Watch this page for fast-breaking information on bills during the 2020 session. Below are a selection of key bills, and you can also check our full list of House and Senate bills for additional suggestions. Call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills (you can also email your legislator at first name.lastname@lrc.ky.gov).

Highlight of key bills as of 3/27):

Please read KCC’s detail summary on our House list for Budget Bill HB352 and Transportation budget bill HB353. Direct any comments to House and Senate Leadership and Chairs of the Appropriations & Revenue Committees (listed below). Due to the complexity of these bills, we are listing as “monitor” but explain components of each bill that we support or have concerns with.

Members of the Budget Committee includes the leadership of both chambers plus chairs of the House and Senate A&R committees:

Other bills on the move:

HB485 (Fugate) Support, Adds officers of the USFWS to the list of federal employees who are deemed to be peace officers; increases penalties for violating hunting and fishing related statutes; allows collection of penalty and imprisonment for operating watercraft and water skis under the influence.

SB103 (Castlen) Oppose: Reduces minimun acreage requirement to qualify as a “farmsteads” from ten acres to five acres for the purposes of on-site sewage disposal system requirements.

HB580 (Rep. Santoro) Strong Oppose: Transportation fees. We have concerns in this bill with excessive ($200) annual fees on non-hybrid electric vehicles. We also have concerns with fees that penalize efficient and cleaner cars more than less efficient cars. Establishes a “highway preservation fee” that will be collected from owners of all noncommercial motor vehicles annually, based on the combined city/highway fuel efficiency rating. 0–19 Miles Per Gallon, $5; 20–29 Miles Per Gallon, $15; 30–39 Miles Per Gallon, $25; 40 Miles Per Gallon or more, $40. All of these funds collected by the clerk will be sent to the road fund. (See details in The KCC Guardian). Also check out KCC’s Green Transportation page for additional resources.

  • ACT: Call the House Transportation Committee,  and House and Senate Leadership at 1-800-372-7181  and say you “oppose excessive fees for cleaner and efficient cars…we will pay a fair share, but this proposal is excessive and punitive.”

Previous Alerts from 3/23:

Budget Bills:

Please read KCC’s detail summary on our House list for Budget Bill HB352 and Transportation budget bill HB353. Direct any comments to House and Senate Leadership and Chairs of the Appropriations & Revenue Committees (listed below). Due to the complexity of these bills, we are listing as “monitor” but explain components of each bill that we support or have concerns with.

The House and Senate budgets will need to concur through budget committee discussions, which will begin on Monday, March 23 at 2PM. Senate members of the Budget Committee includes the leadership of both chambers plus chairs of the House and Senate A&R committees:

Other bills that moved before the break:

HB302 (Duplessis) Support. Replaces Kentucky Coordinate System of 1983 with the Kentucky State Plane Coordinate System to adopt a projected coordinate system framework that is technically sound, accurate, and consistent with federal policies. Will make property surveys more accurate.

HB446 (Gooch) Support. Change the limits on water district commissioners’ annual salary to limits on their total annual compensation and allows the PSC to grant reasonable extensions of time for water district commissioners to complete their training requirements for good cause shown.

HB485 (Fugate) Support, Adds officers of the USFWS to the list of federal employees who are deemed to be peace officers; increases penalties for violating hunting and fishing related statutes; allows collection of penalty and imprisonment for operating watercraft and water skis under the influence.

SB103 (Castlen) Oppose: Reduces minimun acreage requirement to qualify as a “farmsteads” from ten acres to five acres for the purposes of on-site sewage disposal system requirements.

HB580 (Rep. Santoro) Strong Oppose: Transportation fees. We have concerns in this bill with excessive ($200) annual fees on non-hybrid electric vehicles. We also have concerns with fees that penalize efficient and cleaner cars more than less efficient cars. Establishes a “highway preservation fee” that will be collected from owners of all noncommercial motor vehicles annually, based on the combined city/highway fuel efficiency rating. 0–19 Miles Per Gallon, $5; 20–29 Miles Per Gallon, $15; 30–39 Miles Per Gallon, $25; 40 Miles Per Gallon or more, $40. All of these funds collected by the clerk will be sent to the road fund. (See details in The KCC Guardian). Also check out KCC’s Green Transportation page for additional resources.

