Current NewsHouse Bill 415 Passed
House Bill 415 (passed by the House and Senate) signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear, will require Personal Service Agencies providing in-home services to have a policy safeguarding its clients from being pressured by agency employees for personal gifts and loans. Read More...
Rep. Riner co-sponsored HB 285 with Rep. Addia Wuchner, a registred nurse, to train day care employees, health care workers and others involved in the care of children to recognize signs of child-abuse.
The House Education Committee Chairman introduced HB 160 with the help of Rep. Riner to make it easier for Community College students to transfer to public universities wihtout having to repeat courses taken at community colleges.Food Safety
Concerned about the possible dangers posed to human health by non-therapeutic use of antibiotics and hormones to increase the weight of livestock, Rep. Riner filed Floor Amendment #3 to Senate Bill 105. Read more...Cultural & Economic Renaissance
On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the key to the beautiful Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) came home to the African American community. Read more...
Visiting FrankfortCapital Tours
Your visit to our state's capital, whether for business or pleasure, will provide lasting memories. Click the link above for more information.
Executive Mansion Old Governor's Mansion Capital City Museum Old State Capital Kentucky Military Museum Kentucky Vietnam Memorial Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill Center for Kentucky History
This is for inidviduals seeking federal government grants for their initiatives.Prescription Drugs
See the above link, if you need help or assistance paying for prescription drugs.Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
(SHIP) provides information, counseling and aid to seniors and disabled individuals. This service is provided at no charge by local, experienced counselors.City Government Issues
If you have a problem involving a local agency, you should contact the Mayor's Office at (502) 574-2003 or click the link above to contact your Metro Council Member.State Government Issues
This is for information regarding state government agencies and services.
Student OpportunitiesLegislative Interns
Legislative Interns work during the session at the Capitol. If you have a son or daughter or know of a young person who is interested in being a legislative intern, please click on the link above, then email my office.
Legislative Pages volunteer during the legislative session for a member of the KY House of Representatives generally for one day. If interested, parents should email Rep. Riner: firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Your Opinion Matters
Each sesssion I send out a legislative questionnaire listing all the major bills being brought before the legislature. Your feedback is critical and is the primary way in which I learn how best to represent you. Thank you for taking time to fill them out.
Elected to the House in 1981, Tom has since come to be known among his colleagues as the "conscience of the House", a name that was first given to him for standing against corruption during the House Boptrot investigation dealing with Kentucky politicians' abuse of power. While in office, he has always stood against the abuse of power. Tom has sought to enact legislation that promotes government transparency, jobs, environmental protection, education, aid to women and children, and favorable conditions for working people.
Throughout his years of service in the Kentucky legislature, Tom has never forgotten who sent him to Frankfort. He does not take PAC (Political Action Committee) money because his focus is on the public interest not on the special interests. This ensures he will not to be swayed by special interest groups and thus can represent you.
In the Kentucky House of Representatives, during the Interim when the legislature is not in session, Tom serves on the following committees: Agriculture; Education, Energy Special Subcommittee; Horse Farming; Judiciary; Labor and Industry; Penal Code and Controlled Substance Act Subcommittee; Postsecondary Education; State Government; and Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection.
In the Regular Session of the General Assembly, he serves on these committees: Agriculture & Small Business (H); Education (H) [Vice Chair]; Judiciary (H); Labor & Industry (H); Military Affairs & Public Safety (H); and State Government (H).
Every legislative session Tom has committed to send a legislative questionnaire at his own expense to survey his constituents on the important issues facing the General Assembly. He has voted against every pay raise for legislators, worked for stricter legislative ethics legislation and voted against an increase in the legislative pension. Tom has saved Kentucky thousands of dollars by paying for his own postage for constituent communications rather than using the allotted $1,306.10 in taxpayer money for postage. Even when the state authorizes legislators to be paid for meals and lodging for in-state and out-of-state legislative meetings, he always pays for his own lodging, meals and out-of-state transportation.
