Bills Tracked in the 2009 Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky Quarter Horse Association continues to advocate on behalf of the Quarter Horse industry to enhance and protect the interests of our members in the 2009 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Below is a brief summary of each bill we are tracking and its status:
HOUSE BILL 158 - An act relating to the Kentucky Lottery and making an appropriation therefore.
Status: In the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg), House Bill 158 would allow for the operation of video lottery terminals (VLT’s) at approved horse racing tracks in Kentucky. It has been estimated that the net terminal revenues for the VLT’s would be $700 million, the proceeds of which would be allocated as follows:
- Up to $20 million for drug and alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation.
- $110 million for the elimination of the state portion of the property tax on cars and boats.
- $20 million for jails.
- Up to $2.5 million for problem gamblers awareness and treatment.
- $1 million per year will help support the Kentucky PRIDE program.
- With the assumed figure of $700 million in revenue, Kentucky primary education will receive $80 million per year. Unlike other expenses which are capped, this figure will increase if the revenue grows over $700 million.
- The Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Purse Program will receive $770,000.
- $7 million will be allocated to non-race horse breeds on a pro-rata basis based on the number of registered horses of each breed located in Kentucky, through the newly established Kentucky Breed Authority for equine programs and projects related to:
- Equine education.
- Capital construction and improvement of equine facilities.
- Economic development related to the equine industry.
- Breeder development.
- Racing, show and performance enhancement.
- Furtherance of recreational riding.
- Program administration.
- Income tax on Military pay would also be eliminated for active duty members of the Armed Forces, members of reserved components, and members of the National Guard.
- The bill would eliminate the sales tax on farm equipment, feed, water, and other material used in the breeding, racing, training, or exhibiting of equines.
The KyQHA has worked closely with KEEP and the other breed associations to support this legislation. We encourage our members to contact their legislators in support of House Bill 158.
HOUSE BILL 331 - An act relating to agisters.
Status: Passed House 98-0; Received in Senate, referred to Senate Agriculture Committee.
House Bill 331, sponsored by Representative Royce Adams (D-Dry Ridge), updates KRS 376.400 to allow, “Any owner or keeper of a livery or stable or other business providing for the care of animals” to sell the animal in their care if, “The owner of the animal is at least 45 days in arrears on his or her payment for the care and feeding of the animal; and the proposed sale is advertised pursuant to KRS Chapter 424 and notice thereof is sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or register mail, to the owner of the animal, addressed to such person at his or her last known address, at least ten (10) days before the sale is conducted.” Once the sale has been conducted, the bill proscribes the proceeds to be distributed as follows, “Payment for costs associated with the sale; Payment of costs for the care and feeding of the animal; and The remainder, if any, held for the owner for a period of twelve (12) months and, if not claimed at that time, then paid into the district school fund.”
The KyQHA supports the fundamental fairness embodied in this legislation and supports its passage.
HOUSE BILL 334 - An act relating to sales and use tax.
Status: Referred to House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.
Representative Mike Denham (D- Maysville), has sponsored legislation which would remove the sales tax on “straw, wood shavings, and sawdust used in agricultural or equine pursuits”. This is yet another version of the tax equity legislation that the KyQHA has supported for many years.
While the KyQHA supports House bill 334, we believe it falls short of true equity in taxation for Kentucky’s signature industry. The KyQHA believes that to achieve true equity, all products related to the equine industry be taxed in a manner equal to that of any other agricultural product.
HOUSE BILL 418 - An act relating to stray equine.
Status: Passed House 98-0; Received in the Senate.
House Bill 418, sponsored by Representative Dwight Butler (R-Harned), amends the current law to redefine the definition of “Stray Animal” to be, “Any animal of the equine species for which the owner is no longer claiming ownership or for which the owner cannot be determined”. The bill also prescribes when the “stray” may be taken-up and for how long the taker-up has to hold the animal before they can sell it. This bill simply updates current law and helps to clarify the issue of taking in stray equines.
Because of the increase we have seen in abandoned horses in Kentucky, and the protections made available in the bill for the owners and the takers-up of the horses, the KyQHA supports this legislation.
HOUSE BILL 522 - An act relating to horseback riding trails on lands owned and maintained by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.
Status: Referred to House Tourism Development and Energy Committee.
Sponsored by Representative Rick Nelson (D-Middlesboro), House Bill 522 would amend KRS 150.620, directing the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission to designate, in certain coal-producing counties, those areas suitable for horseback riding trails on lands owned and maintained by the department.
The KyQHA supports this legislation as it would benefit the Commonwealth by expanding tourism opportunities related to the horse industry in Kentucky and provide additional land suitable for pleasure riding in the Commonwealth.