  • ACT: Call the House Transportation Committee,  and House and Senate Leadership at 1-800-372-7181  and say you “oppose excessive fees for cleaner and efficient cars…we will pay a fair share, but this proposal is excessive and punitive.”

Previous Alerts from 3/16:

  • HB580 (Rep. Santoro) Strong Oppose: Transportation fees. We have concerns in this bill with excessive ($200) annual fees on non-hybrid electric vehicles. We also have concerns with fees that penalize efficient and cleaner cars more than less efficient cars. Establishes a “highway preservation fee” that will be collected from owners of all noncommercial motor vehicles annually, based on the combined city/highway fuel efficiency rating. 0–19 Miles Per Gallon, $5; 20–29 Miles Per Gallon, $15; 30–39 Miles Per Gallon, $25; 40 Miles Per Gallon or more, $40. All of these funds collected by the clerk will be sent to the road fund. (See details in The KCC Guardian). Also check out KCC’s Green Transportation page for additional resources.
    • ACT: Call the House Transportation Committee,  and House and Senate Leadership at 1-800-372-7181  and say you “oppose excessive fees for cleaner and efficient cars…we will pay a fair share, but this proposal is excessive and punitive.”
  • HB574 (Rep. Lee) Oppose: Sets high requirements for historic preservation zoning. Will make it even more difficult to obtain preservation zoning.
    • ACT: Call the House Local Government Committee at 1-800-372-7181 to oppose this bill.
  • HB583 (Rep. Tackett Lafferty) Support: Removes two-year employment requirement to reopen a claim for black lung benefits.
    • Ask House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee to support.
  • HB594 (Rep. Graviss) Support: Attempts to correct adequate oversight to prevent water issues such as the crisis in Martin Co.
    • Ask House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and House leadership to support.
  • HB584 (Harris) and HB126 (Hatton) Strong Support: Includes “affordability” as a criterion for utility rates.
    • Ask House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and House leadership to support.
  • HB601 (Rep. Donohue) Support: Funding for park renovations through a 1% transient room surtax.
    • Contact House Appropriations & Revenue to support.
  • HB323 (Rep. Duplessis) Strong Support: Net metering phase-in bill continues to be stalled.  
    • Contact House Leadership and remind them that there was agreement in the 2019 session to address the “phase in” period for net metering, which is what HB323 does.
  • HB85 (Marzian) and SB68 (Harper Angel) Strong Support: Plastics Ban Bill. Addresses single-use carryout bags, styrofoam food and beverage containers, plastic straws, and other types of plastics pollution.
    • Contact House and Senate Leadership and House and Senate Natural Resources Committees to support.
  • HJR91 (Bojanowski) Strong Support: Directs the Energy and Environment Cabinet to study the economic impact of renewable energy portfolio standards and other renewable energy policies in all states and to provide recommendations on the applicability and feasibility of adopting new renewable energy policies that support economic growth in Kentucky.
    • Ask House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and House leadership to support.
  • HB334 (Cantrell) Strong Support: Establishes a right of the people to have clean air, pure water, and for the Commonwealth to be required to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment for the benefit of all Kentuckians.
    • Ask House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and House leadership to support.

You can call your legislators through the central message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also email them here.


