House, Senate roll into day 29 passing gas tax, dating violence bills

03/25/2015 01:21 AM

FRANKFORT — With ten minutes until midnight Tuesday, the state Senate moved a compromise version of a fix to the gas tax drop with a constitutional majority.

The state House wrapped their voting on the measure just as the clock rolled over on 12:30 a.m., day 29 of the legislative session.

The gas tax compromise would set a new gas tax floor at 26 cents per gallon. That’s lower than the current 27.6-cents-per-gallon rate but above the expected 22.1-cent-per-gallon rate that will take effect April 1 without action.

The bill also sets a new floor of 26 cents to the gas tax and moves the tax to annual rate adjustments rather than quarterly. The bill would also limit drops in the annual adjustments to 10 percent.

The legislation passed the Senate with the help of Senate Democrats, who initially waited to cast their votes. The Senate passed House Bill 299 29-9 with Sens. Ralph Alvarado, Tom Buford, C.B. Embry, Alice Forgy Kerr, Julie Raque Adams, Dan Seum, Damon Thayer and Whitney Westerfield voting “no.”

The legislation needed three-fifths majority in both chambers to pass, which it also got in the House with a 67-29 vote. Many lawmakers in the House and Senate calling on the rate to fluctuate as it was intended.

The legislation carries an emergency clause and will go into effect when signed by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Domestic violence protections for dating partners clears General Assembly

The Senate released their weeks-long hold of House Bill 8 after passing the heroin compromise bill Tuesday night.

The bill would allow people in dating relationships to seek protective orders in cases of abuse.

The House cleared the bill with a unanimous 100-0 vote and the Senate passed the measure 37-1, with Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, voting “no.”

Tax check off bills clear House and Senate

The House and Senate also found agreement on a bill mired in a last minute misunderstanding.

Senate Bill 89 which would allow state residents to donate their income tax returns directly to the pediatric cancer research trust fund via a check box on the front of the tax return also passed with an amendment creating a similar fund for rape crisis centers.

The bill nearly died in the Senate after a misunderstanding on what services rape crisis centers provide. The bill passed unanimously in both chambers with language stipulating that no funds created could be used to fund abortions.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.