January 5, 2015 - Legislative Report No. 1 - 2015 Kentucky General Assembly

Posted on Jan 5, 2015
The 2015 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is set to begin tomorrow, January 6 with Part I and adjourn of Friday, January 9. Part II of the session will convene on Tuesday February 3 and adjourn on Monday, March 9. The General Assembly will then recess for a ten-day veto period which is scheduled to begin on March 10 and the legislature is scheduled to adjourn sine die on March 24.

Most of the Legislative Action Requests you will receive throughout the upcoming session will give Farm Bureau's position on bills, along with an explanation of the bill and the policy to support our position. They will usually request that you contact your senator or representative regarding a particular issue. Contacting your member of the General Assembly is the key component of implementing our policy. These requests will be sent late in the week and we hope that you will help us implement your policy by using it to help contact your legislator when you receive it, and over the weekend.

2015 LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

The Kentucky Farm Bureau state legislative priorities were approved by the State Board of Directors following our 95th Annual Meeting. Please acquaint yourself with its contents and keep it for reference throughout the session. We hope you will find it helpful as you discuss various legislative matters with your representative and senator during the months ahead. Your legislators will also receive our priority brochure - so be sure to discuss it with them.

2015 STATE PRIORITY ISSUES

HIGHWAYS, ROADS, AND BRIDGES

  • -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.
  • -Recommend sufficient funding be made available to maintain quality rural roads across the Commonwealth.
AGRICULTURE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
  • -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 & Water Quality Cost-Share Program.
  • -Support an efficient, well-administered and adequately financed Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
  • -Recommend sufficient funding be made available to maintain a strong grain elevator inspection program for the protection of farmers, and protect the farmer-financed Grain Insurance Program.
TAXATION
  • -Strongly oppose freezing the state real property tax rate.
  • -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.
  • -Maintain Kentucky’s sales tax exemptions for production agriculture.
  • -Recommend production items associated with the equine and poultry industries, as well veterinary medicine and vaccines be exempt from the sales and use tax.
EMINENT DOMAIN
  • -Oppose the power of eminent domain being used to take private property for private use.
WATER RESOURCES
  • -Request state government to include agricultural representation in the process of developing water quantity and quality regulations to include, but not limited to TMDL’s.
  • -State water resource policy and regulations should be based on adequate scientific research data.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
  • -Support effective wildlife management that will reduce the wildlife population in an effort to alleviate continued crop and livestock losses, automobile accidents, human injuries, and loss of life.
Forestry
  • -Support forestry initiatives that enhance the economy and create opportunities for woodland owners.
WHAT CAN YOUR COUNTY DO TO PREPARE FOR  THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION?

(1)  The month of January will be an excellent time to meet with your legislators and discuss priority issues. Then check each week's legislative reports to monitor progress and continue to communicate with your legislator as issues begin to move through the system. Remember, action requests are just that - a request for you to call your senator or representative and ask for their support for our position.

(2)  Ask your county Legislative Action Committee to develop a schedule of meetings to plan further action, as the need arises during the session. It is important that you maintain personal contact with your senator and representative as Farm Bureau's priority issues start to move through the legislative process. Several counties have weekly meeting times set up on Saturday mornings with their legislators.

(3)  Stay informed.....Know about the issues and Farm Bureau's position. It takes everyone's commitment for Farm Bureau to be successful!

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.

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, Beth Wisman, extension 5105, 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.

KEEP ALL LEGISLATIVE ACTION REQUESTS FOR FUTURE USE

We suggest that you keep all copies of the Legislative Action Requests on file because, on occasion, we may refer to a previous report as a source of more details regarding an issue.

FUTURE DATES OF INTEREST

January 6………………………………………………………….2015 General Assembly Part I Convenes

January 19………………………………………………………………………..Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

February 3……………………………………………………….2015 General Assembly Part II Convenes

February 6………………………………………………………………………….Last Day for New Bill Request

February 13………………………………………………………………………..Last Day for New Senate Bills

February 16………………………………………………………………………………….President’s Day Holiday

February 17…………………………………………………………………………Last Day for New House Bills

March 6 & March 9…………………………………………………………………………………Concurrence Only

March 10 – March 20……………………………………………………………………………………….Veto Period

March 24……………………………………………………………………………….General Assembly, Sine Die

 

Tagged Post Topics Include: Action Alert, Agricultural Development Board, Beth Wisman, Bryan Alvey, David S Beck, Eminent Domain, Forestry, Gasoline Tax, General Assembly, Grain Insurance Program, Highways, House Bill 44, Jeff Harper, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Master Settlement Agreement, property tax, Sales Tax, Sara Stivers, Short Session, Soil Erosion & Water Quality Cost-Share Program, Tony Sholar, Water Resources, Wildlife management