The 2011 regular session of the General Assembly is the short, 30-day session. Representative Larry Clark has sponsored and supported a number of key bills dealing with the economy, government efficiency, education, law enforcement and health care. Following are key legislative issues in which Larry Clark is the sponsor or co-sponsor.

2011 Critical Agenda Items

HB 305 Rebalancing Plan – HB 305 shifts millions of dollars of the Medicaid General Fund from the fiscal year 2012 to 2011.  This will allow our state Medicaid program to process payments on an expedited basis ensuring the highest possible federal match rate. This expedited process is projected to save an additional $12 million and recognizes new managed care initiatives and other efficiencies to replace the decreased General Fund in fiscal year 2012. As a result, this is budget neutral and no other state supported programs are impacted.

The Federal Education Jobs fund was enacted in 2010 to provide funding for P-12 and postsecondary education.  Kentucky met the Federal requirements for P-12 but not for postsecondary education. HB 305 shifts $18.9 million of General Fund fiscal year 2012 to 2011 to meet the requirement.  A similar amount will be reserved in 2011 to to replace the decreased General Fund in fiscal year 2012.  Again, this is budget neutral and no other state supported programs are impacted. Neither proposal, Medicaid or postsecondary, requires additional funds over the current biennial budget.

Click here for Larry Clark’s Medicaid Rebalancing Fact Sheet.

Public Safety

HB 463 was signed into law on March 3, 2011 by Governor Steve Beshear.  HB 463 is a comprehensive package of public safety and offender accountability measures designed to reduce recidivism and criminal behavior.  Overall, the new law ensures there will be more prison space for violent and career criminals while helping to stop the revolving door for lower-risk, non-violent offenders.

The Legislative Research Commission’s fiscal note estimates the reforms will bring gross savings to the taxpayers of $422  million over 10 years.  A portion of these savings will be reinvested in efforts to reduce recidivism,, including strengthening probation and parole programs for substance abusing offenders.

The legislation was praised by The Pew Center on the States, a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

Economic Development

HJR 5 calls for a total review of economic development incentives to make sure the Commonwealth is receiving sufficient return on its investments. The study would also look at what other states are doing to attract new business.

The proposal by Democratic House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark of Louisville passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous, bi-partisan vote of 100-0 and is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

“This is more or less fact-finding, trying to measure what we’re really doing good and what we’re doing bad,” Clark, a Louisville Democrat, told the committee.

The goal is to enhance job creation and make sure the state gets solid returns on its investments, he said.

Read the Bloomberg article by clicking here.

Health Care

HB 27 will ensure continuity of health care by providing acute care patients with requirements for insurance companies to provide continuity of care for covered persons. The bill specifies that procedures be developed for an insured’s access to continuity of care in the event of contract termination and requires the plan to give insured parties notice of these procedures. A covered person must be able to request review of his/her access to continuity of care.

Elections

HB 28 will clear up ambiguity in the law concerning campaign contributions and what constitutes “personal funds”.  Determining the meaning of the words “personal funds” will put candidates and the public on notice over what kinds of assets a candidate can use to fund his/her campaign.  Individuals will still be limited to $1,000 maximum contributions to a candidate for each election. HB 28 will make the law clear for candidates and the public.

Racing Commission

HB 387 relates to advance deposit account wagering licenses.  With this bill, we are clarifying definitions of secondary pari-mutual organizations (SPMO) and Kentucky Residents which allows us to move forward with the licensing and regulatory processes for the wagering marketplace.

Wastewater Treatment

HB 26 which allows the creation of a wastewater commission in the Fort Knox/Salt River basin area as a pilot project to demonstrate how wastewater handling and infrastructure costs can be shared among multiple users. This will better protect our water quality and build out infrastructure more efficiently to sustain economic development.

Paid for by Committee To Elect Larry Clark, Donald Clark, Treasurer. | 502-968-3546
LRC photos courtesy of LRC Public Information