Previous Alerts from 3/9

  • HB580 (Rep. Santoro) Strong Oppose: Transportation fees. We have concerns in this bill with excessive ($200) annual fees on non-hybrid electric vehicles. We also have concerns with fees that penalize efficient and cleaner cars more than less efficient cars. Establishes a “highway preservation fee” that will be collected from owners of all noncommercial motor vehicles annually, based on the combined city/highway fuel efficiency rating. 0–19 Miles Per Gallon, $5; 20–29 Miles Per Gallon, $15; 30–39 Miles Per Gallon, $25; 40 Miles Per Gallon or more, $40. All of these funds collected by the clerk will be sent to the road fund. (See details in The KCC Guardian). Also check out KCC’s Green Transportation page for additional resources.
    • ACT: Call the House Transportation Committee,  and House and Senate Leadership at 1-800-372-7181  and say you “oppose excessive fees for cleaner and efficient cars…we will pay a fair share, but this proposal is excessive and punitive.”
  • HB570 (Rep. Meredith) Oppose: Allows public agencies to participate in Interlocal agreements but we have concerns about transparency and accountability in this proposal.
    • ACT: Call the House Local Government Committee at 1-800-372-7181 to oppose this bill.
  • HB574 (Rep. Lee) Oppose: Sets high requirements for historic preservation zoning. Will make it even more difficult to obtain preservation zoning.
    • ACT: Call the House Local Government Committee at 1-800-372-7181 to oppose this bill.
  • HB583 (Rep. Tackett Lafferty) Support: Removes two-year employment requirement to reopen a claim for black lung benefits. Contact the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee to support.
  • HB594 (Rep. Graviss) Support: Attempts to correct adequate oversight to prevent water issues such as the crisis in Martin Co. Call the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee to support.
  • HB601 (Rep. Donohue) Support: Funding for park renovations through a 1% transient room surtax. Contact House Appropriations & Revenue Committee to support.
  • HB323 (Rep. Duplessis) Strong Support: Net metering phase-in bill continues to be stalled.  contact House Leadership and remind them that there was agreement in the 2019 session to address the “phase in” period for net metering, which is what HB323 does.

You can call your legislators through the central message line at 1-800-372-7181. You can also email them here.


Previous Alerts: Feb. 25, 26, 2020

Black Lung: We are asking for calls in support of HB239 (KCC Support) would reverse legislation passed in the 2018 session that limits the type of physician who can diagnose black lung. HB239 is currently stalled in the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment committee despite having 20 bipartisan cosponsors.

  • ACT: Call the members of the committee and House leadership and ask for them to support. See article here.

Energy Infrastructure: House Bill 44, a “Key Infrastructure” bill which includes natural gas and petroleum pipelines and other specific energy-related infrastructure, will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources & Energy committee on Wednesday, Feb. 26. KCC worked with allies at KRC and ACLU to improve the bill and we now support the House amended version.

Solar Net Metering:  HB323 (KCC Strong Support), which extends the period for solar net-metered installations is still stuck in the House Natural Resources Committee.

  • ACT: we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor HB323. We also ask for you to contact House Leadership and remind them that there was agreement in the 2019 session to address the “phase in” period for net metering, which is what HB323 does.

Natural Lands: We are asking for co-sponsors for House Resolution 95 (KCC Strong Support), and Senate Resolution 188 (KCC Strong Support) proclaiming March 3rd as Kentucky Natural Lands Appreciation Day. We also invite you to come to the Capitol Rotunda on March 3rd from 1-2 to show legislators your support for Kentucky’s natural lands. Register here.

Constitutional Amendment for Clean Air & Water: A few weeks ago, Rep. McKenzie Cantrell filed HB334 (KCC Strong Support) which proposes to create a new section of the Constitution of Kentucky establishing a right of the people to have clean air, pure water, and for the Commonwealth to be required to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment for the benefit of all Kentuckians.


Previous Alerts: Feb. 24, 2020

We are asking for calls in support of HB239 (KCC Support) would reverse legislation passed in the 2018 session that limits the type of physician who can diagnose black lung. HB239 is currently stalled in the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment committee despite having 20 bipartisan cosponsors.

  • ACT: Call the members of the committee and House leadership and ask for them to support. See article here.

Constitutional Amendment: A few weeks ago, Rep. McKenzie Cantrell filed HB334 (KCC Strong Support) which Propose to create a new section of the Constitution of Kentucky establishing a right of the people to have clean air, pure water, and for the Commonwealth to be required to preserve the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment for the benefit of all Kentuckians.

