Week Two – Regular Session (2018)KAM
The second week of the 2018 legislative session came to a close a day early last week when the legislature canceled session on Friday due to weather concerns. Last week we saw members begin to settle in and get down to business. Several legislative committees met and at week’s end, the Senate had passed four bills off the floor.
Speaker Hoover Resigns
There was some political news last week as Rep. Jeff Hoover officially offered his resignation as Speaker of the House. House members accepted the resignation and members of the majority leadership team announced they plan to operate as they currently exist, with only four members and with Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne continuing to operate in the Speaker’s role. Rep. Hoover did not resign his seat and remains a member of the House of Representatives.
Still No Pension Bill
What we did not see last week was introduction of a bill to address public employee pension reform. Legislators maintain they want to address the topic as quickly as possible, but thus far no bill has been put on the table.
Governor Bevin will present the priorities of his administration during tonight’s budget address. His budget proposal will be released shortly thereafter, officially kicking off budget considerations in the legislature. With mounting pressures related to escalating pension costs and little to no new revenue projected, the Governor and Legislature have difficult decisions ahead. KAM will provide a full update on the Governor’s budget proposal.
Several bills that KAM has been monitoring received actions last week:
- HB 10 – Regulation reform, sponsored by Rep. Kenny Imes (R) was favorably reported from committee. The bill proposes to amend the Constitution to permit the General Assembly to approve or disapprove administrative regulations. If adopted the law will erase case law on the separation of powers and the General Assembly’s authority to act while out of session.
- HB 22 – Drone regulation, sponsored by Rep. Diane St. Onge, (R) is an issue that KAM has followed closely for several years. HB 22 was passed unanimously out of committee last week. While it does not include language specific to critical infrastructure, Rep. St. Onge will be working with KAM and others to address these concerns. We will update you throughout this process as KAM continues to work to protect Kentucky’s critical infrastructure.
New Bills – The following bills were introduced last week:
- SB 78 – Sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield (R) makes various changes to licensing of electricians.
- HB 182 – Rep. Mackenzie Cantrell (D) introduced legislation to require employers to provide earned paid sick leave. The bill requires that for every 30 hours worked an employee accrues 1 hour of earned paid sick leave. The bill further provides how the employee is permitted to use the earned paid sick leave.
- HB 184 – Rep. Adam Koenig (R) introduced legislation related to state and federal wage and hour law conformity. Senator McDaniel sponsored a similar bill last session.
- HB 194 – Provisions related to welding safety, sponsored by Rep. Jill York (R) establishes requirements for projects requiring structural steel welding, such as certification of welders and certified inspectors.
- HR 49 – A resolution sponsored by Rep. Jill York (R) to urge Congress to support federal legislation in advancement of the Appalachian Storage Hub.
Workers Compensation Reforms – Various interest groups continue to meet and discuss how best to move forward this session to accomplish significant reforms. We are likely to see an attempt, at the very least, to address the Webster Parker Supreme Court decision, which has introduced significant new cost to the Workers Compensation system and Kentucky employers.
Tax Reform – There continues to be very little discussion centered on tax reform. It is likely that as the Legislature seriously begins to put together a two-year budget it will become more apparent as to whether tax reform will be considered during the 2018 Regular Session.
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.
- January 16 – Governor’s Budget Address
- 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!