KCC Guardian: Twists and Turns, Veto or Law

This past week brought challenges as lawmakers made their last push to get bills onto the Governor’s desk before the veto period. This meant that this past week has resulted in several twists and turns.

We have been highlighting the KCC “strong oppose” bill, HB246, that would change the way Louisville’s Waste Management District is structured (see story HERE). The bill would allow cities to opt out of the county’s solid waste plan and would set a precedent for other cities who wish to seek special treatment within their counties. This bill is currently on the Governor’s desk, so it is most urgent that you immediately contact the Governor’s office and ask him to “veto House Bill 246.”

As you know from our previous posts, we have been asking you to strongly oppose HB72, a bill that would require that a bond be posted before circuit court appeals in zoning cases (See story HERE). Your calls made a difference on this bill by slowing it down in several stages. This past week, the House voted to reject a Senate substitute and amendment to the bill, which means that the bill now goes back to the Senate.

Where does it stand now? The bill could simply die at this point, or the differences 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.”

Another bill that had last-minute twists and turns this week was HB156, a bill to expand outdoor recreation and promote economic development (see story HERE). While KCC has supported this bill for its broad focus on outdoor recreation, and opportunity for more job creation in the eastern Kentucky coalfield region, we nevertheless have had some real reservations with this bill. The primary driver for this legislation has been on development of ATV trails, and we have seen little coordination with existing state agencies and nonprofits that manage tourism and trail development. By combining HB156 with language from SB215, creating an endowment authority, the issues with how this new entity would be managed, and who is represented, become even murkier.

While more economic opportunities could be good, we would like to see more involvement from the local outdoor recreation community, land trust nonprofits, and state agencies such as Fish & Wildlife, Parks and Adventure Tourism who already address trail systems and are familiar with the challenges of good recreational management.

While we have not changed our ranking of this bill (support), we wish to flag these issues for our members and supporters, and will be watching the evolution of this new entity 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.

The Governor’s veto period ends on 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.

These Bills On the Governor’s Desk:

These bills are now on the Governor’s desk to either veto or sign into law. You may contact the Governor’s office and express your views on these bills.

KCC Strong Support Bills

  • HB35 establishing Public Benefit Corporations
  • HB237 relating to the donation of food and grocery items
  • SB38 increases penalties for timber theft
  • SB248 regulating technologically-enhanced low-level radioactive waste (TENORM)

KCC Support Bills

  • HB163 Relating to motor vehicle titles, making it easier to salvage and recycle

KCC Strong Oppose Bills

  • HB50 amends administrative regulations so that they automatically expire.
  • HB234 Which changes the reference in the public notice of intention to mine coal from “mining site” to “permitted area.”
  • HB384 Which rolls back the number of mine safety inspections. (See article HERE).
  • SB10 removes PSC regulatory authority for some phone exchanges.
  • SB11 repeals the prohibition of licensing nuclear plants (see story HERE).
  • SB183 reorganizes the Public Service Commission.

KCC Oppose Bills

  • SB222 restricting terms for Mayors of consolidated governments and gives the Governor certain interim powers (see story HERE).

Not Yet on the Governor’s Desk: Still time to act

  • HB72 is a KCC “strong oppose” bill limiting appeals on zoning disputes (see story above).
  • HB156 is a KCC “support” bill on an outdoor recreation (see story above).
  • HB323 is a KCC “support” bill to allow hunting and fishing licenses to active duty members. of the US Armed Forces for same fee as Kentucky residents.
  • HB360 is a KCC “support” bill expanding agritourism activity.