The legislature burned the midnight oil on Thursday to fully wrap up the legislative session.

Kentucky lost a heartbreaker in overtime against Auburn for a bid to the Final Four, and we are sad to see John Calipari has accepted an offer to coach the Golden State Warriors.

Gotcha–April Fools on Coach Cal. Now, let’s get into the weeds.

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What happened on the final day?

HB 346 (Webber) | Economic Development

Among other provisions, the measure authorizes $50 million in bonds for repairs and upgrades to state parks. This bill will amend the 2018-2020 executive budget in the Economic Development Cabinet. HB346 is a component bill to HB268.

HB 358 (Tipton) | Quasi

This bill includes a massive reworking of the enrollment of “quasi-governmental employers” in the Kentucky Employees Retirement System (KERS). These employers include: post-secondary institutions, local health departments, mental health nonprofits, and rape crisis centers. One major provision is a 49 percent pension contribution rate freeze for the agencies during fiscal year 2020. The bill requires employees to leave KERS effective 6/30/2020 unless the employer submits a proposal to remain in the system by 12/31/2019. Should the entity elect to withdraw from the system, they shall be required to pay off their pension liabilities in the form of a lump sum or gradual payments while employees will have to either remain in KRS (for long-term employees) or switch to a defined-contribution plan (for more recent employees) with their employer. Should an agency elect to remain in the system, they will have to begin contributing at the required rate of 84 percent of their payroll beginning in fiscal year 2020.

HB 458 (Rudy) | Taxation

HB 458 serves as a clean-up for certain provisions in the earlier tax bill, HB 354. With respect to combined reporting, HB 458 allows corporations with locations in different states to spread their losses among their subsidiaries. This change is favorable for some companies, however, the “fix” is not applicable to others. The bill also reverses a provision in HB 354 that exempted certain Revenue Department records from disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act. HB 458 also extends the state’s efforts to incentivize tourism projects by removing HB 354’s tax credit application deadline. Lastly, HB 458 ensures that local city and county governments can continue to levy “deposit taxes” on banks. Local government representatives moved to secure language regarding the deposit tax after the legislature repealed the state tax on bank assets in HB 354.     

HB 11 (Moser) | Student Health

The bill prohibits the use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on public school properties and sites hosting school-related trips or activities. The bill was amended to allow local school boards to opt-out of the prohibitions within a three-year timeframe. The bill received final passage through the Senate chambers on a vote of 28-10. Notably, the Senate President and Majority Floor Leader voted against the measure.

Veto overrides

HB 4 (Upchurch) | Administrative Regs

Provides legislators more oversight into the state’s regulation-making process. The bill represents a tense power struggle between the executive and legislative branches, amplified further by the gubernatorial veto and subsequent override.

HB 268 (Rudy) | Budgetary Units

Governor Bevin stated that he vetoed provisions of this bill because he felt that area development districts have been misrepresented. The legislature countered by overriding his line-item vetoes.

A look at what’s coming up:

April 4 Opening Day Keeneland

April 12 UK Blue/White Spring Football Scrimmage

April 27 Closing Day Keeneland

April 27 White House Correspondents Dinner

May 3 The Kentucky Oaks

May 4 “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” – The Kentucky Derby

May 21 Election Primary


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