FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 12, 2014) — More poisonous weeds and invasive plants would be targeted for eradication from state right-of-ways under two bills approved in legislative committees Tuesday.
While House Bill 434 and Senate Bill 170 differ on specifics, both proposals agree that more unwanted plants – including kudzu and poison hemlock – should be targeted for removal.
House Bill 434, sponsored by Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, and Rep. Tom McKee, D-Cynthiana, was approved by the House Transportation Committee and sent to the House chamber for further action.
“In many of our communities, now we have so many new subdivisions that have been built where farmland was,” Smart said. “And with the landscaping there are a number of different plants that seem to be getting into the highways and right-of-ways.”
Senate Bill 170, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, and Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, not only adds to the list of invasive plants the state should be eliminating, but also would give the Department of Highways authority to regularly review and make changes to its list of unwanted plants.
“What’s happened is there are weeds on the list that aren’t really problems anymore and there are weeds out there that are very common, but aren’t on the list,” Sen. Parrett said.
SB 170 was approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee and sent to the full chamber for consideration.