January 21, 2016 Legislative Report No. 4 - Kentucky General Assembly

Posted on Jan 21, 2016
Today marks the twelfth legislative day of the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. To date there have been a total of 185 Senate bills and resolutions and 347 House bills and resolutions introduced.  Due to the inclement weather forecast the Kentucky General Assembly will not convene Friday, January 22.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney testified to the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 2016 State Priority Issues.  To view the Farm Bureau Minute click here, or to view Mr. Haney’s entire testimony click here.

On Tuesday, January 26, Governor Bevin will present his two-year budget to a joint session of the General Assembly. It is expected to be a tight budget.  Earlier this week Senate President discussed the state budget that the General Assembly will begin considering next week.  Click here to listen.

Next Tuesday, January 26 is also the filing deadline for candidates seeking office for this year’s election, except for those seeking office as an independent.  The filing deadline for independents is April 1, 2016.

Some of the bills of interest filed this week:

HB 269: T. McKee, W. Stone, R. Crimm, M. Denham, J. Jenkins, M. King, T. Mills, D. Schamore, R. Smart, T. Thompson - AN ACT relating to veterinarians.

This bill would  define "veterinary wellness program" and "student" and eliminate "veterinary technologist" designation; clarify the veterinarian-client-patient relationship to allow veterinarians to release animal welfare information to government authorities; clarify veterinary license to practice requirements; allow for additional licensing stipulations; provide conditions under which a nonresident of the United States may practice veterinary medicine; clarify a special permit to practice veterinary medicine; clarify animal control euthanasia; set out how the Board of Veterinary Examiners may allow the renewal of retired or inactive licenses; increase the size of the Board of Veterinary Examiners; provide board members immunity from personal liability in any action based on an official act of the member; allow the board to establish a veterinary wellness committee; clarify the election of a chair and vice chair of the board; limit administrative fines to $5,000 per violation; define what "private admonishment" means; describe who may be licensed as a veterinary technician. This bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture and Small Business Committee.

HB 273: T. McKee, M. Denham, H. Collins, J. Donohue, D. Hale, C. Howard, M. King, T. Mills, R. Nelson, J. Richards, B. Rowland, A. Simpson, R. Smart, W. Stone, T. Thompson, B. Yonts - AN ACT relating to emergency air ambulance services.

This bill would require the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services to annually obtain charges billed by all air ambulance providers licensed and operating in the state; deem the information provided as proprietary and not subject to the Open Records Act, require the board to determine the average cost of air ambulance services in the state which shall be subject to the Open Records Act; require the board to submit the average cost to the commissioner of the Department of Insurance; authorize the board to promulgate administrative regulations to establish a form to be completed by all air ambulance service providers to determine average cost of services; require any air ambulance service providers licensed and operating in the state to provide information regarding charges billed to the board; require health benefit plans to prominently provide a notice in each contract for coverage stating whether or not the contract covers air ambulance service and, if provided, the dollar amount of coverage; require the commissioner of the Department of Insurance to review all health benefit plans for compliance with the notice requirement and provide the average cost of all ambulance services to all health benefit plans every three years.  This bill has been assigned to the House Banking and Insurance Committee.

HB 278: G. Stumbo - AN ACT relating to wages.

This bill would raise the state minimum wage to $8.20 per hour on August 1, 2016, $9.15 per hour on July 1, 2017, and $10.10 per hour on July 1, 2018; amend KRS 337.010 the definition of employees of retail stores and service industries, to increase the applicable threshold of business that applies to from $95,000 to $500,000; amend KRS 337.420 to define "equivalent jobs" as those that are equal under the federal Equal Pay Act, or jobs that are dissimilar but equivalent in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions; amend KRS 337.423 to prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, or national origin by prohibiting wage differentials for employees who perform equivalent jobs; provide exceptions for wage differentials based on seniority or merit systems, systems that measure wages by quantity or quality of production, and factors other than sex, race, or national origin; amend KRS 337.425 to require the promulgation of administrative regulations to specify criteria for determining jobs that are dominated by employees of a particular sex, race, or national origin, and acceptable methodology for determining equivalent skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions; require that the promulgation occur on or before July 1, 2017; EFFECTIVE July 1, 2018.

HB 279: S. Riggs – AN ACT relating to the taxation of food sold through vending machines or self-service vending systems.

This bill would exempt from sales and use tax food and food ingredients sold through a vending machines or self-service vending systems; EFFECTIVE August 1, 2014.

REMINDER

Special Election

Please note there will be four Special Elections for the seats listed below on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

House District 8  – Christian and Trigg counties

House District 54 – Boyle and Casey counties

House District 62 – Fayette, Owen, and Scott counties

House District 98 – Boyd and Greenup counties

 We encourage those county Farm Bureau’s with special elections to conduct a Measure-the-Candidate Forum.  It is critically important to know what the candidate’s views are regarding our State Priority Issues and our policy.

FUTURE DATES OF INTEREST

February 15…................................................ President's Day Holiday

February 19…............................................... Last Day for Bill Request

February 29........................................... Last Day for New House Bills

March 2….............................................. Last Day for New Senate Bills

March 2……………………………..KFB Legislative Drive-In/Food Check-Out Day

March 25 & March 28.............................................. Concurrence Only

March 29 – April 8........................................................... Veto Period

April 12…................................................. General Assembly, Sine Die

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

YOUR LOBBYISTS

The following are registered to lobby for Kentucky Farm Bureau for the 2015 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.

Tagged Post Topics Include: Action Alerts, Governor, Kentucky General Assembly, Mark Haney, Matt Bevin, Senate Agriculture Committee