During this second week of the General Assembly, some legislative committees launched their first meetings of the session as some continue to adjust their committee members.

As lawmakers start their committee meetings, the Governor’s Office continues to work on the state budget, which will be presented on January 28th.

The budget discussion will be the main focus for KCC as well, as these decisions will directly impact the state’s ability to support and maintain its natural areas. The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, the state’s ONLY source of funding for state land conservation, is again under threat of having funds “swept” into the General Fund once again. These fund cannot sustain another sweep. and we are working to get the word out to the Governor’s Office. Here’s how you can help:

Action #1 this week—If you have not already done so, contact the Governor’s Office: Please CALL or EMAIL the Governor [link HERE].Tell the Governor: “We support the state’s natural lands….please support the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund in the state budget.” And also tell them “We do not support sweeping funds from the Heritage Land Conservation Fund into the General Fund. Please remove any ‘sweeps’ from the budget” For more information about this issue, see our handout with details about the Heritage Fund.

Action #2: (If you have not already done so) we ask that you begin educating your local lawmakers about the Heritage Fund. 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. To find out who your legislator is, click HERE.

Action #3: (Bills on the move) One of the critical bills we are watching is HB44  (KCC Oppose) which raises the penalties on citizens who wish to protest certain identified “critical infrastructure” including gas pipelines. You can find an analysis of HB44 from KCC HERE (prefile bill ID BR204), and also from Greenpeace HERE. The bill was not heard in committee this week, but is posted and we anticipate will be heard this coming week. 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.

Clean Energy: KCC is also continuing to work with our clean energy allies on ways to support the independent solar industry. 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