We hope all of KCC’s members and supporters are staying well during trying times. This week, KCC has largely been monitoring bills for significant amendments that may modify our position. Please review our current House and Senate links where we have updated (usually highlighted in BOLD) when a bill has significantly changed, or had amendments added and what the amendments address.

This was a week where lawmakers continued to meet at the Capitol Annex despite recommendations for people to avoid crowds and gatherings of more than 10.  Members of the public, however, were restricted from participating at the Capitol and Annex in person. The legislature then decided late Thursday to adjourn after the Senate advanced their version of the state’s two-year budget plan.

Senate President Robert Stivers said lawmakers will return to work on March 26thand then come back April 1 to pass a budget out of both chambers and send it to the governor. Lawmakers would then come back on April 14 and 15 to consider any gubernatorial vetoes while continuing to monitor COVID-19.

While the Senate budget received attention for changes to teacher’s pay, funding for libraries and other issues of public interest, the core issues that KCC has been following on land conservation, environmental cleanup, etc.  have seen only modest changes and some improvements. But we still have a long way to go before the budget is finalized. The bill will head back to the House and a committee in both the House and Senate will negotiate a final budget.

While access to the Capitol and Annex were restricted for the public, KCC has continued to monitor proceedings through different channels in order to keep you informed. We encourage you to continue to contact legislators during this period on bills of interest to you. Even when access to the Capitol Annex have been in flux due to the health alert, many legislators also publish their home and office phone numbers, and all can be reached by email. You can email any legislator at firstname.lastname@lrc.ky.gov. You can also look up any legislator’s contact information at this link. And you can find an abbreviated list of bills to advocate (for or against) in our “KCC Alert”page on a regular basis. While it is late in the session for bills to move that have not already passed one chamber, it is still important for you to let your lawmakers know what issues are important to you.

But what we ask you to do first is take care of yourself. The Governor’s office has done a great job in keeping the public informed and up to date on the latest developments and actions you can take to protect yourself and your neighbors. You can follow developments at https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19. You can also follow the hashtag #TeamKentucky for current information.

More News to Use: Note that because of the health alert, Kentucky’s primary election is now moved to June 23rd. Voter registration deadline for the Primary is now May 26, 2020. See information here.

Be well and be safe!