This week we start with Day 27 of the 30-day legislative session. There are three session days this week (Tuesday through Thursday) and then we begin the 10-day veto period. The General Assembly then comes back for a final session day on March 28.
Bills now making their way to the Governor’s desk:
- HB165 (KCC Strong Support) was delivered to the Governor on March 5th. This legislation allows the Cabinet/Air Pollution Control District to collect more air-quality fees across the board, rather than only collecting fees based on emission rates.
- HB199 (KCC Strong Support) was delivered to the Governor on March 6th. This bill allows underground storage tank funds to be used to address the cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells. This bill was a successful collaboration of the Oil and Gas Workgroup, consisting of industry, cabinet, and environmental advocates.
- Also, House Resolution 108 (KCC Strong Support) was adopted by voice vote on the House floor last week. The resolution urges Governor Matthew Bevin to declare a state of emergency in Martin County, Kentucky, and to make emergency funds available to resolve the county’s water crisis. Our thanks to Rep. Harris for filing this resolution.
No Movement on Solar Net Metering Bill SB100,
All Due to YOUR Calls
This bill, which would negatively impact residential solar and independent solar installer jobs, did NOT move in the past week. The situation remains that the House must decide whether or not to “recede” from its amendment, House Floor Amendment 1, which attempts to fix significant flaws in the bill. While all indications anticipated that the House would recede last week, YOUR calls held the line. With only four session days left, we are asking you to keep the pressure up, enlist friends, and continue your calls.
Please call and email the House and House Leadership and tell them NOT TO RECEDE to the Senate and do not pass SB100 without House Floor amendment 1 (HFA1) an amendment that is a fair balancing of the interests of the electric utilities, net metering customers, small solar businesses, and non-participating residential ratepayers. If the bill does not include the amendment, then we want the bill to die.
CALL 1-800-372-7181 or Email here. (You can also email using Firstname.LastName@LRC.ky.gov)
Other Actions for the Week:
Support for State Parks, Water Infrastructure:
- HB268 (KCC Support) adds bond funding for several items including water infrastructure AND state parks. Different versions passed the House and Senate and the bill has now gone to a conference committee. Contact leadership in the House and Senate and ask that the bill retain funds to improve Kentucky State Parks and to improve water infrastructure.
Leasing on Federal and State Land:
- House Concurrent Resolution 4 and House Concurrent Resolution 7 (KCC Oppose) both encourage the addressing of leasehold interests on Federal lands and State lands respectively for communications infrastructure (cell phone towers). We oppose additional intrusion on State and Federal lands. These resolutions have passed the House and are now in the Senate. Please urge the Senate to oppose.
- HB387 (KCC Oppose) is an economic development bill that would allow for the exclusion of trade secrets such as Information declared confidential by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. This bill has now had multiple floor amendments filed to address the bills flaws. Please contact members of the House to express your opposition to this bill.
Excess Fees that Impact Nature Preserves, Electric Cars:
- HB341 (KCC Strong Oppose) increases the fees for specialty license plates, including the Kentucky Nature Plates which fund land conservation, however the amount paid to the group that the license plate supports does not change. This could further discourage the purchase of the “Nature’s Finest” plates which produce significant revenue for Kentucky nature preserves. This bill passed the House and is now in the Senate. Please call members of the Senate and tell then not to raise fees on specialty plates without also raising the charity allocations from these plates (particularly the allocation to the Heritage Land Conservation Fund).
- HB517 (KCC Strong Oppose) would also have a similar effect as HB341 in raising specialty plate fees without raising charity contributions. In addition this bill adds $175 fee to electric vehicles, and imposes a penalty on vehicles with low gas mileage by requiring an annual fee. While we want to see a fair tax to address all types of vehicles, this approach sends the wrong price incentives. This bill has now been given two readings and returned to the House Appropriations & Revenue committee. If you wish to comment on this bill, contact the House A&R Committee.