KCC Guardian: Last Week to Act

Now in the home stretch of the session, let’s recap on where we are at: The Governor’s veto period ends on Monday, March 27th, and then there is a recess/work day scheduled on March 28th. Then legislators return on March 29 & 30 for their final two days of the session.

This week, several bills on the Governor’s desk were signed into law. These included the following:

  • HB35 (Strong Support) Establishing Public Benefit Corporations
  • HB50 (Strong Oppose) Addressing administrative regulations
  • HB119 (Monitor) Addressing waste management providers
  • HB163 (Support) Addressing titles for salvage autos
  • HB237 (Support) Addressing food and grocery donations
  • HB246 (Oppose) Solid Waste Management
  • HB384 (Strong Oppose) Reducing Mine Safety inspections
  • SB10 (Strong Oppose) Removing PSC authority, deregulating phone service in some exchanges
  • SB38 (Strong Support) Addressing penalties for timber theft
  • SB183 (Strong Oppose) Addressing reorganization of the Public Service Commission

So where do we stand now??

There are still a few bills on the Governor’s desk that have not yet been signed. You may take action today by contacting the Governor’s office on these bills.

HJR56 (Strong Support), directs the Kentucky Division of Water to conduct a study identifying privately owned and operated small wastewater treatment plants in the state, as well as providing certain data relating to the plants. Requires a practical emergency intervention method to respond to plant failures. Ask the Governor to sign this bill.

 HB234 (Strong Oppose), changes the reference in the public notice of intention to mine coal from “mining site” to “permitted area.” Removes the requirement that all areas overlying underground workings of coal mines be permitted rather than only the areas affected by operations and facilities occurring on the surface. Ask the Governor to veto this bill.

SB11 (Strong Oppose), would remove current prohibition on licensing of nuclear power plants until a permanent waste disposal strategy is in place, and instead allow the construction and operation of a nuclear facility where a facility has a “storage” plan for the waste. This means that the radioactive wastes that have a half-life of thousands of years can be stored on site without a permanent disposal strategy in place. Ask the Governor to veto this bill.

SB 222/LM, (Oppose), limits the number of terms an individual can be elected Mayor to two consecutive terms. If the mayor resigns during his/her term, the Governor has the authority to appoint an interim mayor. Requires the Mayor to name a Deputy Mayor. Gives the Governor authority to appoint Metro Council Members in the event a council member no longer can serve during his/her term. Ask the Governor to veto this bill.

SB248 (Strong Support), addresses Technologically-enhanced naturally-occurring radioactive material (TENORM) bill. Defines TENORM and allows the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to regulate TENORM. Ask the Governor to sign this bill.

SB249  (Monitor), deletes and reorganizes several statutes with regards to the structure and operation of the Energy and Environment Cabinet. Eliminates the Environmental Quality Commission. Tell the Governor you do not support the elimination of the EQC.


Remaining in the Legislature

There are bills remaining in the legislature which may still move forward in the last two days of the session. Please make your calls on the following:

HB72 (Strong Oppose), which requires a bond for appeals of Circuit Court decisions for zoning cases before the case is transferred to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. This puts an unfair burden on neighborhood groups who are opposing poor planning and zoning decisions. This bill could simply die at this point, or the differences between the House and Senate would need to be worked out during the final two days of the session, beginning March 29th. So PLEASE continue to spread the word and call 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for all Senators that this bill is “unfair to neighborhoods, please let this bill die.”

HB156 (Support) Outdoor recreation and tourism development bill. While we have not changed our ranking of this bill, it has now been combined with Senate Bill 215 (Kentucky Coalfields Endowment Fund). We wish to flag for our members that while this outdoor recreation bill broadly promotes  a range of outdoor recreation and trail development activities in eastern Kentucky (something we support),  we have concerns that the driver of the bill is development of ATV trails, and the oversight authority, we believe, needs better connection to existing land and tourism agencies in Kentucky to avoid conflict. We will be watching the evolution of this initiative should the bill be signed into law. This bill has not yet been sent to the Governor’s desk, so if you wish to comment, you may contact House and Senate leadership at 1-800-372-7181 to express your opinion.

HB323 (Support) allows hunting and fishing licenses to active duty members. of the US Armed Forces for same fee as Kentucky residents.

HB360 (Support) is a bill expanding agri-tourism activity.

For the latest status on all bills we are tracking, click here for House bills and here for Senate bills.