Tom has fought to clean up the environment in Louisville and throughtout the state by opposing mountaintop removal which damages the health of Kentuckians through the pollution of our streams. He has supported many legislative initiatives to assist the disabled, veterans and their families. Boosting Kentucky's economy and bringing jobs to Louisville and Jefferson County has been a top priority. Tom and other members of the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation recently met with Jim Campbell of General Electric as he announced the exciting return of "green" jobs from China to Louisville.
Integrity and honesty were the values Tom was taught by his parents and grandparents. Being raised in a single parent home from the age of 4 years old, he has always known the worth of hard work. Delivering the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times newspapers for five years, working on farms and doing construction work in the summer, Tom helped put himself through Centre College. Throughout his life, he has identified with hard-working Kentuckians. He and his wife, Claudia, have six children and two grandchildren. Tom pastors an inner-city Baptist church which has an outreach to the homeless and to men struggling with substance abuse.
You can leave a message for Tom by calling 1-800-372-7181 or emailing email@example.com or writing him at his Capitol office: State Representative Tom Riner, Capitol Annex, Room 457, 700 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.
Riner's Bill becomes law to protect Seniors and Disabled plus bans text messaging on cell phones while driving.
House Bill 415 (passed by the House and Senate) signed into law by Governor Steve Beshear, will require Personal Service Agencies providing in-home services to have a policy safeguarding its clients from being pressured by agency employees for personal gifts and loans. To keep legislation banning text messaging while driving from dying, Riner authorized Senator Denise Harper-Angel to amend his bill while it was in the Senate to include the provisions of her Senate Bill 23 that bans adults and teens from text messaging while driving (except for certain emergencies) and also prohibits teens under 18 years old from driving while talking on a cell phone.
Riner Champions Food Safety Standards and Organic Farming.
Concerned about the possible dangers posed to human health by non-therapeutic use of antibiotics and hormones to increase the weight of livestock, Rep. Riner filed Floor Amendment #3 to Senate Bill 105. The House amendment would require one member of the proposed 13-member Livestock Care Standards Commission be a certified organic farmer with a special interest in food safety. Without the amendment, livestock industry giants will dominate the commission without a representative to champion the need for stricter food safety standards and the need to promote organic farming whose numbers have been doubling nearly every year in Kentucky. The bill failed to pass in the Senate.
A Cultural and Economic Renaissance in 41st District
On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 18, 2010, the key to the beautiful Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) came home to the African American community. State Rep. Tom Riner celebrated with other 41st District residents when Mayor Jerry Abramson presented the symbolic key of the Trolley Barn Maintenance Complex, now transformed into the KCAAH, to Board Chairwoman Christie McCravy. Gov. Steve Beshear, State Sen. Gerald Neal, Metro Council President David Tandy, and Congressman John Yarmuth's representative, Carolyn Tandy, gave accolades to the Board for their dream and tireless efforts. The Center, a destination for tourists, school groups and visitors, holds the potential to act as a catalyst for economic development in the Russell neighborhood. The KCAAH's Foundation has a vision to educate future generations of Kentuckians about the outstanding contributions of African Americans in Louisville and Kentucky. Visit www.kcaah.org to learn more.
We hope you will take time to explore our state's capital as well as the many historic, cultural, and educational opportunities that make Frankfort more than just the seat of Kentucky's government. Some tours require no reservations, while others require reservations well in advance of the tour date. Our office can assist in scheduling the tours. Please email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a tour for you and your neighbors, your club or organization.
Hours: The Senate and House Galleries are open to visitors whenever either body is in session. In addition, the House Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the House is not in session.
Passes: Passes are required to enter either gallery. Visitors may obtain gallery passes from the offices of their Senators or Representatives. Gallery passes are also available at the House and Senate Appointment Desks on the upper level.
Representative Riner serves on the following Committees and Subcommittees:
Agriculture; Education; Energy Special Subcommittee; Labor and Industry; Judiciary; State Government; Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection
During the Legislative Session, Rep. Riner serves on these standing committees:
Agriculture & Small Business (H); Education (H) [Vice Chair]; Judiciary (H); Labor & Industry (H); Military Affairs & Public Safety (H); State Government (H) You are invited to attend any of Rep. Riner's committee meetings, most of which are held in Frankfort.
This committee has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to livestock, crops, poultry and their marketing, disease control and warehousing; stockyards; tobacco; agricultural cooperatives and marketing associations; veterinarians; agriculture weights and measures. Specifically, in Louisville within the 41st Legislative District there are approximately four Farmers Markets where farmers bring their produce and meat.
Subcommittee on Horse Farming
This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the investigation of the contributions of horse farms to Kentucky's agricultural economy as well as the examination of those industries involved in the breeding and raising of horses.
This committee handles issues concerning elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education; the Department of Education; the Kentucky Board of Education; the powers and duties of local boards of education; operation of school districts; state support of education; attendance; curriculum; pupil transportation; conduct of schools; school property and buildings; teachers' qualifications, certification, and retirement; vocational education and rehabilitation; state universities and colleges; regional education; community colleges; and educational television.
Subcommittee on PostSecondary Education
This subcommittee studies issues concerning postsecondary education strategic agenda and the postsecondary education system, including colleges, universities, community and technical colleges; adult education and literacy; support services for postsecondary education students, including remedial education, student financial aid, continuing education and community services; P-16 matters; collaboration among secondary and postsecondary education institutions; and funding support for adult and postsecondary education.
Special Subcommittee on Energy
This special subcommittee was constituted to handle issues concerning investor-owned public utilities, rates, certificates of convenience and necessity; permits, water district rates; public utility cooperatives; electric, oil, and gas transmission companies; telephone companies and cooperatives; Internet access; municipal utilities and water works; energy and fuel development, including alternative fuels and renewable energy; energy waste disposal; the Public Service Commission; and hydroelectric and nuclear energy.
This committee oversees matters concerning contracts; wills; the Uniform Commercial Code; debtor-creditor relations; ownership and conveyance of property; private corporations and associations; competency proceedings; administration of trusts and estates of persons under disability; descent, and administration of decedent's estates; domestic relations; abortion; adoption; support of dependents; statutory actions and limitations; arbitration; eminent domain; summary proceedings; declaratory judgments; witnesses evidence; legal notices; construction of statutes; civil procedure; the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, Circuit Courts, and District Courts; jurisdiction, rule, terms, judges, commissioners, districts, districts, qualifications, compensations, and retirement; clerk of court; attorneys; juries; commissioners and receivers; habeas corpus; crimes and punishments; court reporters; controlled substances offenses; driving under the influence; criminal procedure; probation and parole; correctional penitentiaries and private prisons; civil rights; and juvenile matters.
Subcommittee on the Penal Code and Controlled Substance Act
This subcommittee has jurisdiction concerning six major areas of focus to be discussed for action by the Subcommittee, and they are as follows: #1 Basic Philosophy of the Penal Code; #2 Bail, Pretrial Release/Speedy Trial; #3 Alternatives to Incarceration; #4 Re-Entry of Offenders into Society; #5 Persistent Felony Offender Statutes; and #6 Controlled Substance Act.
Labor and Industry
This committee handles matters pertaining to the workplace and work-force not specifically assigned to another committee; collective bargaining; labor unions; liquefied petroleum gas and other flammable liquids; plumbers and plumbing; electricians; wages and hours; garnishments; safety and health of employees; employment agencies; child labor; apprenticeship; unemployment compensation; workers' compensation; industrial weights and measures; consumer protection.
This committee has oversight regarding issues concerning the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Commonwealth; the General Assembly, its committees, officers, and service agencies; redistricting; the Governor; the Lieutenant Governor; intergovernmental cooperation; state-federal relations; administrative organization; interstate compacts; administrative regulations; statutory administrative agencies; Secretary of State; state personnel; Department of Law; public property and public printing; state retirement systems; public officers, their terms, appointments, compensation, fees, removal, oaths, and bonds; public information; disaster and emergency services; state and regional planning; the libraries; public corporations; archives and records; Commonwealth's attorneys; circuit clerks; the proposing of constitutional amendments and the calling of a constitutional convention; ratification of amendments to the United States Constitution; the election of officers to state, local, and school board positions; election commissioners, officers and precincts; qualifications, registration, and purging of voters; regular elections; primary elections; presidential and congressional elections; special elections to fill vacancies; contest of elections; corrupt practices and election financing; absentee ballots; voting machines; and election offenses and prosecutions.
Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection
This committee handles issues regarding military affairs and civil defense; veterans; national guard; retention of military bases; veterans' rights, benefits, and education; veterans' nursing homes; military memorials and cemeteries; trailer park regulations; safety of citizens and security of public buildings and property; fire prevention and protection; pure foods and drugs; foods, drugs, and poisons; hotel and restaurant regulations as they pertain to public health; sanitation plants; and garbage and refuse disposal.
Representative Riner works with members of the Metro Disability Coalition and other leaders in the community to ensure the voice of the disabled is heard in Frankfort. In meetings with Coalition members, he gains valuable insights about how to craft legislation to best meet the needs of the disabled. He has supported more than 29 pieces of legislation to assist the disabled. He also meets with the United 874K Coalition in Frankfort to learn about their needs.
Tom has been supportive of organizations in the community such as Elder Serve Inc. (that offers programs for the elderly), DaySpring, Inc. and Kaleidoscope, Inc. (www.kaleidoscopeservices.org) which offer services to the physically and mentally challenged. He has co-sponsored legislation to create new sections of KRS 48 and 205 to strengthen public policy providing rights and responsibilities to persons with disabilities and the elderly.
The following are some of the bills and resolutions he has either sponsored, co-sponsored or voted for in past sessions. He supported House Bill 10 (2009 Session) relating to tax credits for hiring legally blind or severely disabled individuals, and House Bill 169 (2009 Session) that provided the manner in which appointments were made to the Office of Alzheimers and Related Disorders and required that Office to report on its activities annually to the Department of Aging and Independent Living. House Bill 5 dealt with childhood hearing loss. House Bill 21 in 2008 provided for creating the KY State Use Commission in which state governmental purchases be bought from Prison Industries, nonprofit agencies and work centers serving the blind or severely disabled. House Bill 680 in 2006 required the inclusion of dyslexia in the definition of specific learning disability; House Bill 289 (2006) provided that disabled hunters are not prohibited from using assistive technology, including certain remote control devices, if permitted by administrative regulation, as long as they are on the premises and not remote-controlled by use of the Internet.
In addition, Representative Riner supports Independent Industries (owned by Goodwill Industries, Inc.) which provides labor-intensive solutions for businesses. Independent Industries is a tremendous asset to our local economy and provides jobs for workers with disabilities.
Bringing jobs to Kentucky and to Louisville has been a top priority for Representative Riner and his colleagues in the Jefferson County Delegation. Encouraging the building of fuel-efficient cars has been a legislative goal realized when the Louisville Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Company was set on a path to build small vehicles from Ford's global C-Car platform beginning in 2011.
Tom pushed for passage of House Bill 229 which relates to economic development across the board including small businesses, educational institutions, film industry and historic preservation. This bill amended Subchapter 34 of KRS Chapter 154 to expand the application of incentives available, to allow recovery of up to 100% of eligible skills upgrade training costs, and to allow an advance disbursement; create a new subchapter of KRS Chapter 154 and a new section in KRS Chapter 141 to replace existing economic development programs in KRS Chapter 154 Subchapters 22, 23, 24, and 28; create a new subchapter of KRS Chapter 154 and a new section in KRS Chapter 141 to establish an income tax credit program for employers who hire at least 5 new employees and who pay qualifying tuition expenses for employees, Create a new section of KRS Chapter 141 to establish an income tax credit for tuition and other educational expenses paid by a taxpayer who is a party to the Metropolitan College Consortium Agreement as of the effective date of the Act; date-limit the provisions of the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act and create a new subchapter of KRS Chapter 154 to establish a new incentive program substantially the same as the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act with the addition of the purchase of data processing equipment under the $5 million cap; create new sections of Subchapters 22, 23, 24, and 28 to date-limit the application of those subchapters to projects approved prior to the effective date of the Act; create a new section of KRS Chapter 141 to establish a cross-walk for the historic preservation tax credit provisions; amend KRS 171.396 and 171.397 to increase the historic preservation incentive cap from $3 million to $5 million, to make the credit refundable, and to make technical corrections; create a new section of KRS Chapter 139 to establish a sales and use tax refund for companies who purchase and install communication systems and computer systems; create new sections of KRS Chapter 148 to establish a refundable income tax credit for the production of films; create a new section of KRS Chapter 148 to establish the Kentucky Film Commission; amend KRS 154.20-033, 141.0205, and 141.415 to conform.
