Kentucky Political News Headlines

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bill Lists - Day 59

From Government Strategies:

During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, you can view the following bill lists updated nightly.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

KY Legislative Update - Day 59


One to Go...

The KY General Assembly convened today for the 59th legislative day of the 2018 Regular Session, after returning from the ten-day veto recess break. Priorities for both chambers included consideration of vetoes issued by Governor Bevin. As we've previously reported, earlier this week Governor Bevin vetoed both the budget bill (HB 200) and the tax reform bill (HB 366). He had previously vetoed legislation allowing for a phase-in of pension contributions by local governments and school districts (HB 362). As thousands of protestors gathered in Frankfort again today, the House and Senate voted to override all three of these gubernatorial vetoes. HB 200, HB 366, and HB 362 all stand as passed by the General Assembly.


The House and Senate will meet tomorrow, April 14, for the final day of the legislative session. They plan to consider what is described as "clean up" legislation to make several changes to the tax reform bill and perhaps the budget bill as well. Both the House and Senate will convene at 9:00 am and must adjourn sine die by midnight, as required by the Constitution. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bill Lists - Veto Recess

From Government Strategies:

Though the General Assembly hasn't been in session, over the veto recess bills are acted on by the Governor, so we wanted to send out updated lists with actions through Thursday, April 12.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

KY Legislative Update - Day 58


Day 58 - Budget & Tax Bills
Amid thousands of protesting teachers, the House and Senate voted on a budget and tax plan today. After reaching an agreement between the House and Senate Republican conferees over the weekend, the Conference Committee met and unveiled their tax reform proposal in HB 366 and their 2-year spending plan in HB 200. The Free Conference Committee Report for HB 200 and HB 366 did pass both chambers today and has been delivered to the Governor. 

Access the FCCR to HB 200, a summary of FCCR to HB 200, FCCR to HB 366 and summary and scoring analysis of HB 366. A few details of note we wanted to highlight in each bill:

The conference committee budget was truly a combination of the budgets from the Governor, House, and Senate. A few items of note:
- Fully funded teacher and public employee pensions
- Increased SEEK per-pupil funding level at $4000, restored SEEK transportation funding at current levels, restored funding to many of the additional school support services like FRYSC's.
- Restored some of the cuts to postsecondary education by putting those dollars into the performance-based funding formula
- Included language that the General Assembly must approve private prisons.
- Agreed with the Governor's recommendation for increased funding to improve social worker pay and technology improvements.

The revenue bill accompanying the budget, HB 366, included $234 million in FY 2019 and $244 million in FY 2020 in new revenue that was used to restore some of the cuts described above. Some notable provisions: 
- The bill includes a fifty cent cigarette tax increase
- Imposes the sales tax to some services, including the following:  landscaping services, janitorial services, pet grooming, small animal vet services, fitness and recreational centers, industrial laundry services, golf courses and country clubs, dry cleaning services, pet grooming, linen supply, diet and weight reduction centers, overnight trailer campgrounds, bowling centers, limousine services and extended warranties. Also included is the labor and services associated with the repair and replacement of parts for tangible personal property. The pollution control equipment sales tax exemption is eliminated.
- Corporate and individual income tax is reduced to 5%. 
- On business taxes, the bill establishes a tax credit for the local inventory tax and applies a single-factor apportionment formula with market-based sourcing. 

In other action, the legislature took action on several legislative priorities:

- SB 5 - Related to transparency for Medicaid PBM's
- HB 1 - Changes to adoption and kinship care programs
- HB 3 - Related to essential skills programming in local school districts 
- HB 400 - Related to direct shipment of spirits
- HB 362 - Allows for the phase-in of employer pension contributions for KERS and CERS.
- HB 203 - The Judicial Branch budget
- HB 204 - The Legislative Branch budget
HB 202 - The Road Plan

The General Assembly adjourned this evening until Friday, April 13 and indicated they plan to hold the session's final day on Saturday, April 14. When they return, they plan to take action on any remaining bills and consider overriding any gubernatorial vetoes that may be issued over the next 10 days. 





Bill Lists - April 2

From Government Strategies:

During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, you can view the following bill lists updated nightly.

Education Bill List

Energy-Environment Bill List

General Business Bill List

Health Care Bill List

Health Insurance Bill List

Insurance Bill List

Transportation Bill List

Road Plan receives final passage, goes to governor


For Immediate Release
April 2, 2018


Road Plan receives final passage, goes to governor

FRANKFORT—A two-year state Road Plan that would authorize over $2.4 billion for bridges, repaving and other highway needs throughout Kentucky over the next two fiscal years is on its way to the governor's desk after receiving passage in the Kentucky House.

House Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation Chair Rep. Sal Santoro, R-Florence, said before a House vote on House Bill 202 last month that the measure would invest nearly $1 billion in bridge and road work while bolstering economic development.

"This legislator knows our rural roads and our people in our rural communities need help, and we're going to take care of them," Santoro said.

Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chair Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, praised the legislation when it was amended and unanimously passed in the Senate on March 22.

"This is a road plan that is balanced," McDaniel said. "We have seen a lot that are not in the past. It takes an exceptional amount of discipline to put forward a plan like that. And frankly, in many ways, an exceptional amount of courage."

Also on its way to the governor is House Joint Resolution 74, which contains projects in the last four years, or "out years," of the state's six-year Road Plan. Projects in the out years of the plan are prioritized but not yet funded. HJR 74 was amended and passed unanimously by the Senate last month.

