2021 Kentucky General Assembly Concludes
The Kentucky General Assembly worked late into the night on the final day of its annual legislative session on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, passing a flurry of bills. When the dust settled the legislature overrode all but three of the bills vetoed by Governor Andy Beshear, with 24 bills becoming law. Included in the 24 overrides was the KRWA-backed House Bill 272, which allows utilities to charge late payment fees on delinquent customers.
The legislature also voted to override most of the “line item” vetoes the governor issued in the state budget appropriations bill, House Bill 192, including provisions that prevent the governor from spending any of the $2.4 billion in federal funds that the state is set to receive from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).
The legislature passed three bills on Tuesday appropriating $1.1 billion of funds the state received as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Senate Bill 36 provides $250 million in ARPA funds to support a grant program for drinking water and sewer projects that will be administered through the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA). While the full amount of ARPA dollars were not appropriated during the session, last-minute appropriations were made and House Bill 382 provided among other things; emergency funds for ice storm damage response, and additional funds for extension of broadband services in the Commonwealth.
Overall, the 2021 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly had positive outcomes for Kentucky’s water and wastewater utilities. Please don’t forget to thank your legislators for their support during the session. We also wish to thank everyone who contacted their legislators (some multiple times) during this tough session. Our success in the General Assembly comes through the actions you take in telling our story!
The final KRWA Bill Tracking Report contains only the tracked bills that passed through the legislature and will become law, either immediately if passed under emergency procedures, or in 90 days after the end of the session.
Important LRC Contact Information
The state maintains a comprehensive Legislative website. From this site, you can view all bills and resolutions, contact legislators, by email and check on legislative committee schedules and calendars.
The Kentucky General Assembly also maintains several toll-free phone numbers for citizens to offer feedback or opinions. The Legislative Message Line is (800) 372-7181. The Bill Status Line is (866) 840-2835.
Coming issues of e-Liaison will contain summary information for bills that we are tracking 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 weekly issue. If you would like to suggest that we add a bill to the e-Liaison for tracking purposes, please contact KRWA.
HB192 EXECUTIVE BRANCH BUDGET (PETRIE, JASON)
Free Conference Committee Report 1: The State/Executive Branch Budget: Detail Part I, Operating Budget; appropriate to General Government: 2019-2020: $21,535,000, 2020-2021: $2,233,082,500, 2021-2022: $1,722,270,500; appropriate to the Economic Development Cabinet: 2020-2021: $30,692,000, 2021-2022: $30,419,200; appropriate to the Department of Education: 2020-2021: $5,087,565,600, 2021-2022: $5,080,946,900; appropriate to the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet: 2020-2021: $224,230,300, 2021-2022: $224,015,100; appropriate to the Energy and Environment Cabinet: 2019-2020: $700,000, 2020-2021: $301,176,900, 2021-2022: $277,724,100; appropriate to the Finance and Administration Cabinet: 2019-2020: $2,800,000, 2020-2021: $992,780,800, 2021-2022: $1,012,246,500; appropriate to the Health and Family Services Cabinet: 2019-2020: $300,000, 2020-2021: $17,697,378,000, 2021-2022: $17,785,002,800; appropriate to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet: 2019-2020: $17,216,900, 2020-2021: $1,269,870,200, 2021-2022: $1,283,034,800; appropriate to the Labor Cabinet: 2020-2021: $1,642,204,900, 2021-2022: $760,943,200; appropriate to the Personnel Cabinet: 2020-2021: $63,150,200, 2021-2022: $165,770,400; appropriate to Postsecondary Education: 2019-2020: $497,400, 2020-2021: $8,533,136,000, 2021-2022: $8,935,608,700; appropriate to the Public Protection Cabinet: 2020-2021: $167,314,500, 2021-2022: $125,951,800; appropriate to the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet: 2019-2020: $2,700,000, 2020-2021: $269,047,600, 2021-2022: $276,139,700; appropriate to the Budget Reserve Trust Fund: 2020-2021: $134,346,300, 2021-2022: $608,598,500; not included in the appropriation amounts are capital project amounts as follows: 2019-2020: $16,000,000, 2020-2021: $8,905,731,500, 2021-2022: $367,131,600; detail Part II, Capital Projects Budget; detail Part III, General Provisions; detail Part IV, State Salary/Compensation, Benefit, and Employment Policy; detail Part V, Funds Transfer; detail Part VI, General Fund Budget Reduction Plan; detail Part VII, General Fund Surplus Expenditure Plan; detail Part VIII, Road Fund Budget Reduction Plan; detail Part IX, Road Fund Surplus Expenditure Plan; detail Part X, Phase I Tobacco Settlement; and detail Part XI, Executive Branch Budget Summary; APPROPRIATION.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/30/2021 - delivered to Secretary of State
HB207 ENERGY SOURCE AVAILABILITY (GOOCH JR., JIM)
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 65 to prohibit a local government entity from taking any legislative or executive action that has the purpose or effect of impairing a consumer's ability to use a utility service that is described in KRS 278.010(3)(a), (b), or (c) and that is provided by a utility regulated by the Public Service Commission under KRS Chapter 278 or is otherwise incorporated under KRS Chapter 279.
