2016 Legislature…Week Three ReportKAM
The winter weather and legislative holiday had the impact of dramatically slowing down already sluggish legislative activity this week. After a slow start over the first three weeks of the 2016 Session, we expect things to pick up in the coming week, however. Tuesday, January 26, Governor Bevin will release his budget and policy proposals in his first State of the Commonwealth & Budget Address. The budget is important not only because it is the only bill legislators have to pass this session, but also because it is the state’s main policy document as the legislature puts funding with its policy priorities. Governor Bevin gets the first bite of the apple and we expect a very austere budget as he attempts to clean up the state’s balance sheet related to Medicaid and public employee pensions. On a political note, Tuesday is also the candidate filing deadline, when legislators will find out if they will have an opponent for the 2016 legislative elections. That political calculation is one that will weigh heavy on any policy decisions made the rest of this legislative session.
KAM Day at the Capitol
A big THANKS to the sponsors, attendees, and speakers who helped make KAM Day at the Capitol a big success. This is always a good opportunity for policymakers to hear from manufacturers about the issues that are important to you and your business. Your KAM Lobbying Team is appreciative to have your support in the halls of the Capitol as we advocate for manufacturing. We appreciate Calgon Carbon Corporation and McCoy & McCoy Laboratories, Inc., for their sponsorship of this event. Check out event photos on KAM.us.com.
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 – Senate President Pro Tem David Givens (R-Greensburg) filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 75 this week focused on workforce development. SCR 75 would set up the Kentucky Workforce Oversight Task Force to study and develop recommendations concerning the benefits, investments, and funding of workforce education. KAM is very supportive of this resolution and looks forward to working with Sen. Givens to not only get the resolution passed, but to interact with the Task Force in the coming months.
- Clean Power Plan – Governor Bevin announced this week that the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) is working to request an extension from the EPA related to the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. With a deadline of September 6, 2016, this two-year extension will allow Kentucky to consider its options. KAM is supportive of this approach to help to find a way to minimize the impact on Kentucky manufacturers.
- 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 direction of flow or substance carried in a pipeline; HB 168 vesting eminent domain exclusively with 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 use and creation of pipelines to move oil and gas products to market, and would oppose measures like these 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
February 29 – Last day for new House bills
March 2 – Last day for new Senate bills
March 25 and 28 – Concurrence Only
March 29-April 8 – Veto Recess
April 12 – Sine Die
Meet the KAM Governmental Affairs Team here.
Your One-Stop Source For KAM Information: www.KAM.us.com
Don’t know who your elected representatives are? Click here to reach the Action Center of the Kentucky Prosperity Project to find this and other important information to help you make your opinion heard on matters affecting you and your business!