The House and Senate adjourned sine die shortly before midnight on March 28, bringing the 2019 General Assembly to an end. With one exception, it proved to be a good session for AIA Kentucky.
The one piece of bad news was the passage of the net metering legislation without the House amendment. The bill as passed was a slight improvement over last year's legislation but it is likely to impede the development of the rooftop solar industry for years to come. How much will depend on the Public Service Commission since the legislation gives them the authority to set the reimbursement rate for customer-generators.
On a more positive note, HB 354, which is the tax legislation, has been signed by the Governor and is now law. The final version includes the language that exempts all non-profits from paying sales tax on admissions.
SB1, the school safety legislation, has been signed by the Governor and is now law. AIA Kentucky supported SB1.
The latest version of the Boards and Commissions bill (HB178) once again died- this time in the House Licensing and Occupations Committee. It is likely that any future version will be more focused on adherence to the Supreme Court ruling on the North Carolina Board of Dentistry case.
HB498 which would give the Board of Engineers the authority to determine what constitutes the incidental practice of engineering by an architect IS dead for the session. An agreement was reached not to pursue HB 498 this session to allow our respective boards to address the issue over the interim. If the issue is not addressed prior to the end of the year, we can expect this issue to be back in 2020.
We've been asked about SB 15 which has been signed by the Governor. Among other things, the bill removes the requirement for background checks on contractors that are temporarily on school premises and have no direct contact with students
The major piece of legislation that was considered on the final day was HB 358 which granted pension relief to the quasi-governmental agencies and the universities other than UK and UL which have their own retirement system. As this is being written, the Governor has yet to sign the legislation but regardless of his decision, there will be an impact on the budget discussions in 2020. Add in the $100 million in tax relief that was granted in 2019 and the costs of implementing the school safety legislation and 2020 is shaping up to be a very difficult budget year. It is also clear that tax reform will be on the table.
Below are all the bills AIA Kentucky followed in 2019.