House Floor Amendment (1) Delete original provisions; prohibit any executive, administrative, or legislative action that has the purpose or effect of prohibiting or otherwise limiting in any way, based upon the energy source, a consumer's ability to use a utility service described in KRS 278.010(3)(a), (b), or (c) that is provided by a utility regulated by the Public Service Commission under KRS Chapter 278 or that is otherwise incorporated under KRS Chapter 279; provide that nothing in the section shall prohibit or alter the powers of the Public Service Commission or the ability of a local government to act in any other lawful way; define "local government."
Senate Committee Substitute (1) Retain original provisions; prohibit any executive, administrative, or legislative action that has the purpose or effect of prohibiting or otherwise limiting in any way a consumer's ability to use liquefied petroleum gas.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/25/2021 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
HB238 CITY UTILITY COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP (JOHNSON, DJ)
Amend KRS 96.530 allow city utilities boards to consist of either 3 or 5 members, and to specify the appointment of nonresident utility commission members for utility commissions consisting of three members and five members.
House Committee Substitute (1) Retain original provisions except require that in order for an individual to be appointed who does not live within the city, that individual must be a resident of a county served by the utility, possess qualifications and expertise to the benefit of the utility and city, and not be employed by, serve in a fiduciary or agency capacity with, or does not possess an ownership interest in, a direct supplier or competitor of the city utility.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/19/2021 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; (Acts Ch. 54)
HB272 UTILITY SERVICES (BRAY, JOSH)
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 278 to allow a water district formed pursuant to KRS Chapter 74 or a water association formed pursuant to KRS Chapter 273 to charge a late payment charge of 10% of the amount billed; specify that the late payment charge meet certain requirements; prohibit the Public Service Commission from modifying, rejecting, or suspending late payment charges established by tariff.
House Committee Substitute (1) Create a new section of KRS Chapter 278 to allow a water district formed pursuant to KRS Chapter 74 or a water association formed pursuant to KRS Chapter 273 to charge a late payment charge of 10% of the amount billed; specify that the late payment charge meet certain requirements; prohibit the Public Service Commission from modifying, rejecting, discontinuing, abolishing, or suspending late payment charges; Create a new section of KRS Chapter 39A to prohibit departments or officers of state government during a declared emergency from issuing any order that conflicts with the classification by the United States Department of Homeland Security of employees of utilities and other entities subject to KRS Chapters 65, 76, 96, 220, 278, or 279 as essential or critical infrastructure workers; prohibit any current or future order issued by any department or officer of state government during a declared emergency from remaining in or taking effect that would prohibit or impair a utility subject to or created under KRS Chapter 96 from terminating service for a customer's non-payment of a utility bill or assessing or collecting penalties for non-payment.