Solar Net Metering: We are still asking for support for HB323 which extends the period for solar net-metered installations.

  • ACT: we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor HB323. We also ask for you to contact House Leadership and remind them that there was agreement in the 2019 session to address the “phase in” period for net metering, which is what HB323 does.

Natural Lands: We are asking for co-sponsors for House Resolution 95 (KCC Strong Support), proclaiming March 3rd as Kentucky Natural Lands Appreciation Day. We also invite you to come to the Capitol Rotunda on March 3rd from 1-2 to show your legislators the support for Kentucky’s natural lands. Register here.

Previous Alerts: Feb. 18, 2020

We are urging strong support for companion bills HB85 (Marzian) and SB68 (Harper Angel) Plastics ban bill. Prohibits the intentional release of more than 25 plastic balloons; establishes a ban on plastic, single-use carryout bags by July 1, 2025, and bans single-use plastic straws and Styrofoam food and beverage containers by retail food and beverage establishments by July 1, 2023.

Actions to Take: Ask lawmakers in each chamber to sign on as co-sponsors for their respective bills and THANK those who have already co-sponsored. [Current co-sponsors of HB85 include Marzian, Brown, Flood, Graviss and Westrom. On the Senate side for SB68 only Harper Angel has sponsored so far.

Actions to Take: Once you have asked your lawmakers to co-sponsor these bills, contact leaders of the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees and ask them to hear the bill in committee. KCC is currently building a new resource page specifically on plastics pollution which you are welcome to review for more information on plastics. Link here.

We are still asking for calls in support of HB126 which requires the Public Service Commission to consider affordability when setting rates.

We are also still asking for support for HB323 which extends the period for solar net-metered installations. Both of these bills would benefit from having additional co-sponsors, so:

Actions to take: we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor HB126 and HB323.

We have also updated our position on HB44, the “Key Infrastructure” bill which has been one of a rash of “anti-protest” bills filed across multiple states.  HFA1 was adopted to the bill this past week. The amendment removes some of the vague language about “impeding” and “inhibiting” critical infrastructure. For civil actions, it removes liability for those who knowingly “compensate or renumerate” those who violate the Act and replaces language to those who “knowingly direct or cause a person to engage in mischief that involves tampering with critical infrastructure.”

The bill does still include higher penalties for damage of a key infrastructure asset [already illegal], but we are working to ensure that lawful citizens are not deterred from exercising their First Amendment rights.

Actions to Take: We want members to ask the Senate to not take action to remove the amendments to HB 44 passed by the House and pass the bill as amended. KCC does not support the original language of the bill, but we support the compromised changes to the bill contained in HFA1. You may call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181.

Actions to Take: We also ask that you thank Rep. Gooch for making many positive changes to this bill in his amendment.

Call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills (you can also email your Representative at first name.lastname@lrc.ky.gov).


Previous Alerts: Feb. 13, 2020

We are asking for more calls in support of HB126 which requires the Public Service Commission to consider affordability when setting rates, and HB323 which extends the period for solar net-metered installations. Both of these bills would benefit from having additional co-sponsors, so we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these bills. Both bills will be featured this coming week during our “Energy for the People Lobby Daythat is in coordination with several of our clean energy allies. Call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills (you can also email your Representative at first name.lastname@lrc.ky.gov).