Ensuring Women Are Treated Equitably
Representative Riner supported House Bill 220 that included a determination by the cabinet that the percentage of women in the bidding party's workforce reflect the percentage of available women in the area from which the bidding party's workforce is taken; utilize this information in the cabinet's existing affirmative action process; amend KRS 45.610 to ensure that women are included in affirmative action requirements for state contractors and allow the cabinet to investigate the employment practices of any contractor or subcontractor to determine if violations of any provision of KRS 45.560 to 45.640 have occurred. Visit www.Kentuckyatwork.ky.gov to find how federal stimulus dollars are spent.
As Vice Chair of the Education Committee, Representative Riner makes Kentucky's teachers and students a top priority. As the father of six children who have attended public and private schools in Jefferson County and whose wife was a Kentucky public school teacher, Tom has worked tirelessly to better our schools.
He co-sponsored House Bill 265 (2008) which set up the Math and Science Teacher Forgivable Loan Program to increase the number of middle and high school math and science teachers. In addition, he supported House Bill 680 (2006 Session) to include dyslexia in the definition of specific learning disability.
Tom has advocated for scholarships for minorities while serving on the Post Secondary Education Subcommittee. He co-sponsored House Bill 514 (2008 Session) to fund the reauthorization of a KY Community and Technical college System capital project; to amend the School Facilities Construction Commission's use of local district capital outlay language; to add a KCTCS capital project to Part VII, General Fund Contingency Plan and to provide additional money for Bucks For Brains (a public and private match program for research and innovative programs) at the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and other public universities in the state.
Rep.Riner voted to establish an income tax credit for tuition and other educational expenses paid by a taxpayer who is a party to the Metropolitan College Consortium Agreement.
He supported House Bill 520 (2008 Session) that proposed the establishment of educational scholarship payments to or on behalf of survivors of fallen coal miners.
As a member of the Energy Special Subcommittee, Representative Riner has used his position to make certain Kentucky takes advantage of numerous tax incentives. These come in the form of tax credits to give incentives to Kentucky businesses who venture into hydro, wind and other forms of energy production. As a co-sponsor of legislation to require net metering to add wind, biomass, hydro, and cogeneration to definition of "eligible electric generating facility" and to increase rated capacity, Representative Riner is helping move Kentucky into less dependency on foreign oil. He supported legislation to amend KRS 278.466 to remove cap on number of eligible facilities and provide for a refund on termination, as well as amend KRS 278.467 to require PSC to create a state-wide interconnection and net metering standard. As a way to clean up brownfield sites, Representative Riner voted to encourage the production of energy feedstocks at these sites.
Representative Riner supported the tax credit for the creation of ethanol and biodiesel. Encouraging the building of fuel-efficient cars has been a legislative goal realized when the Louisville Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Company was set on a path to build small vehicles from Ford's global C-Car platform.
He has strongly supported funding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Annual Plan. LIHEAP is a block grant to assist low-income individuals and families with their heating and cooling costs and energy conservation measures. You may contact Louisville's Metro Community Action for information at www.louisvilleky.gov/CAP/LIHEAP.htm
During the National Conference of State Legislators, Rep. Riner met with the Environmental Caucus. Discussions were held concerning how other states were moving forward with green initiatives. Bringing home those ideas to Kentucky and proposing legislation to train a "green" industry workforce are key priorities.
