Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 3, 2013

Transportation committee looks at antiquated law

FRANKFORT — Because of an antiquated law on the books since the 1950s in Kentucky, if someone wanted to start a household goods moving company he had to first advertise that intent and hope existing moving companies didn’t object.

But sometimes the existing companies did object. That happened to R.J. Brunner and his company, Wildcat Movers, and Marty Vaughn and College Hunks Moving when they sought a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” from the Department of Transportation.

But existing moving companies objected and Brunner went to court and got a temporary injunction preventing the state from enforcing what he called a “veto” by his competitors.

During the 2013 General Assembly, Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, introduced a measure to end the practice which passed the Senate but was never acted upon in the House.

Now, the industry, Brunner and others have largely agreed on new language and Buford’s bill is likely to pass in the next session.

Rep. Hubert Collins, D-Wittensville, co-chair of the Interim Transportation Committee, said he and Buford sought “a process that is fair and level across the board.”

Collins said Tuesday’s testimony on the bill was “for discussion only” and predicted Buford will again sponsor the legislation which is likely to pass this time.

The bill directs the cabinet to issue a household goods certificate “to any qualified applicant” so long as the applicant conforms to statutory requirements but it also removes the objection process of existing moving companies.

The bill also increases the fee for certificates and renewal of certificates from $25 to $250 and requires companies to perform background checks on employees. It also directs the cabinet to write regulations listing which sorts of crimes may disqualify employees.

Underwood said the intent was to prohibit those who had been convicted of violent or sexual crimes from being employed in jobs which placed them inside private homes.

Brunner said Tuesday he supports the legislation “because it takes away the competitors’ veto power.” Moving industry spokesmen disputed the characterization that existing companies could veto an application saying final approval always rested with the cabinet.

But Tom Underwood, of the National Federation of Independent Business, said he was delighted the various parties could agree on legislation to replace “an antiquated process” established more than 50 years ago.

The committee also heard from Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, his budget director Tammy Branham, and Nancy Albright, director of the office of project delivery.

Branham told the committee revenues from the motor fuels taxes is declining and may decline further. In fact, she said, the cabinet anticipates the tax itself to fall as wholesale gasoline prices fall. (The tax is tied to that wholesale price and re-calculated each quarter though the legislature has in the past codified a minimum amount.)

Collins suggested the legislature might do that again — voting in 2014 to “freeze” the gasoline tax to protect road fund revenues which are segregated from the General Fund and funded by the fuels tax, motor vehicle use taxes and federal funds.

Hancock said revenues will likely continue to fall as motorists travel fewer miles and federal vehicle mileage requirements continue to increase.

Branham told the committee the maintenance budget has been frozen since 2010 but the cabinet estimates 28 percent of the state’s roadways are in need of repaving within the next year. Albright also said 585 bridges “need some work” but the cabinet is able to perform maintenance on only about 50 a year.

Still, said Rep. Tanya Pullin, D-South Shore, Kentucky’s highways are in superior condition to those in Ohio across the river from her home.

RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420mongol1.JPG A ride to remember

    Riding 50 miles a day is no big deal to Amy Whelan.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418melodies.jpg Melodies & Masterpieces returns Friday

    Anyone strolling through downtown Ashland at lunchtime Friday will have a chance to enjoy the artistry of one of the area’s most-respected guitarists as Chris Kitchen kicks off the return of the Melodies & Masterpieces series on Judd Plaza.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418odell.jpg MSU professor appointed state geographer

    Dr. Gary O’Dell, a professor of physical geography at Morehead State University, was named state geographer in January.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill to benefit AK Steel

    During the 11th hour of the General Assembly, a bill extending important sustainable incentives for AK Steel’s Ashland Works was pushed through for approval Tuesday night.
    House Bill 483 was created to extend the plant's incentives provided by the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act in 2004.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pathways begins autism services

    Pathways has extended its community outreach in a big way by providing services for families facing autism.
    Lena Harmon, central director for the company's Kentucky Impact Youth Council, said these services can save families the trouble of being added to long queue lines in Cincinnati and Louisville.
    Harmon said she has heard some families testify having to wait up to 12 months for appointments in faraway cities.

    April 16, 2014

  • Russell academic new dean at OUS

    Nicole Pennington chose a two-year community college degree track in 1991 because she wanted to enter the nursing work force with as little delay as possible.

    April 16, 2014

  • 1936 Indian lasting wedding gift

    When it came time to present his future wife with a symbol of his undying devotion, Virgil Erskine gave her a 1936 Indian motorcycle instead of a diamond ring.
    “I’ve always called it my wedding present. It’s my diamond ring,” said Charlene Erskine, explaining she and her husband were married at Sturgis, S.D., in 1983, found the antique Indian Sport Scout in 1984 and had it restored and on the road in 1985.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Shay receives 38 years for fatal shooting

    Casey R. Shay, 27, of Morehead, was sentenced Monday to 38 years in prison for the fatal shooting last year of Cassandra M. “Cassie” Owens, 21.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416homegarden.jpg Space not problem with home garden

    Growing your own dinner is not a concept lost on Kenny Imel.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo