sales taxes expenditures in furtherance of deer farming.
HB 518 (Bratcher)(H. Elections)
Proposed constitutional amendment to create the right of initiative and referendum.
HB 521 (Damron) (Senate State/Local Govt)(+)
Bill requires owners of any burial ground, defined as a place in which person(s) are interred, to protect the burial ground from desecration or damage.
HB 527 (Comer and Turner)(H. A&R) Withdrawn
HB 536 (Rader & Colter)(H. NREnv)
HB 540 (Draud) (+/- needs substantial amendment)(Senate Ag NR)
This bill has been modified to include the Patton Administration's proposal for power plant siting review. The most current analysis of the bill is contained in the Council's website at www.kyrc.org. The bill needs substantial revision in order to become a siting bill deserving of public support.
HB 542 (Yonts)(To Senate)
Tax credits offered against income tax for investment in equipment or training related to value-added hardwood products industry.
HB 543 (R. Adams) (H. Local Govt. posted)(+)
HB 549 (Denham and Wilkey) (Law)
HB 556 (Hall, Branham, R. Nelson and Johnnie Turner) (Senate)(+/-)
Establishes and defines the Pine Mountain Trail State Park, a 120 mile-long trail at the Kentucky-Virginia border. Bill calls for 1,000-foot corridor, and proposes to regulate activities within that corridor to prevent motorized traffic, minimize vegetative changes, and impose other restrictions on land uses subject to a change of use permitting process.
An amendment that seeks to mollify the coal industry, creates an illegal exemption from mining laws and creates a bad precedent.
HB 572 (Meeks and others)(To Senate State Local Govt)(+)
Bill creates an historic cemetery preservation program for providing financial and technical assistance in restoring, maintaining and preserving non-profit historic cemeteries (those with burials over 100 years ago). Creates a board to oversee grants and assistance; also clarifies and defines rights of ingress and egress of descendants and family members to cemeteries and graves located on private lands in the state.
HB 575 (Brinkman) (H. NREnv, posted)(-)
HB 577 (Barrows) (H. A&R) (posted) (+)
HB 598 (Riggs and others) (Senate) (+)
Amends existing cellular tower approval procedures to eliminate Public Service Commission authority to override decisions of local planning agencies regarding cell tower siting, and to clarify that where there is no zoning and planning, the Public Service Commission will continue to review and approve and to consider in that decision the compatibility of the proposed siting with the community values and land uses.
HB 600 (Barrows) (H. A&R)(+ with amendments needed)
Governor's Smart Growth Initiatives. Includes directive to state agencies to assist efforts to rehab and reuse existing infrastructure and sites; creates a state planning committee to advise the Governor, to review state agency siting or permitting of infrastructure projects, to review all state capital projects; to encourage planning and coning, provide assistance to local governments regarding planning.
Bill requires planning committee review of all capital projects with an appropriated budget of over 2$ million, and makes those projects subject to local land use planning but allows state planning committee to override that decision
and precludes further review of the committee decision. Bill also creates a review process for state planning committee review of the proposed conversion of 50 acres or more of farmland "of statewide agricultural importance" to nonfarm use, for all proposed state projects. Bill also creates tax credits and incentives for neighborhood and historic home redevelopment.
Analysis: The bill is well intended but has language problems that need clarification. For example, it is unclear whether the phrase "capital project" in Section 5 is intended to subject state public projects to local planning review and approval, which would be a new power given to local planning agencies, or whether it is intended to apply as well to private capital projects, in which case the bill would be eroding local government authority. Also, the standard for overriding local land use decisions (an overriding state interest) is too vague, and the language precluding further review is inconsistent with the state constitution Article 2, which subjects any agency decision is subject to judicial review.
The farmland conversion provisions need strengthening. The Governor, by an executive order hastily executed and of dubious legality, eliminated the existing farmland conversion review statutes, and this section of HB 600 proposes to replace that agricultural land conversion review process. The threshold for which projects are subject to review should be lowered to include all capital projects funded with state monies in whole or in part; the threshold acreage for review of conversion of agricultural land should be lowered from 50 acres to 10, since that is the threshold for recognition of a viable agricultural use under Kentucky tax laws, and the standard for approving conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural use of "balancing interests" is insufficient.
It is said that the last crop planted on agricultural land is asphalt, and the one commodity not being manufactured is more land. The conversion of any viable agricultural tracts, not merely those of "statewide importance" should be reviewed, and an alternatives assessment should be included with a presumption against conversion unless viable alternatives that meet the essential project purpose do not exist.
