With just a couple more months left in the year, the Interim joint sessions have been primarily focused on topics such as pension reform. But one of the larger topics involving sustainability issues has been the conversation about Kentucky’s aging infrastructure. This summer, members of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Energy held one of their offsite meetings at Kentucky American Water Company in Lexington, where they were presented with examples of decaying water and sewer infrastructure. In addition, KCC has been attending the Division of Water’s “Lead in Drinking Water Workgroup” meetings over the summer where they are looking at how to proactively communicate with the public about water infrastructure relating to lead. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has released a comprehensive report on their proposed infrastructure improvements, and a new “Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition” has been looking at infrastructure relating to transportation. So watch for infrastructure issues to be a topic in the upcoming budget debate.
Kentucky Voices 2017: Note Last Minute Venue Change!
Last week, members should have received their invitation to our annual Kentucky Voices authors event, being held on Thursday evening, November 16th. KCC has hosted this event at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort for as long as we can remember, but just AFTER our mailing went out, we were informed that the Old Capitol was having some last-minute infrastructure issues of its own and repairs will not be complete in time for the event! Therefore, we have had to re-locate this year’s event to The Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort. So please note this when you receive your KCC renewal letter.
But even while we are unable to have the Old Capitol for our event, we have a GREAT evening lined up, featuring Frederick Smock, Dobree, Adams, former Governor Steve Beshear, Trina Peiffer and Maurice Manning. So don’t miss it! The event is free for new or renewing members (membership $40) or if you are coming for the event only, we suggest a $20 donation. Purchase your tickets here!
Preparing for the 2018 Session
While the 2018 Legislative Session is still a few months away, there are already several bills that have been pre-filed, some of which are similar to bills we reviewed during the 2017 session. We have already seen the re-filing of last year’s bike safety bill, the electric vehicle fees bill, and several relating to utility billing. For the current list of pre-filed bills we are watching, click here.
We want to acknowledge the winners from last week’s Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment’s Awards Luncheon. Most notably, the Outstanding Forest Steward award, which went to Jerry and Portia Brown. Portia is on the board of the Kentucky Woodland Owner’s Association, which is a KCC Partner Group. The Browns have been involved in a range of stewardship activities on their properties including the maintenance of 56 species of wildflowers, and invasive species control. Other awardees included L’Oreal USA for their global commitment to sustainable growth (including a new 4,000 panel solar array in Kentucky), and Maker’s Mark Distillery for their wildlife habitat work, just to name a few.
We also want to acknowledge our KCC Partner The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, who was recently in the news for their efforts to successfully purchase another 2,000 acres of scenic eastern Kentucky land.
Finally, congrats to the Kentucky Solar Energy Society, who hosted several successful Solar Tours over the past month. We hope you had an opportunity to visit one of many sites throughout the state and learn about how it has become far more cost competitive to have homes powered by the sun. KCC is continuing to partner with solar enthusiasts to help promote solar-friendly policies and expand net metering laws.
Other News of Note
KCC wishes to acknowledge the invaluable help of our current intern Kerry Skiff over the past month. Kerry earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Northern Kentucky University in 2016, and seeks to use her media skills to engage the public in environmental issues. Kerry says she is thrilled to work with KCC and hopes to encourage other young Kentuckians to get involved.
We also recently had a visit from delegates from Mongolia wanting to learn about Kentucky’s laws and policies relating to air quality, courtesy of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky. Mongolia is a coal-dependent region, and we spent time with the delegation discussing the mutual challenges related to air pollution and economic transition.
Save the Date! KCC Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit
KCC is still confirming details, but we would like for you to save the date of January 20th as our tentative date for this year’s Legislative Summit in Louisville. Watch for further developments!