Past Actions | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Past Actions

Appalachia's Bright Future

Eastern Kentucky's economy is changing fast, but our future is unwritten.

We believe we have the opportunity to move forward together, to build a new economy here in the mountains – a diverse, homegrown economy good for all people.

We can generate new jobs, new businesses, and new opportunities for the workers, families and young people of eastern Kentucky.

Protect our civil rights laws

A bill that allows any individual to “act or refuse to act on religious grounds” has passed the House and Senate and was vetoed by Gov. Steve Beshear. House Bill 279 is written so broadly that it could be used to subvert existing civil rights laws in Kentucky that protect individuals from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

Take action to protect Kentucky's waterways

On February 26, a bill passed through Kentucky’s House that could have lasting negative impacts on Kentucky’s water and land. HB 165 would deregulate some quarrying and extraction of rock from waterways. It creates a loophole that allows people to mine rock and non-coal minerals from waterways without regulation, as long as they own the property and use the material for “on-farm purposes.” Under current law, any such activity is subject to state regulation to protect public safety, property and the environment.

Support Votings Rights – HB 70!

HB 70, our bill to restore voting rights to former felons who have served their debt to society, is assigned to the Senate State and Local Government Committee. The chair of this committee in previous years has prevented the bill from being heard, but there is a new chair, Senator Joe Bowen. But so far he as not called the bill for a hearing and vote. He is much more likely to hold a hearing on the bill _with the approval of Senate leaders – if they hear from you.

Don't allow more toxic selenium in our water!

Why is the new standard flawed?

Dangerous levels of selenium are showing up in more and more of our streams below coal mining operations. Even at low levels, selenium causes deformities and death in fish, and since it bio-accumulates in tissue it will work its way up the food chain.

Support the Clean Energy Act Hearing in Frankfort Feb 28

January 2013 meeting with Sen. Brandon SmithThe Clean Energy Opportunity Act, House Bill 170, will get a hearing before the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee this Thursday, February 28, at 10 a.m. in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort.

This important bill, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, asks utilities in Kentucky to get an increasing share of their electricity from energy efficiency programs and renewable energy sources over the next ten years. It is modeled after policies that are already working to create jobs and energy savings in 30 other states, including Ohio and North Carolina.

A 2012 study found that this bill could create 28,000 net new jobs over the decade and lower customers bills by 8-10% compared to a “business as usual” scenario.

The bill is expected to receive a hearing, but not a vote, again this year. Your help is needed to urge legislative action. Please join us in the committee room on Thursday if at all possible. And, whether or not you can make it to Frankfort, take a moment to call the legislative message line.

We need your voice to support the Kentucky Forward Plan

“What would it mean for our economic development if Kentucky had a reputation nationally as having the best-educated and most skilled workers? Wouldn’t that be exciting? Wouldn’t that be a place where you’d want to live and raise a family, as well as locate your business?” 

– Becki Winchel, Jefferson County Chapter

EKY Blue Ribbon
Eastern Kentucky members came together to participate in a Blue Ribbon hearing on tax reform in Prestonsburg last year.

This year is Kentucky’s best opportunity to pass the meaningful tax reforms that we need right now. And reforms are likely to be taken up during a special legislative session this spring. But so far, the legislature has held no hearings — no chance for public input or conversation — about good policies and reforms. Our ability to make progress toward the Kentucky we deserve is too important to let legislators address it behind closed doors, without public input.

Now is the time to voice your support for the Kentucky Forward Plan, HB 142, sponsored by Rep. Jim Wayne, and push for a hearing for HB 142. This bill would raise around $800 million a year in much needed revenue, and would make our tax structure fairer across income levels. (Learn more about HB 142)

Take action for meaningful, fair tax reform.

KFTC member Becki Winchel speaking at a press conference about HB 142In his State of the Commonwealth address on February 6, Governor Steve Beshear spoke bluntly about the shape Kentucky is


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