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New Year, New Session

With the change in the balance of power (where both chambers, and the executive branch, are all held by a single party), we anticipate this will be a fast moving session.

New Leadership: For the first time since 1921, Republicans hold the majority in the Kentucky House, which means the house committee chairs will now be Republicans rather than Democrats. In addition, the house republican leadership made a few structural changes to the house committees, eliminating the Labor and Industry Committee and adding the new Small Business and Information Technology Committee. The Natural Resources and the Environment Committee has now become the Natural Resources and Energy Committee (to be chaired by former Democrat turned Republican Jim Gooch) and the Tourism Development and Energy Committee has now become the Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.

Additional information about the 2017 legislative session HERE.

Additional information about the legislature HERE.

New Regulatory Proposals: On the regulatory front, newly proposed coal ash regulations are also pending before the Kentucky’s Energy & Environment Cabinet (EEC). The EEC is pushing regulations that would limit state and public oversight of coal ash disposal. According to Tom FitzGerald and our friends at the Kentucky Resources Council, the proposal would exempt coal wastes from special waste regulations, make it easier for utility companies to build landfills without public notice or agency review, and is “the most reckless regulatory program I have seen proposed in my 36 years of practicing environmental law.” Utilities like the proposal because they claim it will streamline the process to dump coal ash. Opponents argue that this proposal also does meet the requirements of the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WINN) Act, which would allow the EPA to either put into place a federal coal ash waste permitting system for Kentucky, or have the authority to directly enforce the coal ash requirements if the EPA finds the proposal deficient. Written comments on the proposed coal ash regulations were received from the public from October 11 until November 30. A public hearing was held on November 22. The Cabinet is in the process of responding to comments and making changes (if any) in response to those comments before the rule is finalized.

Legislative Priorities: We anticipate that the legislative agenda will be full of issues affecting labor such as Right to Work and issues affecting education such as charter schools. However that does not mean that conservation issues will be cast aside. You will find many pre-filed bills that KCC has already reviewed or are in the process of being reviewed, posted on our website. Link HERE.

With the new session, we have some new announcements for KCC as well: We are starting the year with a new office. We wish to thank the owners of the PlanGraphics building, which had been our home on East Main Street in Frankfort for the past two years. You will now find us just a few blocks down the road, where we are now located at 415 West Main Street, just in time for the session.

You will also see that KCC has been refreshing our website, in order to provide more of the essential information you need on conservation issues. The site is still a “work in progress” but we hope you will find it helpful and informative. Updates are continuing, so please check back often. We have expanded our information in many areas, including information on how to be an effective Citizen Lobbyist. KCC is glad to come out to meetings and civic groups to help train citizens to become engaged advocates, so please contact us.

Finally, we urge you to register now for the KCC Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit, which will be held again at Bellarmine University on January 21st. This is the place to get the latest details on the session, as well as key information on conservation issues that will be in play during 2017. We are very excited to have Judge Phillip Shepherd as our special keynote, and we have many other special guests on the agenda (with more to come) so register now at this link.

 

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Thankful for our Supporters

As we give thanks this holiday season, we want to express our appreciation to all of the members, donors, organizational partners and allies who support KCC. Now more than ever, we need your support for this important work.

This post-election period has brought in many new Representatives and Senators, plus most significantly,  a change in political control that is now held by one party.

KCCGuardianHeader1Republicans won control of the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1920, where they picked up 17 seats in the November general election. For information about the 2017 Session, click HERE. For a list of new Representatives for 2017 click HERE. For a list of new Senators, click HERE.

With all of these changes, it is more important than ever to have a strong presence to represent conservation interests in the state capitol. KCC is here to help all of our members and supporters bring a collective voice to these issues. We are here to provide support, training, and resources that will help you in your relationship with your legislators. Check our website for helpful tips throughout the year on ways to become a more effective spokesperson in Frankfort.

The short session will begin on January 3rd. KCC’s board and staff have already reviewed the latest pre-filed bills that may appear in the upcoming session. Click HERE for that listing.

And please mark your calendar for the KCC Annual Meeting and Legislative Conference, which will be held again at Bellarmine University on Saturday, January 21st. This year’s event schedule is still in the works, but we are working on a great lineup, and it will include key information about the upcoming session and how to engage. We will be sending out full schedule details shortly.

