During this third week of the General Assembly, we began to see movement in some critical bills and filing of some important new bills. HB236 (KCC Support– amending the current laws on Hemp) has now moved from the House to the Senate Agriculture Committee. And you can learn more about a new bill on net metering that was filed this week (below). We also upgraded the status on HB247 from Oppose to “Strong Oppose.”

A large number of bills that have been filed in these past few weeks all deal with voter access and the right to vote. KCC does comment on some (but not all) of these kinds of bills, depending on what we believe their impact will be on environmental issues and your right to express them. Please review the latest list of House and Senate bills and then call the legislative message line at 1-800-372-7181 to express your views on these bills.

We are still awaiting the Governor’s Budget, which will be presented on January 28th. In the meantime, KCC has been actively making the rounds to talk to lawmakers and members of the Executive Branch (such as Rebecca Goodman, the new Secretary to the Energy and Environment Cabinet, pictured here with KCC’s Randy Strobo, Lane Boldman and Don Dott) to protect funding for the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, the state’s ONLY source of funding for state land conservation.  These fund cannot sustain another sweep. We thank you for your calls to the Governor’s office on this important matter and ask that you continue to make your voice heard.

New Bills: This week we saw the filing of another Net Metering bill (HB323). We applaud the four Republican house members who filed this bill that will clarify the phase-in for grandfathering rates for net-metered systems, demonstrating once again that access to solar is a bipartisan issue.

Action #1: THANK LAWMAKERS for HB323: Please call or email to THANK Representatives DuPlessis, Brenda, Hart and Rothenburger for filing HB323 and their efforts to help customers and small businesses by clarifying the rules and grandfathered phase-in timeframe for independent solar installations.  And then please ask YOUR representative to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Action #2 Highlight Heritage Lands—Call or email MORE lawmakers about important Heritage lands in their districts (if you have not already done so). KCC has compiled an information handout HERE and a list of natural lands that benefit from Heritage Land Funds, paired with the legislators who represent the districts where these lands reside [LINK HERE]. Let lawmakers know if you recreate in these areas or spend tourism dollars in communities related to these areas. And also continue to contact the Governor’s office and ask them to “remove the sweeps from the Heritage fund”.

Action #3: Continue to enlist constituents to defend your rights. We thank you for making calls on  HB44  (KCC Oppose) which raises the penalties on citizens who wish to protest certain identified “critical infrastructure” including gas pipelines. [Analysis from KCC HERE] . Your calls have helped in delaying the first hearing of the bill, which we believe has allowed us time to educate lawmakers about its flaws. If you represent a coalition or group who uses peaceful protests as part of your work, please email us so that we can keep your group updated on this legislation, and contact your House Representative with your concerns about this bill.

Action #4: Come to Clean Energy Lobby Day: We collectively have put together an “Energy for the People” lobby day on February 11th.

Join us in Frankfort for our 2020 Energy for the People Lobby Day, where we will educate our representatives about how to reverse the damage from last year’s net metering bill, protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbors from the ever rising costs of electricity, and explore ways that our Public Service Commission can really be of service to the public!

  • Who: You and Solar Advocates from across Kentucky
  • When: February 11, 2020 from 8:30am-12:00pm
  • Where: State Capitol Annex Room 129
  • What: Citizen lobbying for clean, affordable energy and better representation in important electricity related decisions