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March 31, 2017 7:01pm

GLI Legislative Update: Sine Die

The 2017 Kentucky general assembly has officially adjourned. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the final two weeks of the 2017 regular session.

Recent Wins

House Bill 72, 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.

House Bill 72 passed the House of Representatives on Thursday night, just before sine die, and was delivered to Gov. Matt Bevin.

House Bill 330, sponsored by Rep. David Osborne, will give the Louisville Arena Authority more time to collect a portion of the sales and property tax revenue the area surrounding the arena. The Yum! Center is an attraction that injects a great amount of economic life into our region. By extending the time period to collect revenue from 20 years to 45 years, we make sure one of our region’s greatest venues does not default on its bond payments.

House Bill 330 passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday and was delivered to Gov. Matt Bevin.

GLI Priority Bills Signed by the Governor

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. GLI is the only chamber of commerce in Kentucky that is supportive of Public Benefit Corporations and the economic development opportunities HB 35 will create.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 35 into law on March 20.

House Bill 410, sponsored by Rep. Jim DuPlessis, offers Kentuckians the option to choose enhanced identification that will comply with federal standards or continue to use the current state-issued identification card. Kentucky will now be compliant with enhanced federal standards set by the Department of Homeland Security and Kentucky identification cards will be accepted for entry into federal facilities such as Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, other government facilities and domestic flights.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 410 into law on March 21.

House Bill 520, sponsored by Rep. Bam Carney, allows the establishment of charter schools in the Commonwealth. This legislation outlines the qualifications needed to apply and authorize a charter school, including a path for existing schools to become charter schools. Charter schools provide another educational option for families of all economic backgrounds who want the best for their children. House Bill 471, sponsored by Rep. Steven Rudy and co-sponsored by Rep. Bam Carney, includes language to fund HB 520.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 520 into law on March 21.

Missed Opportunities

House Bill 296, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, would have addressed the problems facing Kentucky’s $1 billion workers’ compensation system. This bill would have clarified how the limitation on reopening claims already in Kentucky would be applied, set an appropriate time period for filing claims on an injury that presents symptoms years after exposure and would have required 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 while improving injured workers’ access to care, and return the individual to work more quickly, GLI will be engaged on this issue in future sessions.

House Bill 296 did not receive a hearing in the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor committee.

Greater Louisville Inc. would like to thank Kentucky state legislators for all of their hard work during this busy session.

As we shift our focus from state to federal legislative issues, GLI will convene our public policy issues committees to set the federal priorities of the Greater Louisville business community. If you are interested in attending any of these meetings, please contact Stewart Lewis at slewis@greaterlouisville.com.