The 2019 General Assembly began and completed its first four days of the legislative session, beginning on January 8th and concluding on January 11th.  This year is a 30-day “short session” so this means that there are only 26 days left. The legislature is now in recess until February 5th.

While the first week was short, KCC has already reviewed several bills filed in the House and Senate that either have environmental impacts, or may have an impact if amendments are filed (those are the bills we have marked to “monitor’). We have posted all bills we have reviewed as of 1/8 and are presently reviewing those that were filed in the later part of the week. We should have those additional bills posted by 1/19, so please check back often on our bill list for updates. We generally review all new bills on Fridays and post updates on Saturday.

During this first week, lawmakers also made changes to the composition of their working committees. Several freshmen have been added to the House Natural Resources Committee and there is new leadership on the Senate Natural Resources Committee as well. Many key environmental bills are typically (but not exclusively) housed in Natural Resources, so we encourage you to reach out to freshmen lawmakers on these committees. Introduce yourselves, and let them know about the environmental issues you care about. If you need assistance in meeting with your Representatives or Senators, please contact us and we are glad to help.


A Busy, but Exciting Weekend of Activities for KCC

This past Friday (Jan. 11), KCC co-hosted a reception for Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown, Texas, Mayor of the first city to commit to 100% renewables (which was achieved in 2018). Louisville Metro Council President David James has introduced a resolution for making Louisville a 100% city, and Mayor Ross was able to spend time speaking with  James and Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer, along several other city and state leaders about the work that has been happening in Georgetown.

And then, on Saturday (Jan. 12) Mayor Ross joined KCC’s Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit as our keynote presenter. More than 80 KCC members and supporters attended the day-long conference, co-hosted by the University of Louisville Office of Sustainability. In addition to the Mayor’s enlightening presentation on how to get past partisan politics to create a livable and sustainable city,  we had other guests presenting on sustainable cities including Chris Zitelli of the Kentucky chapter of the US Green Building Council and Dr. Lauren Heberle of the University of Louisville who spoke on the environmental justice aspects of city redevelopment and sustainability.

The day also featured conservation updates from the Kentucky Office of Nature Preserves and Kentucky Division of Water. We also had some great presentations on how leaders are addressing biodiversity and habitat resiliency in times of climate change through presentations by David Phemister of The Nature Conservancy Kentucky, Greg Abernathy of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, and Margaret Carreiro from the University of Louisville (Retired) who spoke on how habitats and resiliency can be addressed in cities.

Senator Morgan McGarvey was also on hand to give his perspective on how citizens can be better advocates for their issues, and how legislators can better engage with their constituents. KCC has resources and tips you can use at this link. You can also find the full agenda and handouts from this last weekend’s conference on our Events page, where we will also be uploading all of the available presentations.


Upcoming Events: Solar Lobby Day, Feb. 28

KCC works with conservation constituents on a wide range of issues, and also assists citizens who want to lobby. We are also helping to coordinate or support several different Lobby Days during the session. On February 28th, we will be working with solar advocacy groups for a Solar Lobby Day that is hosted by a network of solar advocates including; Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Conservation Committee, Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, Sierra Club, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Solar Energy Society, Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, Earth Tools, Community Farm Alliance and Solar Kentucky. Register to attend!

Also: Do you have solar on your home or business?? We’d love to profile you to be one of our solar success stories. Please let us know!


Outdoor Recreation “Hill Day” Scheduled for March 4 

Join the Explore Kentucky Initiative at the State Capitol on March 4th and help bring attention to the importance of outdoor recreation in Kentucky! KCC will be assisting with this initiative, so if you or your organization are interested in being a part of Hill Day, please contact us!


Save the Date: Louisville Earth Walk, April 20 

We are once again participating in the Louisville Earth Walk, which returns to Iroquois Park for its third year on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Everyone is invited to join in the celebration as we walk in support of a vision of a city where everyone, in every neighborhood, has safe and clean water, air and soil.

 

The feature event is a 5k walk and fundraiser. Proceeds will be distributed among 12 partner organizations each of which will be on site to provide ideas and inspiration that you can take back to your home, office, group or community! So spread the word and save the date!