House Bill 272 Introduced
The 2021 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly began the first full week of January with the early introduction of bills and taking care of organizational issues. Already, eight of the 30 legislative days have been used so the activity will be hectic when legislators reconvene on February 2.
Representative Josh Bray, (R-Mt. Vernon) is sponsoring House Bill 272 which would create a new section of KRS Chapter 278 to allow water districts and water associations to charge a late payment fee of 10% of the amount billed. This is a long-standing business practice for most businesses and utilities that is being specifically eliminated as an option in recent orders issued by the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Nearly all districts and associations have late payment penalties in their tariffs now. This bill, if it becomes law, would prohibit PSC from modifying, rejecting, or suspending late payment charges established by tariff.
We have begun tracking bills that affect water and wastewater utilities. During this short session legislators will focus on passing a one-year continuation of the state budget, leaving little time for the passage of other bills.
Among the bills that were passed in the first week of the session are HB 1, SB 1 and SB 2 which are directed at curbing the governor’s emergency powers. It is anticipated that Governor Beshear will veto these measures and that the vetoes will be quickly overridden by the Republican super-majorities in the House and Senate.
The Kentucky Rural Water Association will not be hosting its annual Legislative Breakfast this year due to COVID-19 concerns.