April 16, 2015 - Legislative Report No. 9 - Final Report Kentucky General AssemblyPosted on Apr 16, 2015
The Public Affairs staff would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of those who responded to our Legislative Action Request concerning various issues each week. The success of implementing your policy depends on the continued involvement and efforts of county Farm Bureau leaders and members. Please accept our thanks for your assistance in making this year’s session a success for Kentucky Farm Bureau.
As the General Assembly enters into the interim, we encourage those counties that have yet to conduct legislative appreciation events to do so. We know that several counties have already conducted these events during the session with great success. We also encourage you to invite your Representatives and Senators to your County Annual Meetings and to our State Annual Meeting.
The following is a detailed report summarizing many of the bills and resolutions in which Kentucky Farm Bureau was involved:
BILLS FARM BUREAU SUPPORTED THAT PASSED
This bill appropriates:
$5 million to the KY Ag Finance Corp
$5 million to the State Agricultural Development Account
$6 million to the County Agricultural Development Accounts
$5 million to the Soil Erosion Water Quality Cost-Share
All of the above appropriations are for FY 16.
This bill also appropriates $7.8 million in FY 15 to the revenue sharing budget unit in the Transportation Cabinets budget. Of which $5.49 million will be for the county road aid program and $2.31 million for the municipal road aid program.
On April 6 Governor Beshear did issue a line item veto on HB 510. This veto became necessary because of new information obtained, since the passage of HB 510, that the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payment for this year may be about $37.8 million short (Kentucky receives their annual payment from the MSA on April 15). This veto did not affect the FY 16 appropriations to the Agricultural Development Fund or the Soil Erosion Water Quality Cost-Share program. To view Governor Beshear’s veto message visit http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/15RS/HB510/veto.pdf or click here.
2015 KFB State Priority Issue:
“Maintain allocating 50% of the Master Settlement Agreement funds to the Agricultural Development Board, and funds be spent for the purpose of improving the net farm income of individual farmers in production agriculture.”
“Support continued funding of the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost-Share Program.”
“We support the Kentucky Ag Finance Corporation Infrastructure Loan Program and the Beginning Farmer Loan Program.”
This bill establishes a new floor of 26 cents for the state gas tax. This legislation will allow for an annual, rather than the current quarterly, fuel tax adjustment and will allow the tax to increase or decrease up to ten percent per year.
2015 KFB State Priority Issue:
“Recommend sufficient funding be made available to maintain quality rural roads across the Commonwealth”.
“We support amending KRS 138.210 to specify the motor fuels excise tax does not decrease by more than 10 percent under the average wholesale price in any fiscal year.”
SB 92: J. Bowen – AN ACT relating to timber harvesting. This bill will require loggers or operators who have received bad actor designations to provide prior notice to the division before engaging in any timber harvesting operations until they have paid all civil penalties and performed all required site remediation and require the cabinet to issue an emergency order requiring any third-time bad actor to cease all timber harvesting operations until all required site remediation has been performed and all civil penalties have been paid or a repayment plan has been established and maintained.
“We support the Forestry Best Management Practice Board in amending the Forest Conservation Act to strengthen the bad actor provisions.”
This bill requires notice and method of notice of high-volume horizontal fracturing, require baseline water quality testing and exemption from requirements. This bill also created the Kentucky Abandoned Storage Tank Reclamation Program and defines when a tank is deemed abandoned and eligible for the program and it also creates the Kentucky abandoned storage tank reclamation fund. This bill will also authorize the cabinet to recover costs for removal and remediation of an abandoned storage tank from owners or responsible parties.
This bill was the companion bill of SB 186.
“The oil and gas industry should be held to the same standard regarding landowners as the coal industry, in that all oil and gas activities including roadways and pipelines should be permitted, bonded, and placed under the Energy and Environment Cabinet requiring quarterly inspections and enforcement for violations including civil penalties.”
This bill will reduce the hold time for stray equine from 90 days to 15 days. This bill will also require county judge executives to contract with a licensed veterinarian, who will document the stray equine's breed, color, sex, marks, brands, scars, and other distinguishing features, perform a microchip scan, and identify the existence of lip tattoos, freeze brands, or microchips and require the county judge executive to record the veterinarian's findings, the name and residence of the taker-up, and the location of the stray equine, maintain documentation in electronic and paper format, post notification on the county of jurisdiction's website and require the county
judge/executive to post one photograph of the stray equine's front view and one photograph of the stray equine's side view and requires the county judge executive to send a copy of the documentation of stray equine to the Office of the State Veterinarian. It will also require the hold time for stray equines to begin after all documentation has been properly filed and posted by the county judge executive and taker-up. In addition this bill will require the owner/claimant of the stray equine to reimburse the county judge executive for the cost of the veterinarian assessment.
