GLI Legislative Update: Week 3

Many GLI priority bills stole the spotlight in Frankfort the third week of the legislature’s 2017 regular session.

Senate Bill 1, Sponsored by Sen. Mike Wilson, is the most comprehensive education reform bill our Commonwealth has seen in a long time and will align Kentucky’s educational standards with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. SB1 will also return much of the power back to individual school districts. GLI supports high academic standards for our students in order to create a workforce that will meet the demands of the future.

Senate Bill 1 passed unanimously out of the Senate today and will next be considered by the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 2, Sponsored by Sen. Joe Bowen, outlines the confirmation process and requirements for appointees to the state retirement boards. It will also require the disclosure of investment fees and holdings. The goal is to ensure that investments made in public pension systems remain transparent, accountable, and sustainable.

SB2 passed unanimously out of the Senate and was reported favorably in the House State Government Committee.

Senate Bill 78, Sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, will prohibit tobacco use on school property. Students, school personnel, and visitors will be prohibited from using tobacco in schools, school vehicles, properties and activities. Tobacco cessation and smoke-free workplaces are longstanding priorities of GLI.

SB 78 passed the Senate on Wednesday and awaits action in the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 151, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Meredith and Sen. Wil Schroder, passed the Senate on Thursday. SB 151 will protect the widely successful franchisor-franchisee business model in Kentucky. Although franchisees don the names of big corporations, they are still essentially small, locally owned businesses.

 SB 151 passed the Senate on Thursday and awaits action in the House. GLI testified before the Senate Economic Development, Tourism & Labor Committee in support of SB 151.

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House Bill 35, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller, will allow a business to pursue a public benefit, in addition to profit, and enshrines a company’s mission for future generations. Public Benefit Corporations are recognized in 31 other states and allows businesses to pursue capital from a new and growing group of impact investors.

HB 35 passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday and will be considered by the Senate Agriculture Committee on State and Local Government.

House Bill 72, also sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller, will address the endless appeals process that opponents of development projects have used to kill economic investments in our community by requiring the post of an appeal bond by the appellant. HB 72 will deter frivolous appeals, allow legitimate cases to proceed, and make the process fair.

HB 72 passed out of the House on Tuesday and will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

 

House Bill 296, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, will address the problems facing Kentucky’s $1 billion workers’ compensation system. HB 296 will clarify how the limitation on reopening claims already in Kentucky law will be applied, set an appropriate time period for filing claims on an injury that presents symptoms years after exposure and will require that treatment guidelines be developed and implemented to ensure the proper standard of care while allowing for flexibility in care for special cases. Increasing the efficiency of the system will drive employers’ cost down, improve injured workers’ access to care, and return the individual to work more quickly.

HB 296 is being considered by the House of Representatives after being reported favorably in the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee.

House Bill 330, sponsored by Rep. David Osborne, will lengthen the tax increment financing (TIF) model for the KFC Yum! Center. HB 330 would extend the TIF from 20 years where it is currently, to no less than 20 and no more than 45 years. If action is not taken on this important issue, the arena could default on bond payments, and significantly reduce the economic impact it provides businesses, restaurants and hotels by attracting top tier sporting and music events.

HB 330 was filed this week and awaits action in the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee.

GLI was on hand during the signing of House Bill 1, the new law designating Kentucky as a Right to Work state. Kentucky employees now have the freedom to choose whether or not they join a union at their place of work. GLI has been a strong advocate for Right to Work legislation for years and we commend the leadership of the House, Senate and Governor for signing this GLI priority into law.

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Across the river, GLI has continued to work with our regional partners to pass legislation that will improve our bi-state region.

House Bill 1211, authored by Rep. Steven Stemler establishes the Indiana-Kentucky transborder groundwater authority to study ownership rights in the groundwater resources shared by our two states. GLI testified in favor of HB 1211 before the Statuatory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation on February 7th.

HB 1211 passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously on Wednesday. It has been sponsored by a State Senator from our region, Senator Grooms and awaits action by the Indiana State Senate.

The GLI Advocacy Team continues to meet with our elected officials on both sides of the river to advance legislation outlined in our 2017 Legislative Agenda. Click hereto view the progress of the other bills we are tracking.

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