Bill Tracker | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Bill Tracker

KFTC's legislative issues during the
2019 Kentucky General Assembly

The 2019 session began January 8 and by the deadline in mid-February nearly 800 bills and 300 resolutions had been filed. KFTC monitored legislation related to our platform. If you’d like to express your opinion on any of the bills listed in the tracker, you can contact your legislators at 800-372-7181. Operators will help you find your legislator and it’s very simple to leave a message.

To read a bill or get additional information, click on the bill number in the Summary column.

You can get additional resources for taking action by visiting KFTC's General Assembly page. Here you will find resources for talking with your legislator, reporting back what you learn, information on lobby days, and more.

We'll have the 2020 Bill Tracker up in early January.

Finally, please like us on Facebook. That’s where we will provide the quickest, latest updates on important bills that begin to move or need action.

KFTC Opposes

Anti-rooftop solar

Senate Bill 100
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Brandon Smith
Additional Information

On February 13 morning, SB 100 quickly passed the Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee (see how committee members voted), was placed at the last minute onto the Senate agenda that afternoon (after a spur-of-the moment Rules Committee meeting), and passed 23-12 on the Senate floor (see how senators voted). Senate Republican leaders had the bill on the fast track to passage even before it was assigned to a committee earlier in the week. This maneuvering prevented a favorable amendment from Sen. Reggie Thomas from even being considered on the Senate floor.

That same afternoon, the bill was received in the House, and House Republicans waived the 3-day posting rule so it could be heard in the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee the next morning. It was and passed 10-4 (see how committee members voted). Six amendments were offered on the House floor; two were considered and one was adopted. SB 100 then passed the full House, 71-24, on February 15 (see how House members voted).

On February 21 the Senate refused to concur with the House amendment. On March 14, House Speaker David Osborne broke a promise to not allow the bill to go forward without the House amendment; the House voted to recede from its amendment and send the original, deeply flawed bill to the governor. SB 100 was signed into law by the governor on March 26.

KFTC Opposes

War on the Poor

House Bill 3
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Osborse, Meade
Additional Information

HB 3 was assigned to the House Health and Family Services Committee. Strong public opposition kept the bill was getting a committee hearing, although one was twice scheduled.

KFTC Opposes

Public education funding

House Bill 205
Senate Bill 118
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. John Carney + others; Sens. Alvarado & Thayer
Additional Information

HB 118 was assigned to the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee. SB 118 was assigned to the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee.

There was a hearing on HB 205 in the House committee on March 5. No vote was taken, and the bill was not brought up again because it did not have enough votes to pass..

 

Also read: Why Catholics should oppose Kentucky private school tax bill

KFTC Opposes

School Principal Selection

Senate Bill 250
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Julie Raque Adams
Additional Information

KFTC's platform calls for support of high-quality public education.

SB 250 was approved by the Senate Education Committee and then the full Senate, 31-6, on February 28 (see how senators voted). In the House it was approved by the Local Government Committee on March 6 and by the full House, 54-42, on March 12 (see how House members voted). SB 25o was signed into law by the governor on March 25.

KFTC Opposes

Weaken Open Records Law

House Bill 387
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Jason Petrie
Additional Information

KFTC's platform calls for easy access and an end to the overly bureaucratic procedures necessary to obtain open records in Kentucky.

HB 387 was approved by the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee, 11-5-3, on February 27 (see how committee members voted). The bill was posted for passage on the House floor but was never called for a vote.

KFTC Opposes

Call for a Federal Constitutional Convention

Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Hornback, Mills, McDaniel
Additional Information

KFTC's platform supports a healthy democracy. A Constitutional Convention would be a huge threat to our democracy. A Constitutional Convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution is unprecedented.

SJR 102 was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. HJR 87 was assigned to the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Neither bill was called for a vote.

SJR 102 / HJR 87 handout

To learn more about this issue, you can like and follow the Kentucky Constitutional Convention Watch page on facebook.

KFTC Opposes

Cutting Unemployment Benefits

House Bill 317
Senate Bill 171
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Webber & Huff; Sen. Robby Mills
Additional Information

HB 317 was approved by the House Small Business & Information Technology Committee on February 21 by an 10-7 vote (see how committee members voted). On March 12, the House Rules Committee reassigned HB 317 to the Appropriations & Revenue Committee, and the bill did not come up again.

SB 171 was assigned to the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee and did not receive a hearing or vote.

KFTC Opposes

Tax giveaways

House Bill 354
Bill Sponsor(s):
Reps. Steve Rudy, Lynn Bechler
Additional Information

HB 354 passed the House, 96-4, on February 21. HB 354 was amended and passed by the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee and by the full Senate, 33-0, both on March 4 (see how House and Senate members voted).