As a way to clean up brownfield sites in Louisville and other locations in the state, Rep. Riner voted to encourage the production of energy feedstocks at these locations. House Bill 162 (2009 Session) pertained to the production of energy feedstocks at brownfield sites. This legislation would aid the environment by putting brownfields into productive use.
Rep. Riner co-sponsored House Bill 313 (2008 Session) which would require net metering to add wind, biomass, hydro, and cogeneration to definition of "eligible electric generating facility" and to increase rated capacity; emend KRS 278.466 to remove cap on number of eligible facilities and provide for a refund on termination; amend KRS 278.467 to require PSC to create a state-wide interconnection and net metering standard.
Rep. Riner voted for House Bill 362 which ratified the Southern States Energy Compact.
Representative Riner co-sponsored House Bill 415 (2008 Session) to establish a colon cancer screening program in the Department for Public Health to make available services to screen uninsured people age 50 to 64 and others at high risk. He supports the KCHIP program for improved healthcare of Kentucky's children.
Concern for a healthy school lunch program has been reflected in a House Resolution introduced by Representative Riner (2010 Session) to encourage schools to provide a balanced lunch for Kentucky children.
Representative Riner and his family regularly support Farmers' Markets. There are many in the 41st Legislative District to provide inner-city families with the same fresh produce enjoyed by rural Kentuckians. We hope you will consider supporting your local Market!
Representative Riner has introduced and supported legislation to direct the Department of Highways to display the United States of America flag at rest stops on Kentucky highways; supported legislation to permit veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to be exempt from paying Kentucky Income Tax; supported legislation to eliminate all registration and clerk fees for disabled veterans' license plates.
Tom worked for passage of House Bill 284 (in 2008) which exempted veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a 100% service-connected disability from having to file paperwork with Property Valuation Administrators annually.
He co-sponsored House Bill 225 in 2007 which the Governor signed into law. It established the KY Wounded or Disabled Veterans Program within the KY Dept. of Veterans' Affairs; requires the program to ease the transition from active service and ensure they receive the federal, state and private benefits to which they are entitled as wounded or disabled veterans.
Women & Children
Representative Riner has always supported legislation to ensure that pay equity becomes a reality for Kentucky women. In this current session, he has introduced House Bill 133 which was voted out of committee favorably. This legislation seeks to expand from six months to two years the time period in which a worker can file suit for gender-based discrimination.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo was joined by Representative Riner and other legislators at the Capitol recently when he announced the introduction of the Amanda Ross Domestic Violence Act. This legislation proposes tighter monitoring of those against whom an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) has been taken.
Tom is a co-sponsor of legislation to protect those in dating relationships. He and his colleagues in the House are working to see that House Bill 25 becomes law in Kentucky this session.
House Bill 220 which Representative Riner supported, included a determination by the cabinet that the percentage of women in the bidding party's workforce reflect the percentage of available women in the area from which the bidding party's workforce is taken; utilize this information in the cabinet's existing affirmative action process; amend KRS 45.610 to ensure that women are included in affirmative action requirements for state contractors and allow the cabinet to investigate the employment practices of any contractor or subcontractor to determine if violations of any provision of KRS 45.560 to 45.640 have occurred.
Representative Riner has supported House Bill 5 (2009) which required the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs to establish standards for infant audiological screening and centers for diagnosis based on national standards.
Providing for gender equity on state boards and commissions is important to Representative Riner. He has sponsored and voted for legislation to end this inequity, and in 2009 voted for House Bill 37. He supported House Bill 214 (2009) which provided support for breast-feeding mothers, and House Bill 300 (2009) which set a timeline for the Human Rights Commission to process discrimination complaints. In the 2000 Session, Representative Riner voted for House Bill 166 which dealt with child support enforcement and required employers to report information on each newly hired employee rather than just those earning more than $300 per month and over age 18 years in order to comply with federal law.
Representative Riner has introduced House Bill 15 this session which will require DUI offenders who commit a homicide driving offense to either serve at least one year of the sentence or attend, at his or her own expense, a nine-month rehabilitation program.