Senate Committee Substitute (1) Retain provisions of HB 272/GA; provide that any late payment charge imposed by a water district or water association shall be waived for any bill or portion of a bill for which a customer has received third-party billing assistance through the Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program or other public or charitable source.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/29/2021 - delivered to Secretary of State (Acts Ch. 158)
HB303 UNDERGROUND FACILITY PROTECTION (SANTORO, SAL)
Amend KRS 367.4903 to redefine "operator," "Kentucky Contact Center," "approximate location," and "working day"; define "person," "positive response," "unique identification number" or "locate request number," "locator," "second notice," "tolerance zone," "untonable facility," and "work site contact"; amend KRS 367.4909 to require a positive response from operators of underground facilities; establish the timing of operator responses; amend KRS 367.4911 to provide excavator start dates, to include entities engaged in exempt activities to notify operators immediately upon discovery of damage to an underground facility, and to provide when mechanized equipment can be used in the tolerance zone; amend KRS 367.4913 to require contact centers to maintain certain locate request information for five years and to change the composition of the Kentucky Contact Center board of directors; amend KRS 369.4915 to require entities engaging in exempt activities to cease activity and notify an operator when an underground facility is damaged and to exempt certain noninvasive inspection and maintenance excavating for an existing utility pole; amend KRS 367.4917 to impose penalties on the employer if the violation is committed in the scope of employment and to provide that the Public Service Commission shall establish a written agreement form to deviate from the locate request dates provided for in the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994; EFFECTIVE January 1, 2022.
House Floor Amendment (2) Add a definition for "fiber-to-the-premises"; add a fiber-to-the-premises broadband deployment excavation locate request that requires underground facility operators to respond to within four working days.
House Floor Amendment (5) Amend to provide that an entity or individual otherwise exempt from the requirements of KRS 367.4901 to 367.4917 under Section 5 of this Act, who conducts an excavation that results in the escape or suspected escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid shall cease excavation and notify affected operators.
Senate Floor Amendment (2) Delete new language requiring an excavator responsible for damage to an underground facility to notify all affected operators immediately upon discovery of the damage; delete new language requiring otherwise exempt entities under KRS 367.4915 to cease excavation and notify operators of damage to underground facilities that results in the escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid; delete new language referencing the reporting of a suspected escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid caused by damage to an underground facility; delete Section 5 in its entirety, which would remove the exemption for nonintrusive excavating to inspect or perform maintenance for an existing utility pole; renumber subsequent sections accordingly; make conforming changes.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/23/2021 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
HB386 WATER POLLUTION CONTROL (FREELAND, CHRIS)
Create new sections of Subchapter 16 of KRS Chapter 224 to require that mixing zones for bio-accumulative chemicals of concern established on or before September 8, 2004, remain in effect until explicitly extinguished by the Energy and Environment Cabinet; require that any change or extinguishment of mixing zone assignments for bio-accumulative chemicals of concern only be accomplished through the promulgation of administrative regulations; define "rapid and complete mixing"; require the Energy and Environment Cabinet to apply rapid and complete mixing when establishing certain permit limitations and conditions for discharges that occur through a submerged high-rate multi-port diffuser or outfall structure; EMERGENCY.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/24/2021 - BECAME LAW WITHOUT GOVERNOR'S SIGNATURE; (Acts Ch. 103)
HB393 WATER DISTRICT COMMISSIONERS (GOOCH JR., JIM)
Amend KRS 74.020 to allow the Public Service Commission to grant reasonable extensions of time not to exceed six months for water district commissioners to complete their training requirements; amend KRS 74.363 to conform; EMERGENCY.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/18/2021 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
HB465 ACQUISITION OF ASSETS BY UTILITIES (KOENIG, ADAM)
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 278 to define "asset acquisition price," "accumulated depreciation," "net original cost," and "water or sewer system"; establish the criteria by which the Public Service Commission determines for ratemaking purposes the value of an asset acquired by a utility that is used to provide water or sewer service; allow a utility that has entered into an agreement to acquire water or sewer utility assets to apply to the Public Service Commission for an order declaring the value of the acquired assets for ratemaking purposes; allow the acquiring utility to seek an order declaring the value of the acquired water or sewer utility assets as part of its first application for a change in base rates following the acquisition of the assets; require the acquiring utility to provide notice of its application for a declaratory order to the local governing bodies where the water or sewer system to be acquired is located or where it provides service and to the customers of the acquired systems if required by the governing documents of the acquired systems; require the acquiring utility to post on its Web site additional information to educate and inform the public and all affected customers of the acquisition; provide that the Public Service Commission consider intervention requests made under the section in accordance with the commission's administrative regulations addressing intervention generally; allow the acquiring utility as part of any application for a change in base rates following the acquisition of water or sewer utility assets to propose to unify the rate structure of the acquired system with its remaining customer base.
