The activity level at the Capitol began to increase last week. Committee meetings had longer agendas with more bills being considered in the numerous legislative committees. In addition, several committees began having special meetings in an attempt to address the number of bills in their possession.
The House is supposed to have 100 members representing the entire Commonwealth. This entire legislative session only 96 representatives have been in that chamber. Four previous representatives resigned their seats before the January 5th start; two were elected to higher office and two chose other opportunities within state government. The successors for these seats were chosen in special elections this Tuesday, March 8th. The winners are:
District 8 (Christian & Trigg counties) – Jeffrey Taylor (D)
District 54 (Boyle & Casey counties) – Daniel Elliott (R)
District 62 (Scott, Owen and part of Fayette county) – Chuck Tackett (D)
District 98 (Greenup and Boyd counties) – Lew Nichols (D)
Once certified by the Board of Elections, these individuals will take the oath of office and be sworn in. It is anticipated this will take place early next week so these newly elected officials will be able to vote on the budget and other bills immediately.
P3 UPDATE: Those of you who have responded to our numerous requests to contact your senators about HB 309 and SB 132, our public-private partnership (P3) legislation, your efforts have had some positive impacts. In procedural moves, the Senate has now given SB132, sponsored by Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville), two readings. AGC anticipates this bill will be heard in the Senate Economic Development Committee Tuesday, March 15th. Once this committee passes the bill, it could be voted on by the full Senate almost immediately. This bill, along with HB309, will give public entities the opportunity to utilize private funding and construction procurement for much needed transportation, infrastructure, buildings and other creative ideas. These bills also create a transparent process to allow for P3 projects while protecting taxpayer dollars. Please call your senator and ask for his/her support of SB 132 as introduced. These bills are the only significant jobs creation and economic development bills this session.
We have completed the 46th of 60 legislative days this year, with 941 bills introduced by both chambers. That is a lot of legislation to consider in such a short amount of time. At this time, only four bills have passed both chambers and have been sent to the governor. The remaining days have the potential of being much longer in duration. The bills listed below are the ones 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
HB57 – Tax Increment Financing
HB200 – Worker's Compensation Subrogation
HB216 – Kentucky Economic Development Partnership
HB225 – Occupational Licensure
HB243 – Administrative Regulations
HB265 – Postsecondary Education Capital Projects
HB272 – Radon Mitigation
HB292 – Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLET)
HB309 – Public Private Partnerships
HB311 – Worker's Compensation Benefits
HB324 – Taxation
HB365 – Underground Facility Protection Membership
HB379 – Apprenticeships
HB424 – Historic Properties Tax Credits
HB471 – Plumbing
HCR97– Kentucky Workforce Development Task Force
Although there are fewer days left in this year's session, it is never too late to let your legislators know your thoughts and opinions on any issue or bill that has been introduced. An excellent way to do this is to call them at (800) 372-7181. This service is available Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 6:00pm. Help them make a better informed vote. Give them a call.
AGC of Kentucky is the only Kentucky commercial building association with a full-time presence 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 email@example.com.