AGC LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

January 29, 2016

            There has been quite a lot of activity in Frankfort this past week.  Tuesday was the filing deadline for those seeking one of the 100 House seats or the 19 Senate seats that are open this year.  At 4:00pm that day, 220 individuals completed their paperwork to run for a House district and 35 candidates filed for the seats in the Senate.

 

            Tuesday night Governor Matt Bevin delivered his first budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly.  During his 75+ minute speech, he outlined his plan for the state’s fiscal needs for the next two+ years.  His plan actually begins immediately with a 4.5% reduction in the current budget plus an additional 9% reduction each year for the next two years in state spending with most cabinets and agencies.  The monies obtained in these reductions will go to address the needed funds for KERS, the state employee’s retirement system, and KTRS, the teacher’s pension obligations.  The total cuts to the budget over the next 30 months would amount to $650M.  AGC is currently reviewing all the budget documents and will offer an analysis next week.  The specific budget bills are:

 

   HB303 – Executive Branch Budget

               HB304 – Transportation Cabinet Budget

               HB305 – 2016-2018 Biennial Highway Construction Plan

               HB306 – Judicial Branch Budget

 

            Next week the House will begin their work on these bills and will continue their efforts into the month of March before they pass their version to the Senate.  The Senate will then review the work of the House and make changes they feel necessary.  In the end, a compromise budget plan will be voted on in both chambers.  All of this work must be completed before midnight on April 15th.

 

            On Wednesday, our public-private partnership (P3) legislation was introduced in both chambers.  Again this year, Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) is the sponsor of HB309 in the House and Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) will champion SB132 in the Senate.  At time of introduction, both bills were identical.  We are working with leadership in both chambers to begin hearing this important legislation as soon as possible so this legislation doesn’t detract from budget hearings and negotiations later on. 

 

            AGC is very concerned about the present and future workforce needs for our industry.  This concern is also shared in the Kentucky General Assembly.  Each chamber is exploring the possibility of establishing a task force to better determine the overall workforce needs for our Commonwealth and how to meet those needs.  Senator David Givens (R-Greensburg) is the author of SCR75 and Rep. Larry Clark (D-Louisville) is the sponsor of HCR97.  We are supportive of both initiatives and will actively pursue enactment of these legislative efforts.

 

To date, the House has introduced 318 bills while the Senate has 140 in their chamber.  Click on the link below to read the bills AGC is supporting:

 

               SB3 – Right to Work

               SB9 – elimination of prevailing wage on public school projects

               SB76 – vehicle loads

               SB93 - licensing fees

               SB94 – ability to opt out of prevailing wage on local government projects

               SB105 – elevator mechanic licensure

               SB132 – public private partnerships

               SCR75 – Kentucky Workforce Oversight Task Force

 

               HB30 – licensing fees

               HB200 – worker’s compensation subrogation

               HB216 – Kentucky Economic Development Partnership

               HB225 – occupational licensure

               HB243 – administrative regulations

               HB265 – postsecondary education capital projects

               HB292 – limited liability entity tax (LLET)

               HB309 – public private partnerships

               HB311 – worker’s compensation benefits

               HCR97 – Kentucky Workforce Development Task Force

 

            In addition to the bills listed above, we are watching over 35 additional bills that could impact our industry and small business in general.  We will continue to monitor those bills to make sure they don’t have any negative implications for our industry or our members.

 

            Your legislators do want to hear from you.  You may call them, toll free, at (800) 372-7181 and ask for your representative or senator by name.  It is that simple.  Please let them know you support the bills above or chat with them about any other issue you may have.  They do represent you!  Please let them know your thoughts.

 

            AGC of Kentucky is the only full-time presence of the commercial construction industry in Frankfort.  We are at the Capitol each and every day the legislature is in session.  If you have any questions about AGC’s position on legislation, please contact Ron Wolf, Director of External Relations, at rwolf@agcky.org.