Call to Order and Roll Call
Themeeting of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee was held on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 10:00 AM, in Room 149 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Wilson Stone, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Paul Hornback, Co-Chair; Representative Wilson Stone, Co-Chair; Senators Carroll Gibson, Vernie McGaha, Dennis Parrett, and Joey Pendleton; Representatives Royce W. Adams, Tom McKee, Terry Mills, Ryan Quarles, and Tommy Turner.
Guests: Mr. Roger Thomas, Mr. Joel Neaveill, Mr. Bill McCloskey, Ms. Angela Blank, Mr. Brian Murphy, and Mr. Biff Baker, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy; Ms. Heather Wainscott, Ms. Amy Andrews, and Ms. Marilyn Sink, Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy; Mr. Jeff Harper, Kentucky Farm Bureau; and Mr. Tim Hughes, Energy and Environment Cabinet.
The November 7, 2012, minutes were approved, without objection, by voice vote, upon a motion by Senator Pendleton and second by Senator Parrett.
Prior to receiving testimony, the committee acted on a resolution honoring three committee members who will be leaving the General Assembly at the end of the year: Senators Vernie McGaha and Joey Pendleton, and Representative Royce Adams.
Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy
Mr. Roger Thomas, Executive Director, Mr. Joel Neaveill, Chief of Staff, and Mr. Bill McCloskey, Director of Financial Services, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), testified about project funding decisions made by the Agricultural Development Board (ABD) during its November meeting.
GOAP officials summarized funding allocations for the previous month under the County Agricultural Improvement (CAIP), Deceased Farm Animal Disposal Assistance, and Shared-Use Equipment programs.
GOAP staff provided details on the statewide and regional projects, which included: University of Kentucky Research Foundation, $53,875 approved for a study on the benefits of using a compost bedded pack system in dairy barns; Kentucky Department of Agriculture, $2,830,000 in state funds for two years as a part of the continuation of the Kentucky Proud agricultural marketing and promotion program; Taylor County Cattlemen’s Association, $15,000 for a youth livestock breeding program; Clinton County High School Agriculture Department, $2,041 for equipment for the high school agriculture shop; Solidagex Inc., $55,000 for a goldenrod propagation program.
Mr. Neaveill indicated to Co-chair Hornback that the “restaurant rewards” part of Kentucky Proud has been increasing to the point the board is considering a reallocation, putting additional funding into the restaurant rewards program. Under restaurant rewards, participating restaurants may be reimbursed for up to 20 percent of the value of their Kentucky Proud purchases.
Mr. Thomas responded to Senator Pendleton that the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet continues to look for ways to introduce Kentucky products into the parks system. Both Mr. Thomas and Representative McKee mentioned the requirements of HB 166, passed in the 2011 legislative session, which related to the use of Kentucky-grown agricultural products in state parks.
Responding to Co-chair Stone, Mr. McCloskey indicated that Solidagex will be providing planting, harvest, and sales data to the board on a periodic basis. The project will involve several farms in the Hart County area that will be growing goldenrod for potential use in such things as nutrition products, cosmetics, insecticides.
Responding to Senator Hornback, the officials said Solidagex, has been involved in research on the goldenrod plant. Solidagex have offices on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. GOAP officials later described to Representative Mills the uses of the plant derivatives, which include nutraceuticals.
GOAP indicated to Senator Parrett that, while no county agricultural councils committed funds to the endeavor, farmers themselves could be eligible for CAIP funds.
Mr. Thomas responded to Senator Gibson that he believed farmers were satisfied with growing goldenrod. According to Mr. Thomas, the goldenrod propagation will not result in noxious weed problem experienced in some areas as a result of the federal Conservation Reserve Program.
GOAP officials outlined the recent changes to Agricultural Development Fund policies, and responded to committee members’ questions regarding the on-farm energy program and the farmer’s market funding program.
The committee received the annual report from the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (KY-ASAP) on the agency’s use of tobacco settlement funds. Testifying to the committee were: Ms. Heather Wainscott, Branch Manager, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Ms. Amy Andrews, KY-ASAP Program Coordinator, and Ms. Marilyn Sink, KY-ASAP Project Director for Barren, Hart, and Metcalfe counties.
Ms. Wainscott gave an overview of the program, noting that KY-ASAP currently has 78 local boards covering 116 counties. The agency awarded a total of $1,740,200 to those boards in FY 2012; most single-county awards totaled $15,400. She said that an on-going challenge is limited funding and shrinking resources.
Ms. Andrews described how boards go about dealing with tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. KY-ASAP is being used in many communities as the primary source for drug education and information on prevention and treatment. Ms. Andrews said she is continually impressed by the work being done by the local boards. KY-ASAP grants are the primary source of funding for many local boards. Ms. Andrews discussed some of the KY-ASAP endeavors, including the take-back drives for unused prescription drugs, and drug “drop boxes.”
Responding to Co-chair Stone, Ms. Andrews indicated that, while local boards are not audited, the agencies to which KY-ASAP are affiliated, such as fiscal courts, are audited.
In her remarks, Ms. Sink described her experiences with the Barren-Hart-Metcalfe board. The focus on how to combat tobacco, alcohol, and drug use should be in the hands of local boards. Her board’s original drug take-back effort has been replicated elsewhere. She lauded the state KY-ASAP office and talked about the importance of the KY-ASAP grant.
Responding to Representative Quarles, Ms. Wainscott said she would ask her supervisor to review the law as it relates to synthetic drugs.
Ms. Wainscott indicated to Representative McKee that she could provide additional data on the use of hydrocodone in the state. The representative said it is unfortunate those drugs “are out there.”
Ms. Andrews responded to Co-Chair Stone that the drug drop boxes must follow U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration protocols, which include monitoring and placement at law enforcement agencies.
Senator Hornback described a problem with the way identification is obtained under the requirements of HB 1, which enhanced the state’s prescription drug monitoring system. Representative Mills commented on the marketing of prescription drugs through television commercials.
Documents distributed during the committee meeting are available with meeting materials in the LRC Library. The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:45 a.m.