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February 15, 2017 4:10pm

Back In Action: An Update from Frankfort & Indianapolis

Several GLI priority bills passed quickly as legislatures reconvened for the regular session.

House Bill 72, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Miller, will address the endless appeals that opponents of development projects have utilized to kill investments in our community, by an appeal bond to be posted 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 Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. GLI testified in support of the Appeal Bond Bill. HB 72 passed the Kentucky House of Representatives on February 14, 2017 by a vote of 63 to 32.  

House Bill 35, also sponsored by Rep. 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 unanimously out of the House State Government Committee on Thursday, February 9, 2017. GLI is supportive of Public Benefit Corporations. HB 35 passed the Kentucky House of Representatives on February 14, 2017 by a vote of 78 to 17.  

Senate Bill 78, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, would prohibit the use of tobacco by students, visitors, faculty and staff on school property. A healthy workforce is important to a strong economy and healthy lifestyle choices are best learned early.

SB 78 passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, February 9, 2017. GLI is supportive of measures to increase wellness, including smoke-free workplaces.

Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Joe Bowen, will require Senate confirmation of the Executive Director of the Kentucky Retirement System and appointees to the KRS Board. SB 2 will also require the disclosure of investment fees and holdings, and will require board members to have previous investment experience. Our pension system drastically needs these reforms to remain solvent.

SB2 passed unanimously out of the Senate on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, and awaits action in the House. GLI is supportive of SB 2.

GLI co-hosted a pizza luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday February 7 for legislators with our regional chamber partners. We would like to thank Papa John’s for their sponsorship of the successful event.

On the other side of 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, will establish the Indiana-Kentucky transborder groundwater authority to study ownership rights in the groundwater resources shared by our two states.

HB 1211 passed out of the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation on Tuesday, February 7, 2017. GLI testified in favor of HB 1211 before the Committee. HB 1211 passed the Indiana House of Representatives on February 13, 2017 by a vote of 93 to 0. 

In December and January, GLI awarded our 2016 Most Valuable Policymakers. Due to scheduling conflicts, Kent Oyler was able to honor Senator Jimmy Higdon with his award.  Senator Higdon is a champion of regionalism.  He supported Senate Bill 140, which restores tuition reciprocity for Kentucky’s residents at post-secondary institutions out-of-state.  He has also worked with GLI to secure inclusion of Nelson County in the 2017 tuition reciprocity agreement with Indiana. Senator Higdon is also one of the most accessible members of Senate Leadership and is always willing to work with members of the business community to increase our Commonwealth’s competitiveness. Thank you, Senator Higdon!

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 here to view the progress of the other bills we are tracking.