Members host Georgetown Town Hall | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Members host Georgetown Town Hall

On February 24 members in Scott County hosted a town hall for residents to ask the questions of their state legislators they were concerned about. The chapter invited all state legislators who represent part of Scott County to attend, with State Representatives Mark Hart and Phillip Pratt attending. 

In true Scott County chapter fashion, members made sure there was plenty of food and drink to share around. Members wanted to make sure that residents felt comfortable, and make it easier for people to stay for the event.

The event started at 3 p.m., with member Homer White moderating. After welcoming attendees and the legislators, he read through a list of rules, and worked to make sure that as many voices were heard as possible. The more than 40 people who turned out were interested in a wide range of topics, which in some ways made this work much easier.

Attendees challenged legislators on a variety of issues, from gun control concerns, protecting the social safety net, living wage, funding poison control, and concerns around protecting pensions for state workers. There were opportunities to thank the legislators, too, with Representative Hart coming out in support of medical marijuana, Representative Pratt removing his name from an anti-trans bathroom bill in the State House, and both legislatorsstating opposition to a constitutional convention.

Following an hour and a half with the legislators, the chapter had a short break before welcoming a local panel of members to talk about the issues they were concerned about. Member Taylor Bright from the Central Kentucky chapter spoke at length about the proposed changes to pension, highlighting how changes would increase costs to pensioners by thousands of dollars, and would make it easier for state legislators to further erode the pension plan in the future.

Rosanne Klarer, a retired special needs teacher from Scott County, followed up by talking not just about her being impacted by changes to pensions, but also the challenges in the governor's proposed budget. While some of the topics were tackled by the legislators, with Representative Pratt admitting the state needs new revenue and Representative Hart speculating there may be a special legislative session, there were other budgeting solutions they did not address. From the Kentucky Forward Plan that KFTC supports, to other options outlined by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, there are solutions to pay for what we need without asking more from lower and middle-income Kentuckians.

Member Brooklyn Alcorn, who also is an officer in Georgetown Fairness, shared her experiences going to Scott County High School, Georgetown College, and living in Georgetown, and talked about the need to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community. From passing a fairness ordiance for protecting LGBTQ+ folks from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation; opposing the anti-trans bathroom bill; and the need to protect the abillity of local governments to protect members of the community's rights.

The panel ended with Leslie Bebensee talking about the need to protect green energy. From stopping House Bill 227, which would limit the benefits of rooftop solar for customers, to passing the Clean Energy Oppportunity Act, there are plenty of actions citizens can take. The entire panel pushed for the need to call one's legislators, meet with them in Frankfort or at home, talk to neighbors, and call the Legislative Message Line (1-800-372-7181).

Continue following KFTC's work in the General Assembly here!