Part II of the legislative session will begin this Tuesday, February 7th. And due to the short session, we anticipate bills moving very quickly, so please watch for our Alerts and legislative updates. You can find the current status of bills we are tracking HERE.
But this week, we also want to alert you to HB72 (Strong Oppose), filed by Rep. Miller. This bill is currently in the House Judiciary committee. (See committee members here). This legislation, which was filed and stopped due to fast action by KCC and KRC last year, requires a supersedeas bond for appeals of Circuit Court decisions on zoning cases, before the case is transferred to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. This will have a detrimental impact on the ability of citizens to challenge environmentally destructive land uses.
What this means: A litigant seeking judicial review of a circuit court decision on review of a rezoning decision could be required to prepay all potential damages, attorney fees, and costs. The bond would be forfeited if the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court decision, even if the appeal raised arguments that had merit. This would place an undue financial burden on individuals and small entities such as neighborhood associations, and basically denies equal opportunity for being heard on an appeal.
Actions for This Week: This bill may be heard as early as this coming Wednesday. Please call the House Judiciary Committee through the legislative message line at 1-800-327-7181 and let them know you strongly oppose this legislation. The next meeting of the Judiciary committee is this Wednesday at noon.
Prepared for Action
We want to thank all of the KCC members, supporters and guests who attended our Legislative Summit at Bellarmine University a few weeks ago. Even with the competition of the Women’s March demonstration events that were held around the state, we had a record attendance, which no doubt reflects the fact that citizens are wanting to be engaged and are ready to act. We want to thank our very special guests, the Honorable Judge Phillip Shepherd, State Senator Morgan McGarvey, Louisville Metro Councilman Bill Hollander, and Tom Fitzgerald from the Kentucky Resources Council. Members and attendees came from the conference with action plans for addressing bills during the session, and plans for advancing the issues that you care about. We will have a summary of the conference outcomes available on our website shortly, and you can find materials from the conference HERE.
Action items from the conference include lobby days for land conservation on February 21, and lobby days for clean energy on March 7. Please contact us for more information about these opportunities!