HB 602 (Wilkey and Denham)(Senate Eco Dev)
Bill amends a number of economic development statutes including those relating to tax increment financing and tax incentives/inducements.
HB 606 (Callahan and others)(H. A&R)
HB 612 (Adkins, Hall) (H. A&R) (posting waived)
HB 618 (P. Clark and others) (Senate)(-)
Bill that originally demanded end to VET program was amended to reflect changes agreed to by the Jefferson County Air Pollution Control District, but then amended again by Perry Clark on the House Floor to end the VET program in 2003. Both this bill and S 102 seek to deprive Jefferson County of one of the tools it has used to improve air quality and to achieve attainment of ozone and carbon monoxide standards. The state mandate will cause needed reductions to come from industry and other sources at greater expense to the community.
"Local control" is a concept too often honored in the breach in Frankfort. Jefferson County, as the only county in the state to have implemented a local Air Pollution Control District, should be allowed to determine how necessary reductions in air pollutants should be allocated between smokestack and mobile sources.
HB 619 (Horlander and others) (H. State Govt) (+)
HB 635 (Yonts)(H. A&R)(-)
HB 640 (Branham)(H. State Govt)
HB 643 (Geveden) (Senate Ag NR)(+)
Confirms executive orders establishing the Kentucky State Energy Policy Advisory Board. At the Council's request, Chairman Geveden amended the bill to include a second "consumer" representative, allowing low-income consumer advocates the opportunity to request appointment of an individual to represent the distinct interests of low and fixed-income energy consumers.
HB 646 (B. Smith and others) (H. A&R)
HB 654 (Denham and others) (Senate Floor)
Bill creates an "Office of Agritourism" to promote "agritourism," which is the act of visiting working farms for purpose of "enjoyment, education, and active involvement in the activities of the farm." Bill calls for development of a master plan to promote agritourism, and regional agritourism development plans. Perhaps the Sierra Club could secure official state status for their now famous "tour de stench" tour of industrial agricultural chicken and hog operations in western Kentucky.
HB 676 (Meeks) (Recommitted to H. Judiciary)
HB 683 (Treesh)(House A&R)
HB 689 (Dwight Butler) (H. Judiciary)(+)
HB 694 (Stewart)(H.Local Govt)
HB 705 (Collins, Adkins, Hall) (To Senate Ag NR)
Bill allows oil and gas permittees an additional year extension on permits in which to commence drilling before expiration of permit. Brent Yonts sponsored a successful floor amendment to protect surface owners in severed estate situations, by limiting the effect of the bill on existing permits in those cases. Representative Yonts advocacy in support on this amendment, and that of Representatives Brinkman and Cornett in committee, are appreciated.
HB 708 (Thomas & Bruce)(To Senate)(+)
House Committee Substitute to Bill mandates phasing out of MTBE as a gasoline additive by January 1, 2006, and encourages use of ethanol as of 2004.
As amended the bill tracks the provisions recommended by a consensus of petroleum industry associations and state officials seeking to replace MTBE and other ether-based reformulated gas additives with biomass additives (ethanol and biodiesel).
HB 714 (Bowling)(-)(To Senate)
Exempts from water fees imposed by the Kentucky River Authority, communities drawing water from privately owned lakes or reservoirs that don't rely on main stem of the Kentucky River for recharge.
HB 728 (Richards and others) (-)(To Senate State Local Govt)
Counterpart to SB 200, this bill sunsets every regulation held deficient since 1988.
HB 733 (Heleringer and Stein)(H. Elections)
This proposed constitutional amendment would allow the legislature to establish oversight committees to review any state contracts, bond proposal and other agreements, including the right to take action during the interim.
HB 738 (Gooch) (+)(H NREnv) (posted)
Bill eliminates the current exemption from water withdrawal permitting for electric utilities.
HB 741 (Gooch and J. Arnold) (-)
Bill allows use of mine-generated "shot rock" from coal mine blasting to be used for roads where approved by the county engineer. Problems with this include language overriding coal mining laws, which demand that all material generated by the mining, including shot rock, be returned to the mine area, and that any excess be disposed of in a controlled manner in a disposal fill. Any off-site disposal would have to be of excess rock only, and would have to be regulated to assure that it was being used and not dumped, and was not acid-or toxic-forming.
HB 745 (Collins) (House Rules)
Oil and gas bill alters manner in which pooling orders address the interests of owners not participating in the pooling and appears to make non-electing owners or absent owners involuntary operators.
HB 771 (J. Arnold)(+) (-) (House State Govt.,posted)
Administrative regulation bill, setting forth changes in response to the court decision striking down the current regulation review process in part. Bill also increases legislative control over setting of and increasing of fees, including all environmental permit fees.
