Under the Dome
With only seven legislative days remaining for the 2017 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, members of the House and Senate have spent several long days and into the nights at the Capitol this past week. It was not uncommon to see legislators at the Capitol attending committee meetings beginning at 8:00am and not concluding their official business until 8:00pm or later! These 138 elected officials are truly dedicated to the people they represent.
While there were many, many bills discussed in committee meetings and debated in both chambers, AGC had primary focus on two issues this past week: (1) worker's compensation, and (2) public private partnerships. Worker's compensation matters are of significance to all businesses in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. And with the passage of HB 309, public-private partnerships in 2016, AGC continues our role as a primary resource for the legislature with this issue.
There are several bills dealing with worker's comp this session. The one we are following and are more intimately involved with is HB 296. This is the bill we discussed in detail in last week's Legislative Update. This week, the Senate began their discussion on HB 296, taking no official action. We do expect that chamber to hear the bill in their Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee next Monday, March 6th. AGC has contacted many senators regarding this issue and looks forward to committee discussion and action next week.
AGC was a very early proponent and continues to be a huge supporter of public-private partnerships or P3's. This year's P3 bill, SB 187, was labeled as a "technical clean-up bill" by the Bevin administration. AGC expressed our concerns with the bill when presented in the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee on Thursday. Several senators agreed with AGC and therefore we met with various cabinets in the administration Thursday afternoon to draft language we could all support. That language will be included in a floor amendment on SB 187. We expect Senate floor action on this bill early next week.
Next week the General Assembly is currently scheduled to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, taking Thursday and Friday as "recess days." We anticipate some committees to meet at the end of next week knowing the clock is running out for this legislative session.