We would also like to mention that we could not do this work without the support of our charitable affiliate, The Kentucky Conservation Foundation, who supports much of the educational and research work for important issues in Kentucky. KCF is participating this year in the Good Giving Challenge, which will be held from November 29 through December 31, 2016.  When you see the Good Giving Challenge information, look for KCF and tell your friends about the challenge. Because now more than ever, the earth needs friends in Frankfort.

Finally, we want to thank all of the organizers, presenters and attendees at the third annual Pipelines and Fracking Summit held in Lexington last month. KCC was honored to be a guest again this year  and the interest in this issue is only continuing to grow. We anticipate seeing new legislation that will address fracking waste disposal this session as part of the outcome from the Oil and Gas Working Group which has been meeting for the past several months.

So we look forward to seeing you during the session, and our best to you all on the eve of this holiday season!

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Sustainability is the Lay of the Land

KCCGuardianHeader1KCC recently attended the 40th Annual Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment, which was held on September 21-22 in Lexington. It was refreshing this year to see an emphasis in several presentations on energy efficiency, solar, and sustainability. Presentations from Wal-Mart, Lexmark, UPSIBM, L’Oreal and Toyota all addressed the need for businesses to maintain sustainable practices, while showcasing their innovations in efficiency, solar, or alternative fuels. The conference also featured impressive presentations from government agencies including Fort Knox and the Kentucky National Guard, who both featured their solar installations and other sustainability measures. We were impressed with the vibrant and viable examples of energy innovation and sustainability from all of these presentations.

hugh_smallThe conference also included the Awards Luncheon, which included, among many worthy recipients, the Secretary’s Award for an Entity, which was awarded to our partners at the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust. KNLT’s Executive Director (and KCC board advisor) Hugh Archer accepted the award. For the fill list of award winners, click HERE.

More Conferences, Events, Activities, Celebrations:
During the past few weeks, KCC has been making the rounds at several events, including the Environmental Educator’s Annual Conference which was held in late September at Lake Cumberland
State Park. 

The EmPower Kentucky Summit sponsored by KFTC this pastsarahlynn_small weekend in Louisville, featured KCC Board President Sarah Lynn Cunningham who presented in a session on “Risky Energy Choices.” 

Later that same day, Sarah Lynn and KCC Executive Director Lane Boldman joined the Kentucky Resources Council’s First Annual Meeting in Midway, where both presented tributes on the history of KRC and their Executive Director Tom FitzGerald.

chrisschimmoellerOn a special note, the KRC event featured the presentation of their Sue Anne Salmon award to  long-time  KCC and KRC ally, Chris Schimmoeller. Chris has been instrumental in many major conservation projects over the years, and we heartily agree with KRC’s selection.

Chris, KCC and twenty other allied groups have been working on this year’s educational summit, “Pipelines, Fracking and Kentucky’s Future Beyond Fossil Fuels” which is scheduled for Saturday, November 5th. Mark your calendars and hope to see you there!

Laboring Through the Summer

As we approach the Labor Day holiday, we wanted to recap a few KCCGuardianHeader1highlights of meetings and sessions that have been happening in Frankfort over the summer. KCC has been active during the Legislative Interim Joint Sessions, which run from June 1 through December 1 of each year.

Labor, Energy: With Labor Day in mind, we’ll highlight this week’s meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment, which featured a presentation by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP), who is leading many of the re-training efforts for unemployed miners. EKCEP underscored three important considerations for re-training: (1) Eastern Kentucky cannot work in isolation from other regions, (2) Strategic collaboration with new partners is essential, and (3) The region must embrace technology and the digital landscape.

Few could argue with these concepts. With that in mind, we consider it timely that the Harvard Business Review recently released their analysis on the potential for re-training miners to work in the solar industry. Since we need to embrace technology, it seems reasonable to throw this information into the mix.

Certainly solar has been gaining momentum, even in a coal-dependent state such as Kentucky. We had the pleasure last week of joining in on a tour of LG&E/KU’s solar array at the E.W. Brown plant as part of Solar over Louisville’s solar tours. The Kentucky Solar Energy Society is sponsoring several tours and workshops throughout the state this coming month, so we hope you check out one of these upcoming events.

As for other energy-related matters, KCC is continuing to attend public work sessions of the Oil and Gas Working Group, which is working on reforms including waste from gas fracking operations. This was flamed by the controversy over illegal dumping into an Estill county landfill. Committee members, including our allies at the Kentucky Resources Council, are working to clarify legal definitions, limits and handling guidance for low-level radioactive drilling waste as part of these discussions.