“We support reducing the hold period for stray horses from the current 90 days down to 14 days.”
This bill will require nonparticipating manufacturers to post a financial instrument in addition to posting an escrow and require nonparticipating manufacturers to certify compliance. This bill also removes the 60-day grace period for retailers holding cigarettes not on the directory. Allows the Department of Revenue to revoke cigarette wholesalers license for a violation and restricts who can obtain a license. It will also allow the Department of Revenue to deny the issuance of a license and allow the applicant to have a hearing and protest the denial of the license.
This bill creates a new section of KRS Chapter 217 to define "not-for-profit organization" "take" and "wildlife" and will prohibit state and local government entities from restricting the donation of game meat to or from not-for-profit organizations for the purpose of free meal distribution. This bill also requires that the game meat be from wildlife that was taken in the Commonwealth, to be properly field dressed and processed, and apparently disease-free and unspoiled.
“We urge the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to allow landowners with nuisance permits to donate the wildlife to the Hunters for the Hungry Program or a local food bank.”
BILLS FARM BUREAU OPPOSED THAT PASSED
There were no bills passed in this session that Farm Bureau opposed.
BILLS FARM BUREAU OPPOSED THAT DID NOT PASS
This bill would have amended KRS 177.320, regarding allocation of a portion of fuel tax revenue to the rural secondary and county road aid funds, to change the revenue sharing formula to divide 48.2% of motor fuel tax revenues between incorporated and unincorporated areas based on population, road mileage, and land area, it would also clarify that the share of the three splits allocated to incorporated areas shall be used by cities in accordance with Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the Act. Clarify that the share of the three splits allocated to unincorporated areas shall be used by counties, with 54.8% going to rural secondary roads and 45.2% used for county roads and it would amend KRS 177.360 to eliminate the formula of fifths for allocation of rural secondary and county road aid funds among the counties and instead allocate funds to counties based on population, road mileage and land area.
2015 KFB State Priority Issue:
“Support the rural secondary and county road aid programs and continuation of the 22.2% allocation of the state gasoline tax revenue for rural roads.”
HB 132: J. Wayne, T. Burch, J. Jenkins, M. Marzian, R. Meeks, R. Palumbo, T. Riner – AN ACT relating to taxation. This bill would have decoupled the state estate tax from changes to the federal estate tax since 2003 and provided for a reduction and phase-out of the pension exclusion, and established a cap for itemized deductions. It would have also frozen the real property tax rate at 12.2 cents per $100, removed the rate adjustment provision, and removed the recall provision. It would have removed the provisions of HB 44 that allow for recall of certain tax rates.
2015 KFB State Priority Issue:
“Support the current provisions of House Bill 44 (KRS 132.010). Revenue from property taxes should continue to be limited to 4% plus new growth. Proposals to exceed 4% should automatically go to the voters.”
BILLS FARM BUREAU SUPPORTED THAT DID NOT PASS
This bill would have redefined class A beneficiaries to include daughters-in-law and sons-in-law for purposes of the inheritance tax.
“We thank the General Assembly for eliminating Class A beneficiaries from Kentucky’s inheritance tax and recommend the exemption be extended to Class B and C beneficiaries.”
HB 157: M. Meredith, R. Quarles, R. Bunch, J. DeCesare, R. Heath, J. Kay, K. King, D. Mayfield, S. Miles, D. Osborne, B. Rowland, S. Rudy, D. Schamore, J. Shell, W. Stone, J. Tipton, R. Webber, S. Westrom – AN ACT relating to the taxation of drugs used in the production of cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, ratite birds, or equine.
This bill would have exempted drugs and over-the-counter drugs if used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, ratite birds, or equine.
This bill would have exempted feed and feed additives, seeds, commercial fertilizers, farm chemicals, farm machinery, water, fuels, and on-farm facilities used in the production of equine from the sales and use tax.
2015 KFB State Priority Issue:
“Recommend production items associated with the equine and poultry industries, as well veterinary medicine and vaccines be exempt from the sales and use tax.“
This bill would have required the illumination of headlights on motor vehicles with a model year of 2000 or newer during any period of precipitation that necessitates the use of windshield wipers by motorists and established fines ranging from $20 to $100 and specify that there will be a courtesy warning period until July 1, 2016.
“We support legislation requiring headlights being illuminated if windshield wipers are in use.”
This bill would have exempted from sales and use tax the sale or purchase of float bed trays on or after July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2019.
“We recommend that all farm production items including veterinary medicine and vaccines, electricity, sawdust and wood shavings, all livestock and poultry bedding, LP gas, and natural gas be exempt from sales and use tax.”