On the positive side, the bill clarifies that the public comment period on regulations is a full 30 days, not merely until close of the public hearing which is often held before the thirtieth day. Bill provides a mechanism for public to request to be notified by an agency when administrative regulations are proposed.
On the negative side, the bill lumps together into a single bill all regulations deemed deficient by an interim committee, and then provides that if the determination of deficiency is ratified by passing the bill, the regulation sunsets and cannot be repromulgated for a year. In order to assure proper consideration of each regulation by the General Assembly, deficient regulations should be individually presented to the full General Assembly, or grouped into bills by subject area, in order to assure more substantive scrutiny by the legislature as a whole of the alleged deficiencies.
HB 780 (Adkins) (House A&R)
HB 783 (Reinhardt)(House Local Govt., posted)
HB 790 (Gooch) (House Tourism, Dev. & Energy)(-)
Mandates that the Public Service Commission, in considering an application to construct a coal-fired plant by a regulated utility using clean-coal technology, give favorable treatment to the coal-fired plant and permit recovery of up to 3 percentage points more on return on shareholder equity; and consider in reviewing regulated unit gas-fired construction whether the gas-fired unit will adversely affect the retail price of natural gas for end-users in the Commonwealth and whether the unit "is part of a trend towards" greater use of natural gas as a fuel for electricity.
The bill is the latest in a hodgepodge of bills aimed at increasing the fortunes of coal-fired electricity generation; in this case, by imposing on the utility review process several vague mandates and by attempting to dissuade regulated units from using gas-fired generation.
Gas-fired units are typically used as "peaking" units, since they are capable of intermittent seasonal operation and quickly respond to peak demand by producing power. Coal-fired plants are typically "baseload" plants operating on a continual basis, and are ill suited to the task of meeting demand peaks. While the electricity demand in Kentucky has and will continue, for the foreseeable future, to be derived from coal-fired plants, use of peaking plants combusting natural gas is a more efficient way to address short-lived seasonal peaks.
KRC believes that before the General Assembly passes any further incentives for coal-fired electricity generating plants, a comprehensive economic assessment of the benefits and the costs associated with the new coal-fired merchant units should be undertaken. Pending before the 2002 General Assembly are numerous bills to extend enterprise zone breaks, exempt coal-fired utility equipment from sales tax, and to provide other subsidies (including greater access to NOx credits) on top of existing subsidies.
HB 791 (Geveden) (House State Govt., posted)(-)
This bill confirms an unlawful Executive Order that eliminated the Interagency Farmland Advisory Committee, thus eliminating the state panel review of certain proposals for conversion of farmland to other uses. The Governor has proposed to replace this panel with another process in his HB 600 Smart Growth Initiative (see above) but the Executive Order did not comply with state law and is illegal, and there is no guarantee that HB 600 will pass.
This bill should not be heard unless and until the former Farmland Committee is replaced by a new committee of equal or greater capability of controlling farmland conversion.
HB 792 (Gooch) (Senate)
Bill revises mine safety laws.
HB 793 (Gooch) (H. NREnv)
Mine safety bill defines serious and reportable accidents and limits alteration of accident sites pending completion of investigations.
HB 797 (Barrows)(+) (H. A&R)
HB 798 (Phillip Childers, Brandon Smith, Howard Cornett, Keith Hall)(To Senate)
Bill as originally written had numerous problems; was replaced with a resolution urging the US Army Corps of Engineers and US Fish & Wildlife Service to consider allowing sewer projects as one of the types of compensatory mitigation for impacts on waters of the Commonwealth when issuing Clean Water Act permits to surface coal mining operations.
HB 809 (Childers and J. Turner)(To Senate)
Bill attempts to correct deficiencies in law allowing a limited easement of necessity allowing mining permittee access to land where off-site damage has occurred and the state has mandated that the violation be corrected. Law creates an expeditious process for compensation of surface landowner for damages from the violation and from correction of the violation.
HB 823 (Gooch) (H. NREnv)
Amends law addressing inspections of mine conveyor belts.
HB 841 (Pullin) (H. Rules)(+ with language amendment needed)
Bill requires all government agencies to establish a policy or program for reducing and waiving civil penalties for violations of laws and regulations by businesses employing less than 100 people. The bill contains exclusions from this policy requirement, and would not affect the agency's ability to require correction of a violation, to limit the waiver or reduction policy to self-discovered and voluntarily reported violations, to impose criminal penalties, to impose penalties for repeated violations, to impose sanctions for serious violations, and to require, as a prerequisite for any waiver or reduction, good faith efforts to comply with law.