HB 202 and HJR 74 received final passage in the House today by votes of 76-14 and 75-15 respectively.

--END--



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

State lawmakers adjust 2018 session calendar


For Immediate Release
March 27, 2018


State lawmakers adjust 2018 session calendar
Senate and House will next convene on Thursday

FRANKFORT -- Lawmakers have decided to convene the Senate and House on Thursday, March 29, instead of Wednesday, March 28, as originally planned.

Lawmakers serving on a free conference committee are expected to continue state budget negotiations tomorrow.

The updated 2018 General Assembly calendar can be viewed here: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/calendars/18RS_calendar.pdf


--END--



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gov. Bevin Delivers Budget Address


Governor Matt Bevin proposed his state budget in the State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address this evening in Frankfort. The focus of the budget address was "Get our Financial House in Order" as explained in various materials below released by the Governor's office and as filed the Executive Branch Budget HB 200, Transportation Budget Bill HB 201, and the Road Fund budget HB 202. We will be reviewing the budget documents in detail over the coming days. However here are a few key elements:

 - The budget does not include pension reform or pieces of tax reform
 - Pension costs for state employees and teachers are fully funded with 14.5% of the General Fund dedicated to retirement costs
 - Most state agencies will be cut by 6.25%
 - Per pupil SEEK funding is exempt from these cuts, but school district transportation costs were significantly reduced
 - Nearly 70 programs are eliminated in this budget

The budget does provide for:

 - A $100 million bond pool for workforce development
 - Funding for new prosecutors and public advocates
 - Additional $34 million to fight opioid abuse and substance abuse
 - $10.8 million for a new program to support foster children and adoption
 - $250 million to be placed in the Rainy Day Fund
- Kentucky State Police will receive new cruisers and rifles, and a modern communications system

Governor Bevin included a statement that "Kentucky must modernize it's tax code so that economic growth will lead to much-needed additional revenue to invest in education, public safety, infrastructure, health care, and other areas of need."

See the Governor's documents below for more details and we will have more analysis in the days ahead.

2018-19 budget proposal includes necessary cuts, targeted investments

commonwealth of kentucky

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Governor's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Woody Maglinger502-564-2611Woody.Maglinger@ky.gov

Gov. Bevin Delivers Plan to Continue Building

Solid Fiscal Foundation for the Commonwealth

2018-19 budget proposal includes necessary cuts, targeted investments

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2018) – Gov. Matt Bevin tonight delivered his 2018 State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address to the General Assembly and fellow Kentuckians, outlining his plan to continue getting the state's financial house in order.
"Kentucky has just completed a truly transformative year of achievement, where many important seeds of progress were sown," said Gov. Bevin. "However, the truth remains that after decades of poor financial management, the Commonwealth faces some harsh realities. These realities, coupled with modest projected revenue growth, mean that Kentucky must make tough and unpopular decisions."
Gov. Bevin's 2018-19 budget proposal calls for spending reductions in almost all areas of state government, with an across-the-board cut of 6.25 percent to most agencies. To maintain the effectiveness of priority programs, it proposes significant yet strategic cuts and the complete elimination of 70 programs. Additionally, new borrowing will be held to historically low levels, with debt service requirements under 5.63 percent of revenue, as opposed to the 2006-2016 average of 6.58 percent.
While addressing the stark fiscal realities faced by the Commonwealth, Gov. Bevin's budget proposal also calls for several landmark investments, including:
  • $3.31 billion over the biennium to fully fund state employee and teacher pension plans for the first time in nearly two decades;
  • $100 million in bond pool funding for a second round of workforce skills training;
  • $34 million in new funding from tobacco settlement funds to fight the opioid epidemic and substance abuse;
  • $24 million to add positions and increase salaries for Kentucky's social workers so we can better protect Kentucky's most vulnerable citizens;
  • $10.8 million in new funding for adoption and foster children supports; and
  • funding for 75 new commonwealth and county attorneys and 51 new public advocates to strengthen the criminal justice system.
For K-12 education, it maintains the current $3,981 per student Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) allocation. The Governor also noted that most school districts have both high administrative costs and significant reserve funds. Statewide reserve funds total over $950 million. In light of these facts, the Governor called on districts to utilize some of their reserve funds for transportation and other needs. He also expects them to reduce their administrative overhead and to pay a portion of their employees' health insurance. These significant revenue sources at the local level allowed for a reduction in General Fund support for transportation and employee health insurance.
The Governor's budget also dedicates 100 percent of lottery funds to education. This budget will return an additional $7.7 million of coal severance funds directly back to coal counties. The KLEFPF fund remains fully dedicated to supporting law enforcement and firefighters, and the recently increased $4,000 annual training stipend has been retained. Kentucky State Police will receive upgrades to dangerous and outdated cruisers and rifles, and a modern statewide communications system for law enforcement will be funded. In addition, the budget closes the film incentive program to new applicants.
Gov. Bevin noted that some budget reductions could be avoided if the General Assembly enacts meaningful pension reform this session. Tax reform could also have significant impact and lead to a less austere budget. Gov. Bevin emphasized that he is calling for genuine tax reform that will make Kentucky more competitive with its neighboring states — not merely a bump in the sales tax or an increase in the cigarette tax, both of which have been proposed by many. Genuine reform will spur economic growth and result in much-needed additional revenue for education, public safety, infrastructure, health care and other vital services.
Budget documents can be found at the Office of State Budget Director's website, and a video of the full State of Commonwealth and Budget Address can be viewed on the Governor's official Facebook page. To download a budget fact sheet, click here.
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