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Kentucky News & Issues

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It's a Wrap
The General Assembly's 2024 Regular Session adjourned sine die at 8:30 p.m. on April 15. Barring a call by the Governor for an extraordinary session, the legislature will not convene again until January 7, 2025. During the 60-day session, the General Assembly passed a budget, appropriated money from the Budget Reserve Trust Fund for numerous one-time projects, and filed over 1,200 bills, enacting 227 of them (23 of these await final action from the Governor as of this writing).

Days 59 and 60, designated veto override days, saw the General Assembly pass 37 bills and override 25 of 27 bills Governor Beshear vetoed, including all but one line-item veto. Only a constitutional majority (one more than half) of the members of each Chamber is needed to override a veto, so the legislature moved through them pretty easily, given the GOP supermajorities in each chamber. Only one of the veto overrides was close; HB 7, authorizing autonomous vehicles, was passed by the Senate 21 to 15, one vote over the needed 20 votes.  

As they tend to do, this session took on a personality of its own as the days went on. Unlike last session, during which the legislature passed what seemed to be a record number of bills, many of which focused on social issues, this session took on a slower pace, during which the main focus was on budget-related legislation. Below we have highlighted activity on the budget and revenue bills as well as Leadership's priority bills before delving in on a recap of bills specific to you, which is highlighted below in yellow. 

Budget And Appropriations Bills
The General Assembly fulfilled its constitutional duty of enacting a biennial budget and also passed an unprecedented standalone appropriations bill, drawing on the state's record surplus in the Budget Reserve Trust Fund.

House appropriations leaders began their work on the budget in the early summer of 2023 with the expectation that they would introduce their proposal in early January 2024, as they did in the 2022 session. In anticipation, Governor Beshear released his budget in a televised address in mid-December, offering up his administration's priorities as his second term was beginning. The House then introduced HB 6, along with HB 1, the appropriations bill, drawing on the state's budget surplus, on the tenth legislative day of the 2024 Session. From there, the path to passage of these bills was familiar: House adoption, Senate consideration before passage on Day 50, followed by nearly two weeks of negotiations and finally concluding with passage of the Free Conference Committee Report on Days 57 and 58.

The differences between the two Chambers on HB 6 were relatively insignificant, Both agreed on a budget that carefully preserves prospects for reaching revenue triggers that will allow for further reductions in the individual income tax in 2025. Reconciliation of differences on HB 1, the strategic investment appropriations bill, was more difficult, though, due to a nearly $2 billion gap between the House and Senate's spending plan. The Final Version essentially splits the difference, appropriating $2.7 billion to fund a variety of investments in infrastructure, school facilities, public pensions, tourism, community development, and economic development programs/projects. 

The Transportation Cabinet budget, HB 265, and the biennial highway construction plan, HB 266, were both passed on March 28, as was the FCCR to HB 8, the annual revenue bill.

Governor Beshear issued line-item vetoes on HB 1, HB 6, and HB 8. The vetoes were overridden on all items, except those the General Assembly opted to let stand, and the vetoes on HB 8, which the General Assembly said were unconstitutional due to the Governor's inability to line item revenue bills. Budget and appropriations cleanup language was passed in SB 91, with revenue bill cleanup included in HB 122 on the final day of the session.  

Leadership Priority Bills
In each session, priority bills of leadership are assigned low bill numbers. Two of the Senate priority bills and 11 of the House priority bills became law this session. There were close calls for a couple of the priority bills. As mentioned above, HB 7 narrowly passed the Senate on Day 58 and was delivered to the Governor just before midnight prior to veto recess. Beshear vetoed this autonomous vehicle authoring legislation for the second consecutive session but was overridden on another close Senate vote.  The “Momnibus Bill," HB 10, Rep. Moser's bill to improve maternal health, was never called for a Senate floor vote, but on the final day of the session, was placed as an amendment onto SB 74 and enacted.

Here is a complete list of priority bills and their status as of sine die adjournment:

SB 1 - Collaborative Research Fund public universities. Signed by Governor   
SB 2 - School safety and student mental health services. Became law without Governor's signature
SB 3 - Moves Fish & Wildlife & Horse Racing Commission to Dept. of Agriculture. Died in House 
SB 4 - Limits the accrual of sick leave for teachers.  Died in House Rules
SB 6 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Universities. Died when the Senate refused Concurrence
SB 7 - KEES scholarships for homeschooled students. Died in House Education
SB 8 - Provides for an elected Kentucky Board of Education. Died in House Education
SB 10 - Const. Amend. on elections for const. officers. Died in House Committee on Committees  
HB 1 - Budget Reserve Trust Fund investment plan. Line-item vetoes were overridden
- HB 2 – Constitutional amendment on school choice. Delivered to Secretary of State
HB 3 – Measure to combat human trafficking. Signed by Governor 
HB 4 - Constitutional Amendment on General Assembly sessions, Died in House Elections.
HB 5 - Criminal justice bill “Safer Kentucky Act."  Vetoed by Governor, Veto Overridden
HB 6 - Executive Branch Budget. Line-Item Vetoes by Governor, most line-item vetoes were overridden
HB 7 - Operation of autonomous vehicles in KY.  Vetoed by Governor, Veto Overridden
HB 8 - The biennial revenue bill. Line-item vetoes were deemed unconstitutional
HB 9 - Diversity, equity, and inclusion in postsecondary education. Died in House Education
HB 10 - Maternal health legislation, “Momnibus Bill." Attached to SB 74 and delivered to the Governor
HB 11 - Regulate the sale of and enforcement of nicotine products. Signed by Governor
HB 12 - Prohibit construction of jails without legislative approval. Died in Senate State & Local
HB 13 - Extends the Product Development Initiative. Signed by the Governor
HB 14 - Constitutional amendment on local government tax reform. Died in House Elections
HB 15 - Consumer data privacy billSigned by Governor

