Members of the Kentucky General Assembly reconvened last week after a brief recess in January. To date there have been 134 bills sponsored by the Senate and 352 bills sponsored by the House. Many of these bills will have a significant impact on the construction industry. The following legislative update comes from information obtained from the Association of General Contractors (AGC).
- Public Private Partnership (P3) legislation: There is currently no bill attached to this legislation, but a bill is expected to be introduced this week by the House. More information will be provided in the upcoming weeks once this legislation is introduced. AGC has been and continues to be a strong supporter of P3 legislation, making it a top priority in the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly.
- SB 1 regarding Right to Work: This bill has been another top priority of AGC. This bill has passed the Senate and currently resides in the House. If passed, the bill would prohibit mandatory membership in or financial support of a labor organization as a condition of employment and to name this section the “Kentucky Right to Work Act.”
- HB 277 regarding the Worker’s Compensation Special Fund: In Kentucky, all employers pay a Special Fund Assessment, currently 6.28% of their premium. This Special Fund was created during the 1996 Worker’s Compensation Reform to take care of outstanding claims filed before 1996. At that time, it was projected all of these claims were to be paid off by the year 2017 and the assessment paid by employers would be eliminated. Over the years an increasing portion of the dollars in the Special Fund have been taken by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to be used for their day-to-day operations. HB 277, which is sponsored by Rep. Jim DeCesare, would set a limit on the amount of Special Fund money the Labor Cabinet may take for their daily operations. AGC is very supportive of HB 277.
- SB 29 regarding motor fuels tax: This bill currently sits in the Senate Transportation Committee and has been declared an emergency. This bill would set the minimum value for the average wholesale price of gasoline used for computation of the motor fuels tax at $2.354 per gallon. The recent decreases in gas prices have had a significant impact on motor fuels tax that support the road fund. AGC strongly supports SB 29.
- HB 1 regarding local option sales and use tax: This bill would allow any city or county the power to levy a local option sales and use tax, submitted to voters for approval or disapproval. The additional tax revenue would be used to finance capital improvement projects in the respective locality. AGC is in support of HB 1.
- SB 95 and HB 294 regarding worker’s compensation: These bills would double the attorney fees; add medical benefits to age 70 or five years after the date of the injury, and increase the maximum for temporary total or partial income benefits from 100% of the state average weekly wage to 120% of the state average weekly wage. AGC is strongly opposing SB 95 and HB 294.
If you are in support of the legislation described above, AGC strongly encourages you to contact your senator and representative and voice your support. Special thanks to Ron Wolf of AGC for providing the information above. For further information please contact Hunter Stout (email@example.com) or Simon Keemer (firstname.lastname@example.org).