The Richmond Register

State News

September 3, 2013

Movers likely to lose right to block competition

Revenue from motor fuels taxes falling

FRANKFORT — Because of an antiquated law on the books since the 1950s, if someone wanted to start a household goods moving company  in Kentucky 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. It 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, and it prevents existing moving companies from blocking the process simply by objecting.

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 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 the wholesale price and re-calculated each quarter, although 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
State News
  • Healthcare signup in state extended

    While the national health exchange established by the Affordable Care Act — known to some as Obamacare — suffered glitches, crashes and delays, the Kentucky-run exchange, Kynect, often was cited as a national model.
    Nevertheless, those in Kentucky who didn’t sign up before the March 31 deadline will have a second chance to enroll.

    April 3, 2014

  • House sends $20.3 million budget to Senate

    It took four hours and it won’t last long in its present form when it reaches the Republican-controlled state Senate, but the House passed a $20.3 billion, two-year budget late Thursday on largely, but not entirely, party lines.

    March 13, 2014

  • Right-to-work bill dies in House panel

    The sponsor of a right-to-work law in Kentucky knew it had no chance of passing a House committee Thursday.

    March 13, 2014

  • Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards

    When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.

    March 7, 2014

  • Senate panel OKs trial use of cannabis oil

    Rita Wooten and her husband Ricky face an excruciating choice: watch their 4-year-old son suffer from repeated seizures — or violate the law in order to help him.

    February 26, 2014

  • Two honored for work with sexually abused

    It’s Erica Brown Myers’ job to help those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. But helping others can take a toll on the helper as well as the victim.

    February 26, 2014

  • Paul asks Senate for help in 2016 quandary

    Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul last week asked Republican state senators to try to repeal a Kentucky law that bars anyone from appearing on the same ballot for more than one office.

    February 24, 2014

  • Republican party split on display in Cave City

    Splits in the Kentucky Republican Party were subtly on display here Saturday evening – if you knew what to watch.

    Around 400 gathered at the Cave City Convention Center for the annual Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner but this one was different from past dinners.

    February 24, 2014

  • Comer positioning with gubernatorial politicking

    The roughly 400 Republicans at Saturday night’s Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner here were primarily focused on the U.S. Senate race and Republican hopes to take over the state House of Representatives this fall.

    February 24, 2014

  • Scales of justice.jpg UPDATED: Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriage, judge rules

    A federal judge has ruled Kentucky’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states violates the U.S. Constitution.

    February 12, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results