Refreshing State Parks, Lands Issues: One of the more recent sessions we attended was a presentation to the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations & Revenue, who received information on the maintenance plan for our State Parks, entitled “Refreshing the Finest.” Lawmakers were presented with details on the condition of specific state parks and funding priorities for their upkeep.

KCC also attended a recent meeting of the Free-Roaming Horse Task Force, formed after the 2015 session to address issues relating to wild and feral horses impacting some regions in Eastern Kentucky. These horses are creating significant environmental impacts, as well being a threat to safety. One of the challenges to address the problems include obtaining a reliable population assessment, which will require assistance with mapping, as well as aerial and field work to obtain accurate counts. If you have connections to resources to help with this work, please contact us.

Transportation: In August, KCC attended a session of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation, where lawmakers were presented with updates from Troy Hearn, Statewide Coordinator of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and other advocates, to review issues relating to last session’s Bicycle Safety legislation (SB80 and HB121) , which calls for adjustments for a safe passing distance between bikes and motor vehicles. While these bills did not pass in the last session, we anticipate that after some minor modifications, they will return in the 2017 session.

KCC has been monitoring many other meetings during the Interim session, such as the Lead in Drinking Water task force, Clean Air Task Force, and of course, all Interim Joint meetings that involve issues of interest to our members and partners. If you have more questions on events in Frankfort, please feel free to contact us by email.

Ramping up Green, Watching out for Red

The new administration has been active with several initiatives KCCGuardianHeader1during the summer, but we are most intrigued with one launched this week: Governor Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction initiative, targeting regulations that govern private businesses. Bevin will be soliciting input at the website www.RedTapeReduction.com.

Of course, it is always a populist notion to address government red tape. However what some may see as “onerous regulations,” others may see as essential protections for the public at large. We wonder if the folks in Louisville’s west end, for example, feel that regulations were adequate to protect them from poorly-sited waste-to-energy facilities? We assume not, since legislation was debated on the matter this past session. And of course, regulations are only part of the story. The Commonwealth has a long history of under-resourcing the agencies that are responsible for addressing enforcement of the state’s regulations. So before we survey companies on how they are being over-regulated, it might be prudent to also assess how many of these regulations are actually being enforced.

As for other news, the new administration has continued to make staffing changes over the summer. Notably, the Energy and Environment Cabinet made two appointments in June, moving R. Bruce Scott from his position as Commissioner of DEP into his new role as Deputy Secretary for the Energy and Environment Cabinet, and moving Aaron Keatley from his role as Deputy Commissioner for the Department for Environmental Protection to Commissioner. Bevin also recently appointed Paintsville attorney Michael J. Schmitt as chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Schmitt’s legal clients include Booth Energy, EQT Resources and Abarta Oil & Gas. Read more about this appointment HERE.

Finally, at the risk of being accused of “all work and no play,” we have been spending some time during the interim session getting out and about to visit legislators in their districts, and also getting out to meet with our members. To that end, we would also like to invite you to visit us in Frankfort in August for an evening of fun and films. Our presentation of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival will be held on August 6th, and we’d love to see you there. Information HERE.

The Last Word

KCCGuardianHeader1On Wednesday, April 27, 2016,  Governor Matt Bevin issued his final vetoes for the 2016 session. There were several of these vetoes that affect areas of interest to KCC members and supporters, and we have detailed those below.

Note that these changes are in addition to the 4.5% cuts in the current fiscal year, and 9% cuts in the two-year biennium to many state programs including tourism, natural resources, parks, forestry, energy development, environmental education and environmental protection. What is listed below primarily addresses vetoes in HB303 (primary budget bill) but there are also vetoes in related bills HB304 and HB10.

General Government:
Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy
There were several changes made to language that did not entirely strike funding, but changed the restrictions on how that funding would be used.

Within the tobacco fund, (specifically, those funds which were earmarked for the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy) Bevin struck language that would have directed that special agricultural development initiatives would be limited to “those which support regional centers of excellence associated with a state university, to regional initiatives that support local food aggregators, processors, or distributors, to statewide initiatives that foster the maintenance, preservation or enhancement of a natural resource which is important to the future development of the agricultural economy of the Commonwealth, or to regional initiatives that provide a public service which can be used to evaluate the marketability of livestock.”

