Legislative Update: Telecommunications and legal reform measures clear committee votes

Telecommunications Modernization

A bill aiming to cut the regulation faced by telecommunications providers which prevent investment passed the House Small Business and Information Technology Committee Thursday.

Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, follows up on telecommunications reforms passed in 2015 and seeks to modernize Kentucky’s out of date telecommunications laws which stifle growth and economic development.

The legislation would apply the same modern, investment-friendly law that has been in place in urban areas since 2015 to all areas of the state. Extending the law will eliminate outdated regulations that only serve to throttle investment in new technologies.

The Kentucky Chamber has long been a supporter of modernizing Kentucky’s telecommunications regulations which are burdensome, out of date and hinder economic growth. Read an op-ed from Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson on the issue here.

Senate Bill 10 now heads to the full House for a vote on the floor.

Judgement Interest Rates

House Bill 223, which lowers the judgement interest rate in the state from 12% to 6% passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday Morning.

Kentucky’s judgement interest rate is one of the highest in the nation at 12 percent and has not been changed since 1982.  After a jury award of damages, the losing defendant must post a bond guarantee they can pay the award when all appeals are final, plus interest in the amount of 12 percent. Such a high interest rate inflates the cost of already expensive legal battles for individuals, businesses and health care providers.

The Chamber supports House Bill 223 as it would bring Kentucky in line with most other states and increase our competitiveness.

House Bill 223 now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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