A small group of Jefferson County chapter members met with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer last month to find common ground about the need for revenue.
The meeting came about as a result of an encounter in March between KFTC members and the mayor in Frankfort. Members were in Frankfort for our Economic Justice Lobby Day to lift up the need for fair and adequate statewide tax reform; Mayor Fischer was seeking support for his local option sales tax initiative. KFTC decided to oppose the local option sales tax mostly because it takes more from the budgets of low-income people than from higher-income people. There has also been concern that revenue from it would not be sustainable or flexible enough to meet community needs.
Last week, several Southern Kentucky members gathered on WKU’s campus to celebrate the long-awaited launch of an informational and educational handbook. The Homeless and Housing Coalition of South Central Kentucky hopes the Barren River Area Renters' handbook will help lower eviction rates and improve the experience of renting a home for the more than 67,000 renters in the Barren River Area.
KFTC members Tanya and Christian Torp are recognized among 50 Community Heroes in honor of Cesar Chavez Day, March 31. On the birthday of the late civil rights activist and labor leader, the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Equal Voice for Families campaign is featuring on its website local leaders who are redefining poverty.
A state Earned Income Tax Credit is gaining momentum! During last week's lobby day, members made sure that every legislator got customized information (thank you KCEP!) about how a state EITC would impact the people in their district. Most of this information was part of a larger conversation about the EITC's role within comprehensive tax reform like the Kentucky Forward Plan, and the opportunity in pairing an Earned Income Tax Credit with increasing the minimum wage in Kentucky.
The folks at KFTC's Economic Justice Lobby Day – twenty or so, and lots of great folks we've gotten to know from Women In Transition and Network Center for Community Change, and many first-time lobbyists – met the challenge head-on of working with at least four issues (in many more bills) that would impact Kentuckians' lives. It was a full day!
Senate Bill 99, known as the AT&T bill, is back to Kentucky, along with a big herd of telecommunications lobbyists. The bill was defeated last year largely because of it's impact on Kentucky's rural communities, which would have been essentially written out of landline access.