[1996/oagheade.htm]

OAG 96-2

January 16, 1996

Subject: Statutory powers of the Cabinet for Human Resources

Written By: Scott White, Director,Civil and Environmental Law Division

Requested By: Thomas J. Burch, Honorable House Member from Jefferson County (District 30)

Syllabus: House Bill 81, a proposed house amendment to KRS 211.180, does not provide any additional power to the Cabinet for Human Resources to regulate in the areas of firearms or tobacco.

OAGs Cited: None.

Statutes Construed: KRS 15.025 and 211.180

OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Office of the Attorney General is asked by the requestor whether House Bill 81, a proposed amendment to KRS 211.180 “Functions of Cabinet [for Human Resources] and regulation of certain health matters–inspection fees”, extends the intent and subject matter of that statute to the Cabinet for Human Resources' regulation and control of matters related to tobacco and firearms.

KRS 211.180, as it currently exists, enables the Cabinet to formulate, promote, establish and execute policies, plans and programs relating to all matters of public health. The statute goes on to specifically delineate particular “public health” areas to which the Cabinet is to address itself. Neither tobacco nor firearms are specifically set forth.

House Bill 81, a copy of which was provided to us by the requestor, adds “intentional and unintentional injuries” and “other health risks and health conditions for which there exists a scientifically-sound public health strategy for prevention and control” to (1)(a) of the statute. The proposed amendment does not specifically empower the Cabinet to address issues relating to tobacco and firearms.

Therefore, in response to the specific question of the requestor, it is the Opinion of the Office of Attorney General that House Bill 81 does not provide any additional power to the Cabinet for Human Resources to regulate in the area of tobacco and firearm use.

ALBERT B. CHANDLER III

ATTORNEY GENERAL

SCOTT WHITE

DIRECTOR

CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW DIVISION