During the slower months of the Summer, we at KCC spend much of our time trying to bring additional value-added services to our members, to our partner groups and to legislators. This year, all 100 seats in the Kentucky House are up for re-election, as well as half of the Kentucky Senate seats. So we at KCC have taken some time to provide you with links so that you can more easily follow the evolution of both chambers during this election season (List of current House members and their November election challengers can be found HERE. Senate HERE). Where there are candidate websites or incumbent legislative pages available, we have linked to that information. We hope you will find this helpful as you make your way through campaign season.
Encourage More Conservation Platforms
As we were reviewing all of these candidate websites, there were some who provided conservation issue platforms, but it was clear to us that conservation issues were NOT a priority for many candidates. So we have taken the liberty to send all candidates, (incumbents and challengers alike) a copy of the 2018 KCC Legislative Review and Conservation Brief, along with a suggestion to refer to this information and encourage them to develop a conservation platform if they have not already done so. We hope you will also encourage your candidates of choice to do the same!
KCC historically has not endorsed specific candidates, however we do try to provide general nonpartisan candidate information as a service to our members and to candidates. You may find a voting scorecard of key conservation bills from the 2018 session.
And as long as we are talking about the elections, don’t forget, now is a great time to remind folks to register to vote. Registrations can be added from now till 30 days before elections. (Several states have adopted “automatic” voter registration, with Massachusetts being the most recent, signing their bill on August 9th. Learn more about the Massachusetts legislation here).
Conservation Alert: Ohio River Water Quality
The Ohio River Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is proposing to drop all of their regulation of the Ohio River water quality and give the job back to the individual states. Send your comments by August 20th. All you need to do is email them to: PCS@orsanco.org and tell them you object to these changes. Suggested comments:
I oppose and object to the proposed changes to the Pollution Control Standards (PCS) and ask that ORSANCO retain the language passed in 2015. If approved, ORSANCO is abandoning its mission and obligation to the people of the Ohio River Basin, but even worse, the water quality and quality of life of people in the Ohio River Basin will continue to suffer.
For more information go to: http://www.orsanco.org/programs/pollution-control-standards/
Elections aside, we are spending the rest of our Summer attending the various Interim Joint Committee meetings and Cabinet meetings in order to provide you with the best information we can. These past few weeks we have seen detailed presentations dealing with the crumbling infrastructure throughout the state, including the state’s bridges and water infrastructure.
The Transportation Cabinet is reportedly looking at an estimated $700 million over the next six years to address approximately 1,000 bridges in all 120 Kentucky counties (see story HERE). The transportation funding bill was one piece of legislation that did not pass last year, and was on our radar due to the proposal to add flat road usage fees for hybrid and electric cars. You can learn more about the Transportation Cabinet’s plans for bridges on their website called Bridging Kentucky.
As for the state of our state’s drinking and waste water infrastructure, this also has been a significant discussion for the legislature over the interim session. This past week, the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources heard presentations from the Energy and Environment Cabinet and Division of Water, (see story HERE) as well as presentations from Kentucky American Water, who estimates that an $8.2 billion investment is needed in drinking water infrastructure alone.
KCC Hosts the Wild & Scenic Film Festival- August 30th!
We’re ready with a fresh lineup of films, so if you have seen this festival before, this is a new lineup! We have an amazing list of films for this event on August 30th in Lexington’s Kentucky Theatre. In addition to 14 amazing films, there will also be door prizes, so come join us for this evening of fun in support of KCC! In addition, there will be loads of fantastic silent auction items at the Kentucky Conservation Foundation’s Silent Auction which will be held in the lobby during the event. Reserve your tickets NOW at the Kentucky Theatre! To learn more about the films, click here. And a huge thanks to our local sponsors: Solar Energy Solutions, West Sixth Brewery, J&H Lanmark Outfitters, Wild Birds Unlimited Lexington, Republic Bank, Quantrell Subaru and Good Foods Co-Op. Thanks to the Kentucky Sierra Club for their in-kind promotion support.
We also expect to have a preview of Ben Evan’s film “EVOLVE: Driving a Clean Future in Coal Country” during our event on August 30th. (You will also be able to see a full screening of their film at the Kentucky for Drive Electric week on September 6th).