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HB 424 (BR 1479) - J. Gooch Jr.

     AN ACT relating to coal mine reclamation, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring an emergency.
     Create new sections of KRS Chapter 350 to define "actuarial soundness," "date of establishment of the fund," "Kentucky reclamation guaranty fund" "Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission," "discount rate," and "voluntary bond pool"; establish the Kentucky reclamation guaranty fund as a non-lapsing revolving account and attach it to the Energy and Environment Cabinet; determine moneys and administration of the fund; specify uses for fund dollars; exempt the fund from requirements applicable to insurers under KRS Chapter 304; establish a 7-member Reclamation Guaranty Fund Commission; make the secretary or his designee chair of the commission; establish initial appointments by the Governor and make the term of appointment 4 years with reappointment; allow a $150 per diem for members of the commission and payment of actual and necessary expenses related to meetings; establish terms of vacancy on the commission, conflict of interest on matters of the commission, and misue of office; subject members to executive branch ethics code; authorize the commission to promulgate administrative regulations and matters to which those regulations pertain; establish penalties and permittee classifications; require the commission to report to the Interim Joint Committee on Banking and Insurance and the Governor annually; allow the commission to conduct investigations and subpoena on behalf of the commission for specific activities of permittees; require actions to be in Franklin Circuit Court and allow the cabinet to use the legal department for those actions; appoint an executive director to an Office of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund who will conduct the duties of the fund including collecting fees, assessing permit eligibility, paying out on reclamation, and making reports; require membership in the fund be mandatory; establish initial capitalization of the fund and transfer all assets of the previously established voluntary bond pool commonly known as the small operators bond pool; establish start-up assessments and per-acre assessments; require permit-specific bond of permittees in the bond pool; establish assignments or classifications for purposes of paying fees to the fund; establish criteria for the commission to consider inclusion of permits in the fund that were under the former voluntary bond pool and permit specific bond for any that are to be included; allow the commission to change rates and fees through administrative regulation and suspensions for failure to pay fees, suspension of permits, and other penalties; determine the proportion of penalties paid that goes to the fund and to the abandoned mine land supplemental fund; specify the method by which moneys from performance bonds and fund moneys shall be apportioned to pay for outstanding reclamation costs; repeal the following KRS: 350.700, 350.705, 350.710, 350.715, 350.720, 350.725, 350.730, 350.735, 350.740, 350.745, 350.750, and 350.755; amend KRS 12.020 to establish the Office of the Guaranty Fund; amend KRS 350.595 and 350.990 to conform; and EMERGENCY.


     HCS - Retain original provisions, except delete definition of "discount rate"; require payment of onetime assessment within 30 days after notice and prohibit issuance of a permit until onetime assessment is paid; add economic size as a factor in distinguishing the coal members of the commission; allow alternate method of selection for a member is one does not meet the five million ton criteria for the largest member; allow for the member representing banking and insurance industries to be selected from a list of six nominees; require one member to be a certified public accountant; require actuarial studies annually for first three years and every two years thereafter unless needed more frequently; require report of the financial status of the Reclamation Guaranty Fund annually to the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment; make documents issued in response to subpoenas confidential and not subject to open records; provide a deviation from mandatory participation in the fund for those doing full cost bonding under federal standards; allow members of the voluntary pool to be treated similarly under the fund with specific limitations; delete consideration of abatement of an order for inclusion of previous members of the voluntary bond pool seeking treatment under old terms; add frequency of violations as a consideration for inclusion of prior members of the voluntary bond pool; and add noncondified section to wind up operations of the voluntary bond pool.
     HCA (1/Title, J. Gooch Jr.) - Make title amendments.

     Feb 19-introduced in House
     Feb 20-to Natural Resources & Environment (H); posted in committee
     Feb 21-posted in committee
     Feb 27-taken from Natural Resources & Environment (H); 1st reading; returned to Natural Resources & Environment (H)
     Feb 28-taken from Natural Resources & Environment (H); 2nd reading; returned to Natural Resources & Environment (H)
     Mar 5-reported favorably, to Rules with Committee Substitute, committee amendment (1-title) as a Consent Bill; taken from Rules (H); placed in the Orders of the Day for Tuesday, March 5, 2013; 3rd reading, passed 90-1 with Committee Substitute, committee amendment (1-title)
     Mar 6-received in Senate; to Natural Resources & Energy (S); taken from Natural Resources & Energy (S); 1st reading; returned to Natural Resources & Energy (S)

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