Previous Alerts: Feb. 11-12, 2020
  • Actions to Take #1: House Bill 44, the anti-protest bill which affects “critical infrastructure” has passed out of the House with an amendment that fixes several (but not all) issues with the bill. So while the bill was improved in the House, we still wish to defeat its passage in the Senate.
    • Your Message: We are asking you to contact members of the Senate [message line 1-800-372-7181] and urge them to oppose House Bill 44, because even though the amended bill fixes several problematic issues, it is still very much an unnecessary piece of legislation.
  • The amendment addressed many problematic sections of the bill (but not all). The amendment removed some of the vague language about “impeding” and “inhibiting” critical infrastructure. For civil actions, it removed liability for those who knowingly “compensate or remunerate” those who violate the Act and replaces language to those who “knowingly direct or cause a person to engage in mischief that involves tampering with critical infrastructure.” But it is still a flawed and unnecessary bill.
  • Actions to Take #2: We also are asking for more calls in support of HB126 which requires the Public Service Commission to consider affordability when setting rates, and HB323 which extends the period for solar net-metered installations. Both of these bills would benefit from having additional co-sponsors, so we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these bills. Both bills will be featured this coming week during our “Energy for the People Lobby Daythat is in coordination with several of our clean energy allies. Call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills (you can also email your Representative at first name.lastname@lrc.ky.gov).

Previous Alerts: Monday, Feb. 10, 2020

  • Actions to Take #1: Contact members of the House [message line 1-800-372-7181] and urge them to support House Floor Amendment 1 to House Bill 44. This bill is an anti-protest bill and is unnecessary and vague. The amendment addresses many problematic sections of the bill (but not all). The amendment removes some of the vague language about “impeding” and “inhibiting” critical infrastructure. For civil actions, it removes liability for those who knowingly “compensate or remunerate” those who violate the Act and replaces language to those who “knowingly direct or cause a person to engage in mischief that involves tampering with critical infrastructure.” While we currently still strongly oppose the bill, we look forward to seeing a vote on this amendment to have it incorporated into the bill.
  • Actions to Take #2: We also are asking for more calls in support of HB126 which requires the Public Service Commission to consider affordability when setting rates, and HB323 which extends the period for solar net-metered installations. Both of these bills would benefit from having additional co-sponsors, so we urge your to contact your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these bills. Both bills will be featured this coming week during our “Energy for the People Lobby Daythat is in coordination with several of our clean energy allies. Call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills (you can also email your Representative at first name.lastname@lrc.ky.gov).

Previous Alerts: Wed, Jan. 27, 2020

HB44 (KCC strong oppose) The House Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Energy WILL be meeting this Thursday Jan. 30 at 9AM, room 131 in the Capitol Annex and we have been told by the bill sponsor that this bill WILL be on the agendaSo we encourage calls to the House Natural Resources Committee on this bill. Call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message on this bill.

The bill is unnecessary. Criminal and civil remedies already exist for property damage and trespass. It would create new potential criminal and civil penalties for protests around oil or gas pipelines and other infrastructure facilities. HB 44 amends the definition of “key infrastructure assets” under Kentucky law to include “natural gas or petroleum pipelines.” Encompassed facilities and properties designated “key infrastructure assets” are not limited to areas that are fenced off or posted by “no entry” signs. Trespass onto “key infrastructure assets” is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense (up to three months in jail) and a Class A misdemeanor for subsequent offenses (up to one year in jail). The bill creates a new offense for a person who “intentionally or wantonly… tampers with, impedes, or inhibits operations of a key infrastructure asset.” This conduct would comprise “criminal mischief in the first degree”–a Class D felony, which under Kentucky law can be punished by up to five years in prison. A protest that “impeded” access to a pipeline by blocking a road, or one that “inhibited” the operation of a pipeline by blocking pipeline construction or repair equipment, could presumably fall under this definition. The bill also provides that any “person” (which under Kentucky law could include an organization) may be civilly liable if they “knowingly compensate[] or remunerate[]” another person to commit criminal mischief on a key infrastructure asset. The damages include actual damages to personal or real property “caused by the crime” as well as punitive damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees. (See full text of bill here)


Previous Alerts: Wed, Jan. 22, 2020

Action #1: KCC urges all its members and supporters to contact the Governor’s office (email or phone info at link below) and ask them to make sure there is adequate funding for the Heritage Land Conservation Fund- the state’s ONLY fund for land conservation- and that its critical revenue is not “swept” away into the General Fund as has happened in previous years. (The Governor will present his budget on Jan. 28th). Then review the list of lands by legislative districts below. Tell these legislators about the lands of importance to you!

https://governor.ky.gov/contact/contact-us

Action #2: If you have not already called on HB44 (KCC strong oppose) note that House Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Energy will NOT be meeting this Thursday,  but will likely be taking up  at a future meeting soon. So we encourage more calls to the House Natural Resources Committee on this bad bill. Call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message on this bill.