This bill, which is directed at small businesses, provides standards for reduction or waiver of civil penalties and allows the agencies considerable discretion in setting such policies. It stands in stark contrast to House Bill 496, which House leadership send to rest in House A&R, and which cut a broad swath through agency enforcement authority that would have been available to intentional, willful multinational corporate polluters under the guise of assisting small businesses.
The language amendment needed would clarify the language of Section 1(2)(b) to assure that small business compliance programs operated by state Universities would be included, and that to be eligible the violations must be discovered and reported voluntarily.
HB 854 (Branham) (H. Rules)
Bill addresses sewage collection and treatment, requiring that if a public sewer system is available the property owner must connect within 1 year and allowing a limited waiver if an on-site functioning system is demonstrated to be in operation. Bill also controls discharges of stormwater into sewers, and requires property owners without access to public sewers to have an approved on-site system.
HB 860 (Webb)
HB 864 (Moberly and Barrows)(+)
HB 868 (Coleman)(+)
HB 871 (Webb) (H. Elections)
Proposes a constitutional amendment assuring that people have the right to hunt, fish and harvest game, subject to such regulations and restrictions as the General Assembly may prescribe.
HR 11 (Haydon and R. Nelson)(H.Floor)
Resolution making May 1 a day to honor Kentucky coal miners.
HCR 13 (R. Nelson) (+) (To Senate Floor)
Resolution to study cumulative effect of state and federal tax policies on Kentucky s forest productivity.
HCR 18 (Meeks) (H. State Govt) (posted)(+)
Resolution creating Task Force on Native American Indian Tribes in the Commonwealth, to study implications of state recognition of tribes.
HJR 20 (Richards) (S. A&R)
Joint resolution reauthorizing the aquaculture task force.
HJR 24 (Moberly)(S. AgNR)(+)
Creates a subcommittee on ethanol production within the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources to study ethanol production as a fuel. A floor amendment seeks to add biodiesel.
HR 28 (Riner)(H. State Govt)
HR 31 (Webb and others)(To Senate AgNR)
Resolution urging coal mining industry to implement aggressive recruiting strategies to employ Kentucky miners before recruiting overseas workers.
HR 32 (Riner and Richards)(H. Seniors Committee)
HCR 113(B. Smith)(H Ag SMB)
Directs Interim Ag. and Natural Resources Committee to study the risks and benefits of using biodiesel fuel.
HJR 139 (Bather & Burch)(H NREnv)
Directs suspension of new or modified permits in west Louisville, requires report on assessment of risks from Cabinet.
HCR 161 (Pasley and Comer) (H. Rules)(+-)
Establishes an off-road motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle task force to study issues surrounding use of public and private lands by these vehicles, including state policies and effect of this issue on highway safety and Kentucky tourism. Composition of the panel needs more balance from landowners who are often adversely affected by irresponsible ATV /ORV use, and from recreational users of public lands whose interests need to be considered in order to minimize conflicts in public land use.
HCR 199 (Palumbo and others)(+) (H. Rules)
Resolution directs the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Tourism to study the effectiveness of the Kentucky Enterprise Zone Program.
HJR 210 (Thomas)(H. Rules)
Resolution to facilitate series of statewide meetings to determine feasibility of reservoir ranching of paddlefish in Kentucky's public waters.
DO YOU WANT OFF THE LIST? HERE S HOW
This list profiles the significant environmental, conservation or consumer bills that are being tracked by the Council during the 2002 session, as well as some general government bills of interest. This is the first of many updates. It will be updated at least weekly, and will be supplemented with more detailed analysis on key bills. Action alerts will be issued as warranted.
If you do not wish to receive this list, please send an e-mail message to fitzKRC@aol.com and you will be removed immediately from the distribution list. 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.
WANT TO READ THE BILLS OR CONTACT LEGISLATORS?
For a copy of any bill, or to check the status of the bill, 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 toll phone number to reach a legislator in person is 502-564-8100. The toll-free bill status line is 1-888-829-0021. The toll-free meeting 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 a committee.
THE BEST WAY TO REACH LEGISLATORS
Did you know that for a single fax to 502-564-6543, you can reach any legislators that you want to contact? You can send a letter, for example, to all Senators and Representatives by listing their individual names on a cover sheet and asking that each get a copy of your letter. The good folks at the LRC fax room will copy your fax and distribute it to all that you list (the recipients must be listed by name.) The LRC webpage has a list of all legislators and all committee members.(H. Calendar)