He also deleted a restriction that the “Board shall not approve an individual grant for an amount that exceeds $12,800,000.”

While we can appreciate a certain desire to maintain “maximum flexibility to effectively deploy agency resources” as Bevin had stated in the context of his veto memo for these funds, a primary goal of the tobacco settlement was to encourage and support diversification of the post-tobacco economy. Support for moving from tobacco as a crop to local foods, and the regional infrastructure to support that economy, we feel should remain a priority for these funds.

Local Government Economic Assistance Fund
Bevin eliminated the directive for $1,750,000 in each fiscal year from General Fund moneys to the Operations and Support Services budget unit within the Department of Education to be earmarked for purposes of enhancing education technology in local school districts within coal-producing counties. While this is not directly a conservation issue, KCC supports programs that promote a “just transition” of coal counties that have been severely impacted by the collapse of the coal economy, and use of coal severance funds to benefit coal counties. Bevin noted, “This budget dedicates an unprecedented amount of coal severance dollars back to the counties where the resource is severed. While this program has benefitted a number of school districts in the coal regions, it is time to review its effectiveness and ongoing necessity.”

Economic Development Cabinet
Louisville and Northern Kentucky Waterfront Development Projects: Bevin struck language for A special appropriation that had been made in the amount of $420,000 each year within the Economic Development Cabinet for the Louisville Waterfront Park, an 85-acre development, and also $225,000 each year for the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, a project that would have supported a 23-acre project bounded by Beargrass Creek and River Road in Louisville. He also eliminated the earmark for $150,000 in each fiscal year for a Northern Kentucky Waterfront Development project for Riverfront Commons as well.

Transportation Cabinet
Bevin struck language in HB304 (Transportation bill) that would have directed $10 million over two years to the Kentucky PRIDE fund from the highway construction contingency account.

PRIDE stands for “Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment” and operates volunteer programs for litter reduction, citizen trash cleanup days, and assistance for low income septic and sewer management. The program operates in 42 counties, primarily located in Eastern Kentucky. At a time when the Eastern Kentucky counties are struggling more than ever, we find the reduction of these resources to be shortsighted (on page 58 of HB303 it shows $14,750,000 in each fiscal year allocated to PRIDE, however elsewhere in the budget it shows $2,006,300 is also being “swept” from the Kentucky PRIDE trust fund). Bevin vetoed the earmark because he considered the language to be too restrictive, and it directed more than the historical funds given.

Energy and Environment Cabinet
Bevin vetoed directives for appropriations in the Energy and Environment Cabinet budget of $907,300 each fiscal year to be directed to the Division of Conservation, to provide direct aid to local conservation districts.

Also included is a veto that eliminates a directive for an appropriation from the Energy and Environment Cabinet budget of $250,000 in each fiscal year for the Department of Natural Resources’ tree nursery programs in Morgan and Marshall County. These are the state’s only two tree nurseries for providing native trees for reforestation, provided both for public and privately-owned land. These trees are used for reclamation of mine lands, wildlife habitat improvement, and other reforestation projects.

What was NOT changed by Bevin were appropriations of funds for the Environmental Quality Commission, however the administration of those funds in the budget as passed place those funds under the direct discretion of the Energy and Environment Secretary rather than a dedicated line item.

Bevin also did not change any lines which would affect the budget sweep of the Heritage Land Conservation Funds. So the final budget restores half of the swept funds totaling $5 million over 2 years rather than $10 million over 2 year as originally proposed. (See related story here).

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
In HB303, Bevin eliminated a provision for a statewide marketing plan, to maximize the effectiveness of statewide marketing efforts supported by the transient room tax. At a time when tourism is being viewed as appropriate economic transition for eastern Kentucky counties affected by the downturn in the coal economy, and would promote our state parts and natural areas, we presume a statewide marketing plan to be a responsible use of funds.
Within HB10 was a provision that adjusted some funding for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet to address park renovations and repairs. It included an appropriation of $12,000,000 in general fund moneys and 1,000,000 to Rough River Marina for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Bevin eliminated “2015” from the language which extends the timeframe for use.

Bevin stated: “This veto is necessary to provide the Cabinet additional flexibility and time to ensure certain critical needs of our state parks are addressed. The limited timeframe would have made it difficult under the state’s procurement code to fully address all the needs of the parks. This targeted veto will allow the Cabinet an additional six months to address the highest priority needs of our state parks.”