Final Action on Other Major Bills
Governor Beshear also used his veto pen on other major pieces of legislation only to have the vetoes overridden. SB 299, legislation that moves the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Department of Charitable Gaming from the Public Protection Cabinet and placing them under a new Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation, was vetoed with this message, but the veto was overridden. Two significant bills on energy policy were also vetoed by the Governor and overridden: SB 349, legislation to create the Energy Planning Commission with broad oversight over retiring electric generating plants, was vetoed by the Governor with this message, as was SB 198, creating a nonregulatory state agency to “support and facilitate" the growth of the state's nuclear industry.

Constitutional Amendments-
While more than twenty proposed Constitutional amendments were introduced this session, only two were delivered to the Secretary of State to be put on the November general election ballot. HB 2, to allow public funds to be spent on private schools, is the latest chapter in a multi-year push by school choice advocates, which have been frustrated by court rulings. The other proposal, SB 143, if adopted by the voters, will prohibit persons who are not US citizens from voting.  

Confirmation Of Appointments
Following its customary practice, the Senate delayed the exercise of its statutory power of confirmation of executive branch appointments to many boards, commissions, and administrative positions until the final hours of the session when more than 80 confirmation resolutions were adopted on the evening of the last legislative day.   

Of particular note was the confirmation on Day 60 of the State Board of Education's selection of Robbie Fletcher as Kentucky's next Commissioner of Education. Other significant confirmations included those of Commissioner of Insurance Sharon Clark, Public Service Commissioner Mary Pat Reagan, and Commissioner of Workers Claims Scott Wilhoit.

Big I Update
The 2024 Regular Session has come to a close, and it was a very active session for insurance legislation of interest to Big I members. That activity went right up to the session's end as the Senate adopted SR 235 confirming the Governor's reappointment of Sharon Clark as the Commissioner of Insurance just before they adjourned. Big I applaud this move as we have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Commissioner Clark, which should provide some regulatory stability over the next several years.

In all, the session was a positive one for Big I! Here are the top issues and their impact on you and your customers:

- HB 371 - A Big I member-driven initiative to increase the Mine Subsidence Coverage Limit has been signed by the Governor! Much thanks to Rep. Wade Williams for his sponsorship of this important legislation to provide additional coverage in counties impacted by mine subsidence.

- SB 29 - After a rash of fraudulent glass claims hit the state last summer, this legislation modeled after a Florida law was brought forward by Sen. Brandon Storm to prevent policyholders from being preyed on by these companies. During the legislative process, amendments were added to restrict the assignment of policy benefits, which should assist your personal lines customers from seeing aggressive contractors from getting direct payment or being able to bill an insurer for services not agreed to by the policyholder.

- HB 256 - Beginning in 2025, this legislation will provide three new incentives related to wind/hail resistant roofing: 
1. A $5 million grant program is available for a partial grant to defray costs of getting a Fortified roof.
2. A premium discount will be offered for Fortified roofs.
3. An endorsement allowing for the replacement of a standard roof with a Fortified roof will be available.
Big I member, and House Banking & Insurance Committee Vice-Chair Sarge Pollock carried this legislation that should provide some direct assistance to your customers for loss mitigation. 

As we put a bow on the 2024 Session, we have provided a quick reference list of those bills of interest and their final fate in the legislature below. Your bill tracking list, which has a longer list of bills we tracked throughout the session, is attached and can be accessed HERE. Additionally, we have provided a “passed list" of those bills that have become law to aid in your compliance.

Signed by Governor/Delivered to Governor
HB 371 - Mine Subsidence Coverage Limit 
HB 554 - Allows universities to buy insurance in private market 
HB 256 - Fortified Roof Incentives  
SB 29 - Glass Bill 
HB 280 - NCOIL Delivery Network Companies Insurance Model 
HB 498 - DOI Accreditation 
SB 158 - Minor Settlements
HB 401 - Allows out-of-state physicians to review workers' compensation medical records
SB 188 - PBM Reforms 
HB 829 - Medical Cannabis - Was amended on the session's final day to broaden the exemption from paying for medical cannabis treatment from workers comp to all P&C products.

Did Not Pass
HB 620 - Hands-Free - Prohibits the use of cell phones when driving
HB 474 - Requires disclosure by investment advisers if the investment offered follows an ESG policy
SB 148 - Regulation of third-party litigation funding

Looking Ahead
Sine die adjournment is both an end and a beginning. One session ends, and the cycle leading to another begins. Meetings of interim legislative committees, special task forces, and working groups will begin in June and continue throughout the fall. The Legislative Research Commission will set the Interim Calendar sometime next month, and we will forward that information when it's available.

Upcoming Elections
There are legislative elections in 2024, with the primary election scheduled for May 21. This year twenty-two members (18 House and 4 Senate) face opposition in the May 21 primary, and sixteen incumbent members (12 House and 4 Senate) are opting not to seek re-election. Legislators voluntarily retiring or resigning include many prominent veterans, including the Senate Majority Floor Leader and two members of Minority House leadership, as well as six committee chairs (two Senate & four House) .

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Connect with Big I Kentucky President/CEO Tara Purvis for information on current legislative bills affecting the independent insurance agencies in Kentucky 

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ButtonTara Purvis

President & CEO

502-245-5432 ext 101

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Kentucky Department of Insurance

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