Home » The Bottom Line: Legislative update includes education, alcohol and nuclear power plants

The Bottom Line: Legislative update includes education, alcohol and nuclear power plants

By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line

Lane-KyChamber-piece-300x196The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 153, which brings Kentucky one step closer to adopting a new funding model for the states’ public postsecondary institutions. The bill is a result of action in the 2016 legislative session that created a working group of university presidents, representatives of the governor and legislative leaders to develop a performance-based funding model for the state’s four-year universities as well as the Kentucky Community & Technical College system.

The group crafted the recommendations found in SB 153. Three important components of the bill include allocating 35% of the postsecondary institutions’ funding based on degree production and progression toward a degree or a credential. Another 35% would be based on the number of credit hours awarded at each campus. Finally, 30% would be allocated to finance campus services and operations.

During the phase-in stage, 5% of funding would be allocated according to the model. The intent is to eventually allocate 100% of state postsecondary funding based on the performance-based approach.

Senate Bill 153 now moves to the full House for a floor vote.

Comprehensive Education Bill

Senate Bill 1, an omnibus education bill which impacts several areas of Kentucky’s education system, passed the House Education Committee Tuesday.

The law follows the passage and implementation of the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” that was signed in December 2015 and intended to shift more control over education policy to the states.

Senate Bill 1 establishes a review process of the state’s academic standards every six years. The process involves various committees of teachers and a review by legislators.

The bill also seeks to give local school districts more control over their teacher evaluation methods. A provision in the bill extends a pilot program that was passed for Jefferson County last year to give superintendents more ability to recommend principals statewide.

Senate Bill 1 now moves to the full House for a floor vote.

Alcohol modernization

A bill seeking to keep the bourbon industry competitive and bring economic opportunities to Kentucky passed out of the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee Tuesday.

House Bill 100, sponsored by Rep. Chad McCoy, modernizes laws to level the playing field for distillers, strengthen the production standards for Kentucky whiskey and allow the sale of vintage bottles. The Kentucky Chamber is a strong supporter of our state’s signature bourbon industry.

The alcohol modernization measure now heads to the full Senate for a vote on the floor.

Nuclear power plants

The House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee voted Tuesday to lift Kentucky’s ban on nuclear power by passing SB 11, sponsored by Sen. Danny Carroll. Not only does SB 11 lift the nuclear moratorium, but ensures that nuclear power facilities have a plan for the storage of nuclear waste.

The Kentucky Chamber supports lifting the ban which would allow electricity providers to consider nuclear power when planning to meet future demand for electricity. SB 11 now heads to the full House for a floor vote.

For more state government news go to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s The Bottom Line blog.