February 5, 2016

Last week we talked about the budget Governor Matt Bevin presented to the General Assembly on Tuesday, January 26th.  AGC has had an opportunity to review these documents in more detail.  This review did not take long because HB303, the Executive Branch Budget is only 133 pages.  This is about half the size of previous budget bills.  How this impacts the commercial construction industry is that proposed capital spending for the first year of the biennium is reduced from its current level and the second year of the biennium, 2017-2018, has almost no capital construction appropriations at all. AGC did anticipate reductions in government spending, but was very surprised to see the depth of these spending cuts.  While Kentucky’s economy is projected to see some modest growth for the next two years, Governor Bevin is very committed to fully address the needs of the pensions for state employees, KERS, and teachers retirement, KTRS, which have unfunded liabilities approaching $30B.  The governor’s spending cuts are estimated to realize approximately $650M which will be dedicated to the KERS and KTRS systems.  The specific budget bills are:


   HB303 – Executive Branch Budget

               HB304 – Transportation Cabinet Budget

               HB305 – 2016-2018 Biennial Highway Construction Plan

               HB306 – Judicial Branch Budget


            This past Tuesday, the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee (A&R) heard a presentation from Budget Director John Chilton and his staff on Governor’s Bevin’s proposed budget.  Already several House subcommittees are doing their own analysis of the governor’s budget as well.  This is the first full week of several more to come the House will devote to the budget process.


            Tuesday, February 9th will find Rep. Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) presenting HB309, our public-private partnership bill, to the House A&R Committee at 10:00am and at 12:00-noon, Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) will introduce SB132 to the Senate Economic Development and Labor Committee.  Both bills are identical.  We have talked to numerous legislators in both chambers and have yet to find opposition to these bills.  Please call your representative and ask their support for HB309 and then call your senator and ask them to vote for SB132. AGC is very optimistic that P3s will pass this year and will receive the governor’s signature.  Stay tuned!


                Last week we also mentioned a couple of bills dealing with workforce development.  On Thursday, Rep. Larry Clark (D-Louisville) presented HCR97 to the House Labor and Industry Committee.  This bill received the unanimous support of that committee and will receive full House action next week.  AGC strongly supports HCR97. 


To date, the House has introduced 350 bills while the Senate has recorded 156 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

               SB135 – offender reentry

               SB151 – worker’s compensation benefits

               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


            Please know your calls to your senators and representative do make a difference.  And they want to hear from you!  We hear from legislators when they receive your calls.  THANK YOU for taking the time, making the calls and letting your elected leaders know your thoughts and views.  Call the Legislative Message Line at (800) 372-7181 and ask for your representative or senator by name.  It is that simple.


            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