A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Capitol Notes: Senate measure increases general fund revenues by more than $20M

Revenue measure clears Senate: After approving a state budget plan, the Kentucky Senate Tuesday amended and passed a measure that would increase general fund revenues by more than $20 million in the next biennium.


Most of the revenue increases would come from provisions relating to waste tire fees and the sale of abandoned property that were also included in the House-approved plan. House Bill 208, as amended in the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, also adds a revenue-generating provision that would allow the state Treasurer to take ownership of and redeem old U.S. savings bonds currently in the state’s custody.

The Senate version does not include a motor fuel tax increase that was part of the House-approved plan. It also doesn’t include $3 million the House had assumed would come from increased lottery ticket sales if the lottery is allowed to advertise that its earnings help fund education.

Other changes in the Senate plan would remove the sunset provision on the film industry tax credit. Under the Senate plan, that credit would not be capped.

Instead of a blended instant racing tax as proposed by the House, the Senate version would impose a flat 1.5 percent retroactively and going forward. It would provide full distribution to the Thoroughbred Development Fund and would keep instant racing and parimutuel tax distributions to other funds at current levels.

House Bill 208 was approved by a vote of 30-0 with seven legislators passing. It now goes back to the House of Representatives for consideration of the changes.

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E-search warrants bill receives final passage: A bill that would allow electronic search warrants to be used in Kentucky has received final passage in the state House by a vote of 80-8.

Senate Bill 45 is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville. The legislation would allow Kentucky’s courts to authorize the use of electronic or e-search warrants where constitutional. It also requires that a paper copy of a search warrant be produced at the time the warrant is served.

House Judiciary Chair Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, said case law makes electronic search warrants possible by allowing the orders to be issued outside the presence of a judge.

“There is case law on the books that says (the warrant does not have to be sworn) in the presence of a judge. It can be done electronically and can be in the presence of a notary and not the judge,” Tilley said.

SB 45 now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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Bill to clear human trafficking victims’ records advances: The House Judiciary Committee today approved legislation that would allow a person’s record to be cleared of a non-violent offense if a judge determines the offense resulted from being a victim of human trafficking.

Senate Bill 184 is sponsored by Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, and Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville.

“This allows a victim to move on with their life, to go on and hopefully lead a constructive life,” Sen. McGarvey said. “Part of it, of course, is recognizing that so many times in human trafficking, that’s what we’re dealing with; We are dealing with victims.”

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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Visit lrc.ky.gov for the latest on the status of bills, meeting schedules and other information to help you be a participating citizen of the Commonwealth. If you need help navigating that site, call LRC Public Information at 502-564-8100.

By going to LRC’s eNews page, eNews page, you can subscribe to frequent e-mail updates on what’s happening at the Capitol.

You may access meetings and chamber proceedings streaming live or archived online at KET.org.

You can also stay in touch with General Assembly action these ways:

· A taped message containing information on legislative committee meetings is updated daily at 800-633-9650.

· To check the status of a bill, you may call the toll-free Bill Status Line at 866-840-2835.

· To leave a message for any legislator, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at 1-800-372-7181. People with hearing difficulties may leave messages for lawmakers by calling the TTY Message Line at 1-800-896-0305.

· You may write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to: Capitol Annex, 702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, Ky., 40601.

From Legislative Research Commission

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