February 5, 2016 - Legislative Report No. 6 2016 Kentucky General AssemblyPosted on Feb 5, 2016
Today marks the twenty-second legislative day of the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Legislation is moving through the committee process and passing the respective chambers. Through yesterday there have been 25 bills and resolutions passed by the Senate and 24 bills and resolutions passed by the House. The first bill of the 2016 session became law this week when Governor Bevin signed SB 4.
The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee have begun their consideration of the state budget. The committee met on Tuesday and heard testimony from the state budget director and his staff regarding Governor Bevin’s budget proposal. All of the budget review subcommittees have met to review their portions of the budget.
Please refer to Legislative Report No. 5 dated 1/29/16 for a listing of KFB’s funding priorities. It is our understanding the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has made application to the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board for the initial funding for the Grain Center of Excellence project. As reported last week, Governor Bevin’s budget included $21 million in FY 16 for the Agriculture Development fund. This was a result of carry forward funds from last year’s session of the General Assembly.
This week we had a very productive meeting with Secretary Snavely of the Energy and Environment Cabinet to discuss our 2016 priority issue related to water resources.
Also this week Commissioner Quarles shared his vision for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture on the KFB minute. To view click here.
Below is an update on a couple of bills of interest:
HB 231: T. McKee, R. Rand, M. Denham, M. Meredith, T. Mills, S. Overly, W. Stone - AN ACT relating to the taxation of drugs used in the treatment of cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, or ratite birds.
This bill will exempt drugs and over-the-counter drugs for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, or ratite birds sold or purchased between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2022 from the sales and use tax; EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2016. This bill passed the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee on Wednesday, however on Thursday this bill was recommitted to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee because it contains a fiscal note (FN).
“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 resolution would establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force and provide that the purpose of the task force is to study issues regarding timber theft and trespass and to develop consensus recommendations to address those issues; name the membership of the task force; require the task force to meet three times before submitting its final report; require its final report to be submitted to the Legislative Research Commission by November 30, 2016. This bill passed the House Natural Resource and Environment Committee and was placed on the House Consent Calendar.
This year we are combining our Legislative Drive-In Day with our annual Food Check-Out Day activities on March 2, 2016. This will allow those of you visiting with your legislator(s) the opportunity to present them with a basket of Kentucky grown agricultural products to celebrate the safest most affordable food in the world.
The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the auditorium of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, located at 200 Mero Street, Frankfort, Kentucky.
We encourage you to contact your senator and representative in advance to let them know you will be in Frankfort that day and to set up a meeting with them to discuss issues affecting agriculture and to present them with a Food Check-Out Day basket.
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
During the week, you may reach your representative and senator in Frankfort by calling 502.564.8100.
If you do not desire to talk to your state legislator immediately or you just want to leave a message, you may dial toll-free 800.372.7181. An answering service will take your message for your representative or senator. The legislative calendar information line is 800.633.9650, the bill status line is 866.840.2835, and the Governor's office number is 502.564.2611.
If you desire to e-mail your representative or senator, click here for a list of e-mail addresses for members of the Kentucky General Assembly. Find your legislator and click on his or her name to access their e-mail address.
The following are registered to lobby for Kentucky Farm Bureau for the 2016 session: Jeff Harper, Public Affairs Director, extension 5104; Bryan Alvey extension 7218; Tony Sholar, extension 5121, and David S. Beck, extension 5101. If you would like to call your lobbyists during the evening, call 502.352.4280 at the Frankfort headquarters or call 502.495.5000 and key in their extensions.
If you would like to contact one of your lobbyists during the day, please call Sara Stivers at 502.495.5121 and she will put you in touch with one of them.