On March 5, the House reject the Senate amendment and the Senate refused to recede. A conference committee was appointed to negotiate differences in the two bills. On March 6, the conference committee reported that it could not reach an agreement. A free conference committee was appointed and added several more special interest tax breaks – including more than $50 million for banks – to the bill, totaling $105 million in lost revenue.

On March 13, both the Senate (34-3) and the House (87-8) approved the free conference committee report. On March 26 Gov. Bevin signed HB 354 into law.

See what else Republicans hid in the bill.

KFTC Opposes

Anti-sanctuary cities

House Bill 38
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Lynn Bechler + 4 others
Additional Information

KFTC's platform supports the right of residents who are undocumented to be treated with the respect and dignity that all human beings are entitled to. We also support open pathways to citizenship for people who are undocumented.

HB 38 was assigned to the House State Government Committee. It did not receive a vote in committee.

KFTC Opposes

Anti-abortion

Senate Bill 9
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Matt Castlen + other Republicans
Additional Information

KFTC’s platform calls for quality, affordable, comprehensive health care including … reproductive health services and access to abortion … for all Kentuckians.

SB 9 passed the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Committee and the full Senate, 31-6, on February 14. See how senators voted. The House Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee approved SB 9 on February 27 and sent it to the full House (see how committee members voted). On March 14, SB 9 was approved by the House, 70-19. On March 15 it was signed into law by Gov. Bevin.

KFTC Opposes

Anti-abortion

Senate Bill 50
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Robby Mills + other Republicans
Additional Information

SB 50 was approved by the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee on January 10 (see how committee members voted). The full Senate passed SB 50 the following morning, 30-6 (see how senators voted).

The House Health and Family Services Committee amended and passed SB 50, 12-7, on February 21 (see how committee members voted). The full House approved, 75-19, on March 13 (see how House members voted). The Senate later voted, 31-4, to concur with the House changes. On March 26 Gov. Bevin signed SB 50 into law.

KFTC Opposes

Utility Rate Increases

Senate Bill 255
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sen. Brandon Smith
Additional Information

SB 255 is assigned to the Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee.

KFTC Opposes

Higher Education Retirement

House Bill 358
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. James Tipton + others
Additional Information

HB 358, as amended, passed the House, 76-21, on February 27 (see how House members voted).

A last-minute committee substitute, first made public on March 12 in the Senate State & Local Government Committee, significantly changed HB 358. It now freezes the pensions of all current employees at all quasi-governmental agencies such as rape crisis centers and health departments, resulting in a huge loss of benefits to their retirement income and likely a violation of the benefits promised at the beginning of their employment. Read more here: Pension Bill Breaks Inviolable Contract, Shifts Contributions from Underfunded Plan.

The Senate passed HB 358 as amended, 25-12, on March 13 (see how senators voted). On March 14 the House voted not to concur with the Senate changes. On March 28, the Senate voted not to withdraw its changes, a conference committee was appointed and reported back that it could not agree, a free conference a committee was appointed and delivered a new version of the bill which the Senate adopted 26-11 and the House adopted 58-39 (see how legislators voted).

The new version of the bill sets a course for the eventual disintegration of defined-benefit pensions for employees of universities and quasi-government agencies, like health departments. See: Breaking Inviolable Contract for Quasi-Governmental Employees Would Result in Massive Loss of Benefits.

On April 9, Gov. Bevin vetoed HB 358. He promised another special legislative session to deal with pension matters.

KFTC Opposes

Unlicensed gun ownership

Senate Bill 150
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Smith, Thayer + 9 Republicans
Additional Information

SB 150 was introduced on February 11 and put on the fast track, passing both the Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Committe and the full Senate, 29-8,  just three days later. It is now in the House Judiciary Committee.

On February 27, SB 150 passed the House Judiciary Committee, 12-8 with 3 abstentions, after pleas from police and mothers of children killed by guns not to do so (see how committee members voted). After a long debate and the rejection of several amendments that would have made Kentuckians safer, on March 1 the House approved SB 150, 59-37. The bill was signed into law by Governor Bevin on March 11.

KFTC Opposes

Judge Shopping

Senate Bill 2
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Robert Stivers, Damon Thayer, Stephen West
Additional Information

SB 2, as amended, passed the full Senate, 26-9, on February 28. It was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but did not get out of committee.

KFTC Opposes

Privatization of water

Senate Bill 163
Bill Sponsor(s):
Sens. Jared Carpenter, Paul Hornback
Additional Information

SB 163 was approved by thre Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee on February 20 (see how committee members voted). The bill has lingered in the Senate floor until the end of the session and was not brought up for a vote.

KFTC Opposes

Renters' rights

House Bill 437
Bill Sponsor(s):
Rep. Melinda Prunty
Additional Information

HB 437 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. It did not receive a hearing or vote.

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