House Committee Substitute (1) Retain original provisions; change the reference to the findings and goals of the General Assembly in KRS 224A.300(1); require the Public Service Commission to fix the value for ratemaking purposes of an asset acquired by a utility that is used to provide water or sewer service at an amount between its net original cost and its asset acquisition price if certain criteria are met; require as part of the criteria to fix the value of the acquired asset that the acquisition will result in operational economies; establish as part of the criteria that the purchase price of the utility and non-utility assets be separated if practical; establish the means of notification of the acquiring utility's application for a declaratory order to affected parties; require the acquiring utility to provide notice of its application for a declaratory order to wholesale customers or suppliers of the acquired water or sewer system by priority mail; require the acquiring utility, and the water or sewer system to be acquired to post on its Web sites or social media additional information to educate and inform the public and all affected customers of the acquisition, if such Web sites or social media exist; require the Public Service Commission when reviewing an acquiring utility's proposed change in base rates to consider whether it is reasonable to require the acquiring utility to maintain separate rate schedules for the customers of the acquired system and for the other customers.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/29/2021 - delivered to Governor
SB36 FINANCING AND CONDITIONS FOR OPERATIONS, MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, AND FUNCTIONING OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KENTUCKY (WESTERFIELD, WHITNEY)
Amend KRS 635.020 to remove automatic transfer of a child from District Court to Circuit Court in certain cases; amend KRS 640.010 to specify additional factors to be considered in determining whether a child's case should be transferred from District Court to Circuit Court.
House Committee Substitute (1):
Note: This bill contains water and wastewater funding from the American Recovery Act to be administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/30/2021 - delivered to Governor
SB172 UNDERGROUND FACILITY PROTECTION (HOWELL, JASON)
Amend KRS 367.4911 to include exempted activities in the process of ceasing operations when damage occurs to an underground facility and notification of appropriate authorities; amend KRS 367.4915 to make conforming changes.
House Committee Substitute (1) Amend KRS 367.4911 to require excavators to cease excavation or demolition activities immediately upon discovery of damage to an underground facility; require exempted excavation activities under KRS 367.4915 to cease operations when damage occurs to an underground facility or system used for producing, storing, conveying, transmitting, or distributing gas, petroleum, petroleum products, or hazardous liquids and notify all affected operators; require excavators, or individuals or entities exempted under KRS 367.4915, to notify appropriate authorities if the damage causes concern for public or workplace safety or results in the escape or suspected escape of flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid; amend KRS 367.4915 to exempt nonintrusive excavating for inspecting or performing maintenance for an existing utility pole from the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/24/2021 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
SR85 CONFIRMING THE APPOINTMENT OF KENT ALAN CHANDLER (THAYER, DAMON)
Confirm the appointment of Kent Alan Chandler to the Public Service Commission for a term expiring July 1, 2024.
CURRENT STATUS: 3/30/2021 - adopted 38-0
|Issue 1||2021 Session Begins!|
|Issue 2||House Bill 272 Introduced|
|Issue 3||House Bill 272 Scheduled for Hearing|
|Issue 4||House Bill 272 Receives Hearing in Committee|
|Issue 5||Action Alert!|
|Issue 6||House Bill 272 Passes in the House!|
|Issue 7||House Bill 272 Goes to the Senate!|
|Issue 8||House Bill 272 Stalls in Senate Committee|
|Issue 9||House Bill 272 Approved by Legislature!|
|Issue 10||2021 Kentucky General Assembly Concludes|
Keeping up with the Legislature has never been easier! The state has updated its Legislative website. From this site, you can view all bills and resolutions, contact legislators, by email and check on legislative committee schedules and calendars. You can reach a legislator in person by calling 502-564-8100 (not toll-free).
The toll-free meeting schedule information line is 1-800-633-9650. The toll-free message line is 1-800-372-7181, to leave a message for a legislator or an entire committee. The TTY message line is 1-800-896-0305. En Espanol, el nombre es 1-866-840-6574. The toll-free bill status number is 1-866-840-2835.
Every issue of e-Liaison will contain summary information for each bill that we track with a section that details the most recent activity with the 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, please contact KRWA. By clicking on the link, you will be taken to the bill summary on the LRC’s website.
The Kentucky legislature convenes in regular session on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January for 60 days in even-numbered years and for 30 days in odd-numbered years. It convenes in special sessions at the call of the governor.
The Kentucky Constitution mandates that a regular session be completed no later than April 15 in even-numbered years and March 30 in odd-numbered years.
House of Representatives
House of Representatives