March 18, 2016 - Legislative Report No. 12 2016 Kentucky General AssemblyPosted on Mar 18, 2016
Today marks the fifty-first legislative day of the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Thank you for all the contacts you made to your State Senator and State Representatives on HB 529. As a result, HB 529 was passed unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, March 15 and was placed on the Senate Consent Calendar.
As we enter the last few days of this session there could be a need for immediate action on your part to contact your Senator or Representative.
HB 529 - R. Rand, S. Rudy, R. Adkins, R. Crimm, M. Denham, R. Heath, D. Horlander, K. King, M. King, T. McKee, M. Meredith, T. Mills, B. Rowland, W. Stone, T. Thompson, J. Tipton, B. Yonts - AN ACT relating to water resources policy.
This bill will establish the 11-member Kentucky Water Resources Board and identify the role and function of the board in developing water resource policy. It will require the cabinet to provide leadership for on-farm and rural community drought and water assessment monitoring, and improvements for agricultural purposes and authorize the cabinet to receive and disperse federal, state, and other funds for on-farm and community drought and water assessment, monitoring, and improvements.
This bill passed the House or Representatives on Tuesday, March 8, by a vote of 95-0. It passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and was placed on the Senate Consent Calendar. Today the Senate Rules Committee placed HB 529 on the Senate Consent Calendar #2 for passage on Monday, March 21.
2016 State Priority Issue
“Support the creation of a Kentucky water resource management program that will create, support, and advocate a coordinated effort to manage water resource projects across the Commonwealth.”
The House of Representatives passed HB 303, the State Budget, by a vote of 53-0 on Wednesday, March 16. During the 2015 session of the General Assembly HB 510 was passed, one of the provisions of this bill was any excess MSA payments shall remain in the Tobacco Settlement agreement Fund and shall not be appropriated or expended without express authority in an enacted biennial budget. The excess MSA funds from last year’s settlement of one time money was approximately $21 million dollars for the current fiscal year (2016).
In the House version of the budget some of these dollars from fiscal year 2016 were allocated as follows:
- $3 million to the Kentucky Water Resources Board;
- $4.1 million to the West Louisville FoodPort;
- $1 million to Environmental Stewardship of Cattle Production at Eden Shale Farm;
Regarding the Tobacco Settlement Dollars for the next two fiscal years 2017 and 2018:
- County Agricultural Development $10.8 million is FY17 and $11.9 in FY18;
- $5 million each fiscal year for the Environmental Stewardship Program;
- $1 million each fiscal year for the Breathitt Veterinary Center;
Other provisions of the House version of the State Budget:
- $17.4 million is FY17 and $17.6 million in FY18 in general fund dollars for the Kentucky Department of Agricultural;
- $950,000 each fiscal year for the Division of Conservation to provide direct aid to local conservation districts;
- $250,000 each fiscal year for the Department of Natural Resources tree nursery programs in Morgan and Marshall Counties.
The budget will now be taken up by the Senate and then the differences in the two versions will be ironed out by a conference committee of House and Senate members.
This bill contains several revenue measures including:
A sales tax exemption for prescriptions or over the counter drugs purchased for the treatment of beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, ratite birds, llamas, alpacas, buffalo, aquatic organisms, cervids, or bees, if purchased on or after August 1, 2016, and before August 1, 2022.
A sales tax exemption for items used for bees used in a commercial enterprise. This exemption shall apply to sales or purchases made on or after August 1, 2016 and before August 1, 2022.
Extends the $1 waste tire fee to June 30, 2018 from June 30, 2016.
Another provision of this bill will be to return 100% of severance and processing taxes on coal collected annually back to the counties over a four year period.
This bill passed the House 63-37 on Wednesday, March 16 and now heads to the Senate for their consideration.
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
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.