KCC will continue to address funding issues from now till the next budget session. If you would like to be involved in that work, please contact us.

 

The Dust Settles

KCCGuardianHeader1The legislative session ended VERY late on Friday last week, going right up to the midnight hour, where lawmakers finalized their two-year budget. The proposal was originally unveiled in January as the governor’s spending proposal. Since then, both the House and Senate each approved their own versions of the spending plan with much back-and-forth. The compromise version was not presented until Friday afternoon and passed later that evening. So now we await the final signature from the Governor before putting this session to bed.

The nine-percent budget cuts the governor proposed for significant parts of the Executive Branch remain in the final version of the budget, which affects many departments of concern to our members, including environmental protection, natural resources, energy development, environmental education and forestry. This is why KCC has continued to strongly oppose the budget bill. But through your support, we were able to make improvements.

During negotiations, there were attempts to continue to sweep funds from conservation into the General Fund, and attempts to cut from specific programs over and above the existing nine percent cut, including a threat to eliminate the state tree nurseries, eliminate the Environmental Quality Commission, remove funding for Waterfront Park in Louisville and other programs of interest to our members.

But while the dust has not yet settled (the Governor has till April 27th to veto all or parts of the bill), we can report some of the bright spots that came out of the negotiations. The budget presented to the Governor restores half of the “budget sweep” into the General Fund from the Heritage Land Conservation Fund (a total of $5 million dollars over two years) with protections for the Kentucky Nature Plate fund. The effort to restore these funds was a major priority for KCC members and supporters, so we wish to acknowledge the hard work from all of you that resulted in this effort. While only half of the swept funds were restored, this will allow existing commitments for land conservation to be completed. We wish to thank all of our KCC members and supporters who came out on our lobby day in March to support this effort. We also wish to thank our allies on the Conserve Kentucky Coalition for this work. We will continue to work on highlighting the importance of these funds until the next budget cycle.

While this is no means a comprehensive list, we found other positive items in the bill presented to the Governor: There is funding restored within the Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary’s office that could be used to support the Environmental Quality Commission, and we see an appropriation of $250,000 in each fiscal year for the Department of Natural Resources’ tree nursery programs in Morgan County and Marshall County, which had been under threat of elimination. We also see there is presently $7.5 million that will be transferred to the Kentucky Coal Fields Endowment Fund to support efforts to diversify the economy of the coal fields in Kentucky. There were adjustments made to the coal severance formula, where coal counties would typically have 50 percent of coal severance tax money returned to them. That percentage will go up to 60 percent over the next two years.

We wish to single out Representative Jim Wayne from Louisville, who was the lone dissenting vote on the final budget. Representative Wayne took the opportunity to tout the need for comprehensive tax reform that is more fair and just. KCC is a coalition member of the Kentucky Together initiative, which supports the need for reform and a more rational process to the budget.

Aside from the budget, there were other developments last week we wish to highlight. With regard to mine safety, KCC had strongly opposed two bills, SB297 which would have eliminated state inspections, and SB224 which affected mine safety training requirements. We are happy to report that neither of these bills passed this session, thanks to the hard work of KCC members. However the budget bill has called for the number of mine inspections to be set same as MSHA, which will change the number of underground inspections from 6 to 4 during that budget period.

Some of the final actions by the Governor this session included the signing of HB563, which clarified administrative regulations addressing low level radioactive oil and gas waste (TNORM). You can see more details in our list of House and Senate bills.

KCC will be sending our current members our full review booklet of the entire legislative session, so if you have not yet become a member of KCC, please join now and we will send you the full review report.

Watching and Waiting

At this point in time, we are still awaiting movement on the budget bill. It is our hope that when the House and Senate return, we will have a budget. However if the legislature does not pass a budget at the end of the 60th day of the session, a budget can only be passed if the Governor calls an extraordinary (or “special”) session. In Kentucky, only the Governor can call an extraordinary session and the only issues that can be discussed at the extraordinary session are the specific issues indicated by the Governor.

Right now, the legislature has met for 59 days. The Legislature is currently scheduled to meet on April 12th for that 60th day. However, pursuant to the § 42 of the Kentucky Constitution, the legislature has until April 15 to meet 60 days. Since the legislature only has one day left, and that day may be used to pass a budget, the legislature has run out of days to be able to meet again and override any line item vetoes the Governor may make.

