2014 Session Begins – KRWA Legislative Breakfast Coming Soon!
The 2014 Kentucky Legislative Session has started with a bang! This year’s session will again be focused on money, or the lack thereof. Most expect the biennial budget to dominate the session as it tends to do in even-year budget years. There doesn’t appear to be much hope for water and wastewater project funding as coal severance revenues decrease and the tobacco settlement funds have all been spent. We will be watching several bills related to water and wastewater this session. A clean-up bill will be introduced to make some adjustments to the Special Purpose Governmental Entity law passed in the 2013 session. Eminent Domain could also be a hot issue as a result of the controversy surrounding the Bluegrass Pipeline.
Here are some of the major issues scheduled to be addressed during the 2014 Session:
Budget – After five years of budget cuts what will the 2014-15 biennial budget proposal look like? Kentucky still faces major funding challenges in public education, state retirement programs, and many other competing interests.
Minimum Wage – House Bill 1, Speaker Stumbo’s top legislative priority, would raise the minimum wage over a three-year period from $7.25 to $10.10. Minimum wage increases are being sought in many states this year and similar efforts are taking place at the federal level.
Tax Reform and Gaming – Governor Beshear pledges to include tax reforms and expanded casino gambling as revenue enhancers. Both ideas have been promoted by the Governor since he was first elected to office, but neither has made it through the legislature…yet.
The state maintains a comprehensive Legislative website: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislation.htm. From this site, you can view all bills and resolutions, contact legislators by email and check on legislative committee schedules and calendars.
This issue of e-Liaison contains summary information for bills that we track with details on the most recent activity for each bill. We will continue to highlight timely legislative news that is important to our members in each issue. If you would like to suggest that we add a bill to the e-Liaison for tracking purposes, please contact KRWA.
Remember, KRWA will host its Legislative Breakfast on January 23, 2014 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Frankfort. Please make plans to attend this very important event!