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February 24, 2017 5:02pm

GLI Legislative Update: Week 4

GLI priority legislation has remained in the spotlight on both sides of the Ohio River this week.

Senate Bill 2, the pension transparency bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Bowen, is a measure to bring more transparency and oversight to the Kentucky’s retirement systems, including Kentucky Retirement System, Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Judicial Retirement System.

SB 2 passed the Senate unanimously last week and passed the House unanimously on Thursday. 

Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, is a continuation from the legislature’s 2015 updates to modernize Kentucky’s telecommunications laws. We need this legislation to attract economic growth and technology by eliminating outdated regulations.

SB 10 passed the Senate this week and awaits House action.

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 last week and sent to the House Education committee on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 120, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, passed the Senate Judiciary on Thursday. SB 120, the reentry bill, seeks to cut down on recidivism and improve transition after time served. This bipartisan measure will improve Kentucky’s workforce shortage by allowing individuals with a criminal record to have opportunities for employment, pay taxes, and support their families. One important piece of this bill includes options for employers with occupational licensing boards and the ability to consider workers with prior offenses. A board maintains the ability to deny a license as they see fit, and SB 120 establishes a fair appeals process.

SB 120 passed the Senate on Friday 35-1 and now awaits House action.

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. GLI and top investors, Papa John’s and YUM!, testified in committee this week.

SB 151 passed the House Economic Development &Workforce Investment committee on Thursday and awaits full House vote.


House Bill 291, the drone bill sponsored by Rep. Diane St. Onge, regulates the personal and business use of drones.

HB 291 passed the House this week and received in the Senate for committee assignment.

House Bill 296, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, will address the problems facing Kentucky’s $1 billion workers’ compensation system. HB 296 clarifies how the limitation on reopening claims already in Kentucky 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’ costs down while improving injured workers’ access to care, and return the individual to work more quickly.

HB 296 passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday and moves to the Senate for consideration.

Hoosier Bills:

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 Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation on February 7th.

HB 1211 passed the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously last week. It was sent to the Senate Committee on Environmental Affairs.

Across the river in Indiana, several issues GLI supports are making their way through the Indiana legislature.

Senate Bill 379, sponsored by Sen. Ronald Grooms, will give tax deductions to qualified people who cross the Ohio River and use tolls. People who would qualify are residents of Clark or Floyd County, who incur at least $100 in non-reimbursed toll expenses to cross the Ohio River bridges in Clark County or Floyd County and people who have Riverlink personal accounts. This makes life easier on residents of southern Indiana who travel to Louisville to work every day.

SB 379 was read for the first time in January and was referred to the Indiana Senate Homeland Security and Transportation committee.

House Bill 1286, authored by Rep. Steven Stemler and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Ronald Grooms, will limit the ability of regional development authorities to exercise eminent domain.

HB 1286 was passed in the Indiana House of Representatives in early February, and was later referred to the Indiana Senate Committee on Local Government where it awaits action.