What will happen if a new budget is not passed?
The current budget cycle ends on July 1. If a new budget is not passed by then, only essential government services including all government services mandated by statute, the Ky. Constitution, or the federal government will be funded. This means that non-essential government services, such as the operation of our state parks (as one example), will not be funded.

So as we wait, we ask you to urge Governor Bevin, as well as House and Senate leadership, not to delay in passing a budget so that these essential operations will continue. We also want to urge you to continue to contact Governor Bevin, and tell him that you oppose the budget sweeps, and to VETO provisions in the budget which sweep funding from land conservation and environmental protection.

Other movement this week:
HB38 (KCC Support Bill) by Rep. Donohue, which mends safety statutes to define “zipline” and directs the Department of Agriculture to create new regulations related to zipline construction and safety, became law without the Governor’s signature on 4/6. Congratulate Rep. Donohue.

HB106 (KCC Strong Support Bill) by Rep Smart, which amends statutes related to the disposal and destruction of chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot, was signed by the Governor on 3/6. Congratulate Rep Smart.

HB208 (KCC Strong Support Bill) by Rep. McKee, which establishes a comprehensive prescribed fire program, was signed by the Governor on 4/4. Congratulate Rep. McKee.

HB261 (KCC Support Bill) by Rep. Belcher, requires water utilities to obtain insurance coverage sufficient to cover the replacement of any plant, equipment, property, or facility if destroyed, was signed by the Governor on 4/8.  Congratulate Rep. Belcher.

SB54 (KCC Support Bill) by Senator Buford, requires proper labeling on donation boxes and donation drop-off sites when the donations do not qualify as charitable contributions for federal tax purposes, including environmental charities, and was signed by the Governor on 4/8. Congratulate Senator Buford. 

Not “over the finish line” yet:
SB224 (KCC Strong Oppose Bill) by Senator Smith, ends mandatory safety training for mine foreman by the state, passed the Senate and was posted for passage in Regular Orders of day in the House on 3/28. Contact House and Senate leadership and express your opposition. Then urge Governor Bevin not to sign this bill.

No Budget, Time Winding Down

As of the writing of this newsletter on April 1, the House and Senate had still not passed a budget bill, putting the state’s two-year spending plan in jeopardy. We have had concerns all along with both the House and Senate budget proposals with regard to cuts for environmental protection, forestry, conservation and development of renewables and efficiency. Fortunately, due to the tremendous effort from KCC members, as of press-time the budget has managed to retain at least a partial restoration of funding sweeps from the Heritage Land Conservation Fund. It is our hope that when a final budget is resolved, this partial restoration will remain.

We encourage you to contact Governor Bevin, and tell him that you oppose the budget sweeps that reduce funding for land conservation and environmental protection.

Other Movement:
In the last remaining hours this week, the legislature was able to follow through with a few more of KCC’s priority bills, including HB563, dealing with low-level radioactive oil and gas waste, which passed concurrence and has been delivered to the Governor. Similarly, HCR101, addressing free-roaming horses that impact public lands, has also made its way to the Governor’s desk. We also saw the passage of HB431, which allows gray-water conservation credits and sets administrative regulations for gray-water systems. Finally, SB230, a bill dealing with blighted properties is also now on the Governor’s desk.

So at this point, KCC members should be proud to know that many, many positive conservation bills have made their way to the Governor’s desk during this session. We wish to thank our members for their support. This is also a good time to thank your legislators for moving good bills along.

Please THANK the following for their sponsorship of KCC supported bills that are now either at the Governor’s desk or have been signed into law:

You may email these legislators at the links provided, or call the toll-free message line at 800-372-7181.

The Issues You Didn’t See:
Finally, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge an issue that did not result in legislation during this session, but might in the future. During the last year and a half, Senator Morgan McGarvey has been working to build support for the expansion of solar opportunities in Kentucky, by engaging key stakeholders and resolve issues between solar advocates. KCC has led a constituent coalition in this effort, including representatives from the solar industry, advocacy groups, and our friends at the Kentucky Resources Council. These conversations have also included representatives from Kentucky utility interests, as well as state agencies and stakeholders. We encourage you to thank Senator McGarvey for continuing to work on this important issue, and for supporting energy choice for Kentucky citizens.

Check our latest lists of where bills stand in the House and Senate in preparation for the last day of the session. The legislature will reconvene on April 12th for a last day of action, following the Governor’s veto period this coming week, and then will adjourn Sine Die.