This bill would have required the Kentucky Department of Education, no later than September 1, 2016, to establish at least one teacher institute regarding financial literacy and economic education, to be conducted annually.
This bill would have required the Department of Education to develop and implement the Kentucky Financial Literacy Program and required a high school student to complete instruction in financial literacy, included within the existing curriculum, prior to graduation.
“We support “Financial Literacy” core content being included in Kentucky school curriculum at all appropriate levels.”
This bill would have required the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to implement a substance abuse screening program for applicants and recipients of public assistance who have a felony or misdemeanor history of substance abuse.
“We support the idea that those who receive SSI, food stamps, housing, or other government welfare payments should have to submit to random drug testing.”
This bill proposed to amend the Constitution of Kentucky to create a right to farm within provisions of the law and to submit to the voters for approval or disapproval.
“We support responsible actions designed to permit and protect the privilege and the rights of farmers to produce without undue or unreasonable restrictions, regulations or harassment from the public or private sectors.”
This bill would have provided a weight tolerance of 10% for commercial vehicles that are engaged in the transportation of agricultural products.
“We support the 10% weight exemption on farm trucks and trucks servicing farms hauling agriculture products, similar to the same benefits currently given to the transportation of primary forest products.”
OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST THAT PASSED
HB 20: H. Collins, D. Floyd, K. Bratcher, M. Denham, M. Dossett, J. DuPlessis, C. Harris, C. Howard, C. Miller, R. Nelson, J. Richards, D. Schamore, K. Upchurch, R. Webber – AN ACT relating to the valuation of motor vehicles for property tax purposes.
This bill will clarify the standards for appraising the value of motor vehicles that are 20 years old or older for property tax purposes, by providing that no vehicle of said age shall be presumed to have been maintained or restored to either the original factory condition or any otherwise classic condition, and also by establishing the standard value of said vehicles and provide that the Act shall apply to motor vehicles assessed on or after January 1, 2016.
This bill will allow local governments to establish energy project assessment district programs in order to advance the efficient use of energy and water resources by allowing for energy projects to be financed by assessments imposed on only those properties participating in a program. Allow local governments to impose assessments on participating properties and provide the terms for the collection of the assessments, including the grant of senior tax lien status therefor and allow local governments to issue bonds to finance a program. It will prohibit a local government from imposing an assessment on property under a program except upon the request of the owner of record and provide that no provision of this Act shall be interpreted to expand the statutory powers of eminent domain belonging to a local government, state agency, or private entity.
This bill modifies the telecommunications regulations and ends most Public Service Commission authority over exchanges with 15,000 or more housing units. For less populous exchanges, PSC jurisdiction reduced and obligation to provide basic local exchange (wireline) service is reduced. Gives utility option to substitute internet protocol or wireless service in some situations and provides that customers in some situations would have right to reject IP or wireless service and have their wireline restored.
This bill was the companion bill of HB 152.
This bill expanded the definitions of "farm animal," "farm animal activity" "farm animal facility," and "farm animal professional" to include camelids, demonstrations and sales, semi-permanent structures, and shearing services, respectively.
This bill is an omnibus revision of the motor carrier statutes. This bill will repeal the requirement for safety certification training and establish that a certificate is to be granted to any applicant who conforms to the requirements of KRS Chapter 281. Gives the Department of Vehicle Regulation the authority to file liens against motor carriers for fees administered under the chapter and eliminates hearings for the issuance of U-Drive-It certificates. It also requires criminal background checks for certain officers and employees and establishes disqualifying offenses, establishes renewal procedures and fees, establishes requirements for rate and time schedules and establishes procedures for transfer of certificates. Allows cities and counties to impose annual license fees not to exceed $30 per vehicle on taxicabs, limousines, transportation network company vehicles, and disabled persons vehicles and it exempts nonresident motor carriers from fees if reciprocal provisions are granted Kentucky carriers by the nonresident carrier's home state. Prohibits local governments from imposing taxes or fees on commercial motor vehicle on property carrier operating under interstate commerce or under the United Carrier Registration System and reduces the minimum fine for operating a motor carrier without a valid certificate or in violation of a certificate from $2,000 to $500. It also authorizes the
Transportation Cabinet to join compacts with other states regarding over dimensional permits and clarifies that any existing certificate or permit in effect on the effective date of the Act shall remain valid until its expiration and that prior to expiration.
OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST THAT DID NOT PASS
HB 1: G. Stumbo, J. Hoover, R. Adkins, L. Belcher, T. Burch, D. Butler, J. Donohue, K. Flood, D. Floyd, J. Glenn, D. Graham, J. Greer, R. Heath, M. Marzian, C. Miller, B. Montell, R. Palumbo, S. Riggs, K. Sinnette, R. Smart, T. Thompson, D. Watkins, S. Westrom, B. Yonts – AN ACT proposing to amend Section 181 of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to local levies of sales and use taxes.
