2016 Legislature…Week Six UpdateKAM
The 2016 legislative session is nearing the midpoint, with legislators having completed 27 of 60 available legislative days for this session. The overall volume of legislation to this point in the session remains pretty low and with a holiday-shortened week, we expect many committees won’t meet, further limiting activity in the week ahead. However, we do expect the House and Senate budget review processes to continue this week and that will continue to be the focal point of this session.
Outside of the bills we reference below, we wanted to give you an update on an issue going through the court system which is of great interest to Kentucky manufacturers. The U.S. Supreme Court In a 5-4 decision temporarily put on hold the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan until current legal challenges are resolved. This gives the state time to make sure all legal challenges have been exhausted before they have to begin to set forth a compliance plan. KAM remains concerned that the Clean Power Plan could have significant impact on Kentucky manufacturers as it appears likely to increase utility costs.
Issues of Interest to KAM
We will use this section every week to highlight bills of interest to KAM members. Some we will support and some we will oppose, and sometimes we will ask you to contact your legislators to share our position on those bills. Here are a few bills of interest under consideration by the General Assembly this session:
- Workforce Development – This week saw Rep. Larry Clark’s (D-Louisville) House Concurrent Resolution 97 pass the House 95-0 and it now awaits action in the Senate Education committee. Senate President Pro-Tem David Givens (R-Greensburg) has a similar proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 75, which is awaiting action in the Senate Education committee as well. Both would set up a Task Force to study and develop recommendations concerning the benefits, investments, and funding of workforce education. KAM is very supportive of these resolutions and looks forward to working with legislators to not only get the resolutions passed, but to interact with the Task Force in the coming months.
- Public Private Partnerships – Senate Bill 132 by Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) and House Bill 309 by Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville). These bills would create a framework for how state and local governments can partner with private industry for infrastructure projects. KAM is supportive of P3s as an innovative way of financing the infrastructure the state needs. House Bill 309 passed the House this week 83-11 and is now in the Senate awaiting committee assignment.
- Right To Work – Senate Bill 3, filed by Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester), is legislation that would give workers a choice regarding joining a union and remove the requirement that employees pay union dues as a condition of employment. KAM supports this legislation.
- Pipelines – Several bills on the topic of pipelines and eminent domain have been filed thus far in the legislative session. SB 26 would prevent reversing the flow or substance carried in a pipeline; HB 168 vesting eminent domain exclusively by state and local governments; HB 213 excludes natural gas liquids from public service eminent domain; and HB 240 related to pipeline safety. KAM supports the creation and use of pipelines to move oil and gas products to market, and would oppose measures like the above that would stifle Kentucky’s participation in the energy marketplace.
Keeping You Informed
As in past years, we will continue to communicate with you weekly with bill tracking lists (click HERE to download current bill list), summaries of legislative actions and dynamics, and specific bills of interest. We will also, of course, contact you immediately as issues of particular interest or concern arise. We have also resumed our KAM Conversation Conference Calls, which will take place on Thursdays, at 4:00 EST, throughout the Legislative Session and invite KAM Members to call and take part in this dialog each week.
Calendar & Key Dates
You can access the session calendar HERE. Please keep in mind that this calendar can change if the legislature decides to shift days. We will let you know if that happens; however they must adjourn by April 15, according to the Constitution. Below are specific dates of interest.
February 15 – Presidents’ Day (Legislative Holiday, No Session)
February 19 – Last day for bill requests
March 1 – Last day for new House bills
March 3 – Last day for new Senate bills
March 28 and 29 – Concurrence Only
March 30-April 9 – Veto Recess
April 12 – Sine Die
Meet the KAM Governmental Affairs Team here.