What You Need To Know, Week Five – Regular Session (2018)

legislative-update-2018

What You Need To Know, Week Five – Regular Session (2018)

Deadline Passed
Last week in this update, we discussed the importance of the candidate filing deadline and the impact that deadline has on legislative activity in Frankfort. Candidates had until 4:00 PM Tuesday, January 30 to file. As we expected, there was a flurry of activity leading up to that deadline.  Here’s what we know:

  • Nearly 300 individuals filed to run for legislative office – 255 for 100 House seats and 43 for 19 Senate seats.
  • 88 of the candidates are women.
  • 40 current or former teachers filed for legislative office.
  • 19 incumbent House members (11 Democrats and 8 Republicans) and 1 Senate member  (Republican) chose not to file to seek re-election. When combined with the two vacant seats in the House, there will be 22 open seats.

Essential Skills Legislation Introduced
We know that our members struggle to find a qualified workforce to fill positions in their companies. That’s why KAM is proud to support HB 3, sponsored by House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell.  HB 3 will incorporate essential skills training into the state’s school accountability system.  The legislation:

  • Identifies and define essential skills;
  • Gives the schools that already address this skills gap credit for doing so;
  • Allows schools flexibility to use either their own programs or resources provided by the KY Department of Education;
  • Establishes a council that will bring the business and education community together to provide best practices in essential skills training; and
  • Creates a Kentucky Work Ethic Certificate.

Voice Your Support for HB 227
HB 227, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gooch, is legislation that will update Kentucky’s energy laws to address inequities in how solar energy users are credited for the energy they produce. Solar energy users currently receive credit that is 300% of the value of the energy they produce. That means that industrial users, like our members, and residential users subsidize a portion of these credits. HB 227 will grandfather all current solar users and continue to allow for a credit at the retail rate for the energy that solar users produce that they use. The bill changes the credit to the wholesale rate for excess energy. HB 227 will ensure that future solar users more fairly share in the costs necessary to maintain the energy grid.  Call your state representative at 1-800-372-7181 and ask them to support HB 227.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Rep. Jim DeCesare introduced legislation to make changes to the state unemployment insurance system.  HB 252 will allow for technology upgrades in the system, change the benefit structure to better align with Kentucky’s seven surrounding states, and provide clarity in determining when a company acquisition is a transfer for successorship purposes. The bill has been posted in the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment committee, which means that it could be heard this week.

Budget Update
The House Budget Review Subcommittees continue to meet to analyze the proposed budget document, HB 200. We expect these meetings to continue for the next several weeks.

Pension Update
Today marks the 23rd day of this 60-day session, and thus far no bills have been introduced to address pension reform. We continue to hear that a bill or bills are forthcoming, and will update you when that happens. KAM supports reforms to the state’s public pension system to ensure that Kentucky’s financial house is in good shape to remain competitive with other states in attracting new business and development.

Keeping You Informed
As in past years, we will continue to communicate with you weekly with bill tracking lists on the KAM Homepage (Bill Tracking), 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 resumed our KAM Conversation Conference Calls on Thursdays, and invite KAM Members to call and take part in this dialog every Thursday during the 2018 Legislative Session. The information for the call is:

  • Call-in Number:        877-746-4263
  • Participant Code:     0219774#

Calendar & Key Dates
You can access the session calendar HERE and the committee meeting schedule 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 16 – Last day for Bill Requests
  • February 19 – Legislative Holiday (Presidents’ Day)
  • February 26 – Last day for new House Bills
  • February 28 – Last day for new Senate Bills
  • March 27-28 – Concurrence Days
  • March 29-April 9 – Veto Recess
  • April 13 – Sine Die

Meet the KAM Governmental Affairs Team here.

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!

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