Congress

Senators Voting to Block EPA Rules Received 17 Times as Much Money from the Coal Mining Industry

U.S. Senators voting to block EPA’d climate change rules received, on average, 17 times as much money ($75,802) from the coal mining industry compared to senators voting against them ($4,464) between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2015. Thirteen senators, including both Kentucky senators – Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul – received more than $100,000 from the coal mining industry.

President proposes major new investments in Appalachian transition

The budget proposed by President Obama today calls for significant new investments in economic transition in Central Appalachia. The President's ideas for the region are being called the "Power + Plan." 

Among the highlights of the President's plan are the following:

  • $1 billion over five years to restore lands and waters degraded by decades-old mining and support related sustainable development projects.

  • $56 million to invest in job training for laid-off miners and to support economic development efforts in Central Appalachian mining communities. This figure includes an additional $20 million in job training for miners and power plant workers; an increase of $25 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission's annual budget, to be directed at "communities most impracted by coal economic transition"; $6 million more to the Department of Commerce for "place-based regional innovation efforts," including grants to economically distressed communities; and $5 million more for the EPA's brownfields program to help communities deal with the closure of coal-fired power plants.

  • $3.9 billion over 10 years to shore up health and retirement benefits for many retired miners.

Cutting food stamps

In Kentucky, food stamps helps about 878,000 people get enough to eat. That’s about 20 percent of all Kentucky residents, roughly about the same number of those who live in poverty. But many are likely to get hungrier as cuts take effect.

Momentum Building for Voting Rights in Kentucky

Council Member Ford and KFTC members

Momentum is building in the campaign to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their sentence in Kentucky. And comments made this week by US Senator Rand Paul are the latest indication that proposed changes to the Kentucky Constitution could finally win approval in 2014.

For nearly 8 years, KFTC and our allies have organized, lobbied, door-knocked, rallied and prayed together in support of a constitutional amendment known as HB 70. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, seeks to reform Kentucky’s outdated constitution, which has barred people with felony convictions from voting since 1792. Once adopted, the measure would restore civil rights to most non-violent offenders upon completion of their full sentence.

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