This week has been a busy one - from attending the Life Savers Conference to the M-70 Waterways Workshop to working on the upcoming KBT Fly In, there has been a lot going on at KBT.
During all of this activity, there is something else that is keeping everyone preoccupied - and that is the 2016 Legislature.
Today is day 56 of a 60 day Legislative Session and there is still lots to be done including developing the final operating budgets for the general fund, the judicial branch, the legislative branch.
Additionally, the operating budget for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the two year road plan, and the resolution for the four "out years" of the road plan have not been heard in the Senate Transportation Committee.
While those important bills are still going through the process, last night the Senate did something that is incredibly important to all KBT members. HB 309, as amended by the Senate Committee Substitute, passed the Senate 29-9. This bill is the enabling legislation for Public Private Partnerships or P3's in the state of Kentucky.
Senator Max Wise (R-14) explained the bill on the Senate floor, noting that the bill provides the opportunity for local governments, the State Government, and the Transportation cabinet to take advantage of this well known, nationally recognized financing mechanism.
There was some discussion before the final vote was taken. Senator Ray Jones (D-31), thanked Representative Leslie Combs (D-94) for her tireless dedication to the issue. While there were 9 nay votes, the majority of the Senate felt that the measure was beneficial - and a good way to provide an alternative funding mechanism for projects in our Commonwealth.
The bill traveled back to the House today where Representative Combs concurred with the changes made to the bill in the Senate. The bill will now travel to Governor Bevin for his signature. This final step must be taken to enable the use of public private partnerships for major transportation projects.
If you know Rep. Combs or Senator Wise, please contact them and thank them for all their hard work and dedication on this important issue.
I hope you all enjoy this holiday weekend with your friends and family. Happy Easter!