The bill is unnecessary. Criminal and civil remedies already exist for property damage and trespass.


PREVIOUS ALERTS for Jan. 21, 2020

The House Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Energy is anticipated to be meeting this Thursday, 9AM, Room 131 at the Capitol Annex. They MAY (not announced yet, but likely) be taking up HB44 (KCC strong oppose). Summary below.

Actions to take this week: Contact members of the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee and House Leadership let them know your concerns with this bill. Tell your personal story on your right to exercise your constitutional right to protest peacefully without fear of excessive penalties. You can contact them by calling the central message line at 1-800-372-7181

HB44 summary from the Legislative Research website: “Amend KRS 511.100 to change the definition of “key infrastructure assets” to specify that natural gas or petroleum pipelines are the type of pipelines covered in the definition and include other types of infrastructure assets; amend KRS 512.020 to include tampering with, impeding, or inhibiting operations of a key infrastructure asset in the offense of criminal mischief in the first degree….”

The bill is unnecessary. Criminal and civil remedies already exist for property damage and trespass.

This bill would create new potential criminal and civil penalties for protests around oil or gas pipelines and other infrastructure facilities. HB 44 amends the definition of “key infrastructure assets” under Kentucky law to include “natural gas or petroleum pipelines.” Encompassed facilities and properties designated “key infrastructure assets” are not limited to areas that are fenced off or posted by “no entry” signs. Trespass onto “key infrastructure assets” is a Class B misdemeanor for the first offense (up to three months in jail) and a Class A misdemeanor for subsequent offenses (up to one year in jail). The bill creates a new offense for for a person who “intentionally or wantonly… tampers with, impedes, or inhibits operations of a key infrastructure asset.” This conduct would comprise “criminal mischief in the first degree”–a Class D felony, which under Kentucky law can be punished by up to five years in prison. A protest that “impeded” access to a pipeline by blocking a road, or one that “inhibited” the operation of a pipeline by blocking pipeline construction or repair equipment, could presumably fall under this definition. The bill also provides that any “person” (which under Kentucky law could include an organization) may be civilly liable if they “knowingly compensate[] or remunerate[]” another person to commit criminal mischief on a key infrastructure asset. The damages include actual damages to personal or real property “caused by the crime” as well as punitive damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees. (See full text of bill here)

Background Resources on this bill:


PREVIOUS ALERTS- WEEK OF JAN. 13, 2020 

The House Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Energy will be meeting this Thursday, 9AM, Room 131 at the Capitol Annex. They will be taking up House Joint Resolution 8, which KCC has ranked as “Oppose.”

The resolution directs the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District to determine the environmental benefits, related costs, and potential alternatives to the federal reformulated gasoline requirements currently imposed in Jefferson County and partial areas in Bullitt and Oldham Counties. Trying to allow for the opt out of federal EPA reformulated gas requirements.

Please contact the following members of the House Natural Resources Committee if you wish to comment on this resolution:

Rep. Jim Gooch (Chair), Rep. Adam Bowling, Rep. John Blanton, Rep. Charles Booker, Rep. Terri Branham Clark, Rep. R. Travis Brenda, Rep. Randy Bridges, Rep. Myron Dossett, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, Rep. Daniel Elliott , Rep. Chris Fugate, Rep. Cluster Howard, Rep. Suzanne Miles, Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, Rep. Josie Raymond, Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson, Rep. Jim Stewart, Rep. Rob Wiederstein

We also ask that you comment to this committee on bill HB44, which KCC strongly opposes. As of Wednesday 3:30pm this bill is not on the schedule for the committee’s Thursday meeting, but we anticipate it being voted on shortly.