Friday, April 1, 2016

Senate approves bills on marriage forms, phones and transportation projects

The Senate, as one of its last actions before adjourning for a recess until April 12, approved marriage license legislation that authorizes the creation of a single form in which petitioners can identify themselves as a bride, a groom or simply as spouse. Current forms only have the former options.

The bill was given final consent by a 32-0 vote. It was later delivered to the governor’s office to await his signature.

Among other action Friday, the Senate passed House Bill 304, which provides roughly $2.3 billion per year for the state’s road funding plan and Transportation Cabinet operations, as well as aviation, rail and other transportation projects across the state. The bill’s high-profile facets include continuing the Adopt-a-Highway program, providing $125 million for road resurfacing projects, $500,000 for river port maintenance as well as 17 capital projects. HB304 also funds the debt load taken on from the projects. The Senate passed the bill by a 35-0 tally.

Under House Bill 585, which the Senate also passed Friday, prepaid mobile phone users would see higher prices to offset fees charged to their service providers. The bill would change methods for the state to collect 911 service fees. HB585 shifts the burden from the wireless provider to the consumer, who pays the fee at the time of buying prepaid minutes. The bill also establishes governmental oversight of the fee collection and how collected funds can be expended. If signed into law, HB585 would take effect on Jan. 1.