Week 9 of the 2024 Legislative Session

The Kentucky General Assembly has wrapped up the ninth legislative week of the 2024 Regular Session. The week marked the final period for lawmakers to submit new bills. By the end of the week, 838 bills were filed in the state House of Representatives and 382 in the state Senate.

We celebrated Small Business Day in the Capitol on Wednesday. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and provide a strong foundation for communities to thrive.

This week, I was able to present and secure passage for my Senate Joint Resolution 175 in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. SJR 175 prioritizes the acceleration of broadband deployment in underserved areas by directing the Public Service Commission (PSC) to swiftly establish emergency regulations within 45 days for utility pole attachments. Emphasizing eliminating impediments and reducing backlog, the resolution mandates utilities owning poles to align with new tariffs. Recognizing broadband’s critical role in connecting residents locally and globally, the resolution declares an emergency to address the lack of access, particularly in rural areas.

We passed quite a few bills this week on various topics including. Some of the measures seeking Senate approval were:

SB 118 aims to safeguard property rights and address criminal trespassing by permitting private property owners to use purple paint marks as a clear notice of no trespassing. It eliminates the need for a written notice, allowing property owners to rely on the visual indicator of purple paint on trees, fences, or other objects. The bill establishes specific requirements for using purple paint to mark private property, providing a legal means for property owners to communicate and enforce boundaries without the necessity of written warnings.

SB 174 would improve efficiency and service to Kentucky consumers. The bill would exempt communication service providers from the requirement to call 811 before they hook up residences and other properties to communication terminals. This process typically only requires communication service providers to dig down a few inches, where it is highly unlikely they would impact other utilities in the area. The requirement to call 811 in advance can delay hooking up the service. 

SB 198 aims to enhance Kentucky’s energy sector by incorporating nuclear energy and establishing the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority (KNEDA), managed by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research. KNEDA’s role is to inform communities about advanced nuclear energy, disseminate information to the public, promote economic opportunities, interact with regulators, and facilitate collaboration in the nuclear energy ecosystem. The bill empowers KNEDA to conduct a site suitability study, address workforce and educational needs, run an educational campaign on nuclear technologies, initiate a financial assistance grant program, and define criteria for a voluntary nuclear-ready community designation, which includes public meetings, suitable sites, and community support.

Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 140  is complementary to Senate Bill 198. It focuses on equipping Kentucky for a robust nuclear energy ecosystem and provides specific direction to the Public Service Commission. Once passed, the PSC will survey nuclear regulatory staff in other states for insights, hire experts in nuclear regulatory matters, provide training for existing staff on nuclear siting and construction issues, amend administrative regulations to mandate electric utilities consider all generation resources, including nuclear in their planning, and review current regulations to remove any hindrances to effective regulation and the growth of the nuclear industry in the state.

Two bills made their way to the governor’s desk in week nine. They include:

SB 5, recognized as a 2024 legislative priority, addresses a specific public concern by eliminating the five-acre ownership requirement for residential landowners seeking exemptions from sport hunting and sport fishing license requirements.

House Bill (HB) 18 prevents local governments from imposing restrictions on landlords and ensures they cannot demand emergency response fees from property owners for incidents outside their control. HB 18 was recently amended to include provisions of SB 25, a related measure that passed earlier in the session. HB 18 carries an emergency designation, meaning it would take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State’s Office.

SB 5 has been signed into law. HB 18 may be signed into law, allowed to pass without the governor’s signature (after 10 legislative days), or vetoed. If vetoed, the House and Senate can override the veto with a majority vote of both chambers.

Thank you for your continued engagement in the 2024 Regular Session. It is a privilege to represent you in Frankfort. Find the status of legislation by calling 866-840-2835, legislative meeting information at 800-633-9650, or leaving a message for lawmakers at 800-372-7181. You can watch and follow legislative activity at KET/org/legislature and Legislature.ky.gov.

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