Kentucky nears new rules on HHG movers, insurance, ag haulers

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, March 21, 2014

Multiple bills of note that are making their way through the Kentucky statehouse cover household goods movers, proof of insurance and agricultural haulers.

One bill unanimously approved by Senate lawmakers addresses household goods movers. Sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, the bill is intended to help startups.

Kentucky law now requires owners of household goods companies to approve new businesses.

Buford said the rule prohibits free enterprise and new business.

SB23 would authorize the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to issue a household goods certificate to any qualified applicant. The department would set requirements and standards for HHG carriers.

The departmental fee to file an application or renewal would be $250.

In addition, the bill would require background checks on employees of HHG movers.

The bill awaits further consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

A bill headed to Gov. Steve Beshear’s desk would no longer require most Kentucky truckers and other drivers to carry proof of insurance.

The Senate voted unanimously to approve a bill that would instead allow police to check whether a driver has vehicle insurance by checking the Automated Vehicle Information System through a computer in the officer’s patrol car. House lawmakers already approved HB218 by unanimous consent.

“Much of what we do in our daily lives can be done by electronic means instead of paperwork,” Rep. Ken Upchurch, R-Monticello, recently stated. “So my bill, I believe, is a no-nonsense way to utilize AVIS for confirming insurance coverage for Kentucky drivers.”

Drivers who recently purchased a vehicle, or changed insurance carriers, would still need to carry documented proof in their vehicle for the first 45 days.

Upchurch said the exception is needed to give the state enough time to update the system.

The Senate voted 35-3 to approve one more bill that addresses weight tolerance for certain agricultural hauls on all highways. Specifically, SB44 would provide a weight tolerance of 10 percent for trucks hauling meats or agricultural crops originating from a farm to first market and livestock or poultry from their point of origin to first market.

The weight tolerance wouldn’t apply to interstate travel.

Sen. Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz, said that many of the state’s leading agricultural industries can save money and operate more efficiently with the change. He said it would also help ensure that companies in the state don’t relocate to save money.

The bill awaits further consideration in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

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