This bill proposed to amend Section 181 of the Constitution of Kentucky to authorize the General Assembly to confer upon the proper authority of any city or county the power to levy a local option sales and use tax, subject to specifically enumerated conditions and limitations and submit to the voters for approval or disapproval.
This bill would have created new sections of KRS Chapter 65 to establish the parameters and requirements for the levy of local option sales and use taxes, if a proposed constitutional amendment allowing such a levy was approved.
HB 4: G. Stumbo, L. Belcher, D. Butler, H. Collins, K. Flood, J. Greer, M. Marzian, C. Miller, R. Palumbo, J. Richards, D. Schamore, J. Short, R. Smart, W. Stone, G. Watkins, B. Yonts – AN ACT relating to funding for Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System and making an appropriation therefor.
This bill would have authorized the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission to issue funding notes to finance or refinance pension fund obligations owed to Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System and to authorize the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission to issue funding notes in an amount not to exceed $3,300,000,000 in fiscal year 2015-2016. The Senate deleted the original provisions of this bill and replaced it will language that would have established the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System Task Force for the purpose to study issues regarding the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System and to develop consensus recommendations concerning the benefits and funding of the system and require its findings and recommendations to be submitted to the Legislative Research Commission by December 18, 2015. The House and Senate conferees could not agree on compromise legislation.
This bill would have required forfeit ownership of animals involved in cruelty and torture cases and prohibit ownership or possession of animals of the same species for two years.
This bill would have established an endangered and threatened plant species list to be maintained by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves commission and prohibited the taking or possession of an endangered and threatened plant species without written permission of the owner, lessee, or other person entitled to possession.
This bill would have exempted bees used in a commercial enterprise for the production of honey or wax for sale and certain items used in that pursuit from the sales and use tax.
This bill would have defined "adequate shelter" in regard to livestock and domestic animals other than livestock and required persons having custody of an animal to provide adequate shelter.
This bill would have expanded, to the extent feasible, the Department of Corrections’ current Farm Operations Program to all adult correctional facilities operated within the Commonwealth including correctional facilities operated by private contractors. It would have also required that all food and agricultural products grown or produced under the Farm Operations Program be solely for the consumption or use by inmates housed in facilities operated within the Commonwealth, persons employed by correctional facilities, and any associated staff and required that any surplus of agricultural commodities be donated to food banks or other charitable nonprofit food distribution programs.
This bill would have created a definition for "electronic cigarettes" and amend definition of "tobacco products" to include "electronic cigarettes.
This bill would have required the Department for Public Health to establish, promote, and maintain a statewide e-cigarette education and awareness program.
This bill would have set the minimum average wholesale price of gasoline for computation of motor fuels tax at $2.07 per gallon and removed the exemption of 2.1 cents per gallon of motor fuels tax from revenue sharing. It would have also increased the percentage of motor fuel tax allotted to the County Road Aid Fund from 18.3% to 19.5% and increased the percentage of motor fuel tax allotted to the Municipal Road Aid Fund from 7.7% to 8.3%.
This bill would have established a qualified conservation contribution income tax credit.
This bill would have directed the Legislative Research Commission to establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force
This bill would have excluded all educational buildings and facilities from meeting the requirements of the prevailing wage law.
This bill would have exempted landowners, their spouses, dependent children, and tenants and their dependent children from the requirement of procuring a sport fishing license if they are taking fish from private waters on lands of which they are bona fide owners.
This bill would have prohibited the use of a drone to disrupt lawful hunting, trapping, or fishing.
SB 73: J. Carroll – AN ACT proposing an amendment to Section 170 of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to property exempt from taxation. This bill would have proposed an amendment to Section 170 of the Constitution of Kentucky allowing the property tax homestead exemption to transfer to the surviving spouse of a qualifying owner and submit to voters.
This bill would have included bees within the definition of "livestock."
SB 191: R. Webb – AN ACT relating to inspection of horses. This bill would have required that a veterinarian, veterinary technician, or designated qualified person conduct any inspection of a horse on show grounds during a competition or exhibition. This bill would have excluded any horses or horse racing activities conducted under KRS Chapter 230.
SB 203: J. Schickel - AN ACT relating to stream restoration and mitigation funds and making an appropriation therefor. This bill would have required that 25% of in-lieu fees contributed to the Kentucky Wetland and Stream Mitigation Fund be allocated solely for use on infrastructure projects and it would have also defined "infrastructure project" as the extension of sewer lines, the extension of water lines, improvements to existing sewer and water infrastructure, roadway improvements that incorporate green infrastructure, and repair and maintenance of regional storm water systems, natural features, and waterways.