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Election Laws, Voter Registration,Election Administration, Absentee and Special Voting, Electioneering, Constitutional Revision,Judicial Reform,State Tax Structure, Distribution of Primary and Secondary School Funds, Quality Education,State’s Responsibility towards County Government,Library Concurrence,Governmental Ethics Reform.

Social Policy

Juvenile Justice, Health Care,Rape Assault,Children at Risk

Natural Resources 

Air Quality,Strip Mining,Severance Tax,Land Use Planning

Election Laws
Support procedures to strengthen the State Board of Elections, to inform election officials
and citizens, and to encourage compliance with existing statutes. Support of election laws
designed to facilitate voting, provide strict enforcement of laws to protect against fraud, prevent
disenfranchisement and encourage widest possible use of the absentee ballot.

Support restoration of voting rights for convicted felons upon completion of their sentence or
discharge from parole. (2005)

Support use of an independent, non-partisan commission to draft changes in boundaries of
Kentucky Legislative districts. (2003)

Voter Registration
Support for:

A printed manual detailing rules and procedures for registration of voters, developed and
distributed by State Board of Elections;

The rights of groups and individuals to conduct voter registration activities;

Inclusion of multiple political parties on the voter registration application form;

Continued use of the “other” category for citizens who prefer not to affiliate with a
political party;

A centralized voter registration data base maintained by the State Board of Elections.

Election Administration
Support the use of the comparative signature procedure for identification of voters at the polls

Support for a strengthened State Board of Elections with statutory authority, staff and budget to
coordinate and administer election activities of county boards in such ways as providing schools
for instruction and workshops for training county election officers (ultimately it could include
the establishment of an institute of government); promoting election information among officials
and voters by means of manuals, news releases, TV, radio, films, speakers, posters, bulletins;
appointment of a full-time, highly qualified executive secretary under the merit system to help
carry out the expanded responsibilities of the State Board of Elections; encouraging compliance
among county officials’ continuous review and updating of election laws. (1964)

Additional support for:
• Training of election workers using a study guide developed, updated and distributed by
the State Board of Elections;
• Effective measures for recruitment of election workers, to include increased payment for

Assignment of additional workers at polling places where high voter turnout is expected:

Provision of voting machines in sufficient numbers to accommodate high voter turnout
where expected;
Purchase of voting machines that conform to accepted national standards regarding ease
of use, reduction of voter error, prevention of fraud, accommodations for voters with
disabilities, and provisions for languages other then English;
State guidelines to encourage clarity in ballot layout;
Safeguards to assure accuracy and speedy reporting of election results;
Increased state funding to counties where needed to upgrade voting machines and the
administration of elections. (2003)

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Absentee and Special Voting (1958-59)
1. * Extension of the privilege of the absentee ballot to the sick and infirm who are
correctly registered.
2. * Elimination of the requirement of signature notarization.
3. * Requirement that the ballot be sent both ways by mail.
4. Promotion by the League of information concerning laws governing the use of
absentee ballots both to officials and to the public.
5. Provision for bipartisan handling of absentee and special ballots from beginning to
*Accomplished 1975 — Constitutional Amendment for Restructure of State Court System

Additional support for:
• Requirement that counties notify the State Board of Elections when the number of
absentee ballot applications exceeds a specified threshold;
• Prohibition against making names of absentee ballot applicants public until after the
ballot has been returned;
• Extensive publicizing of ways citizens may report suspected election fraud. (2003)

Electioneering (1974)
Elimination of electioneering at the polls on election day.

Constitutional Revision
1. Constitutional Revision
Revision of the Kentucky Constitution either by a convention call for that purpose or by an

2. Constitutional Amendments
Amendment of the Kentucky Constitution that would:
a. Liberalize the amending process to permit the submission of as many as six amendments
to the voters at one time
b. Remove the limitation of the time in which rejected amendments may be resubmitted

c. Require only a simple majority of those voting on that issue in any election for calling a
d. Remove the salary limitation
e. Revise the provisions relating to terms and tenure of constitutional officers.
f. Strengthen the legislative department

Judicial Reform
The League of Women Voters of Kentucky, concerned with the need for modernization of the
court system of Kentucky to meet the needs of our changing times and to provide equal justice
for all citizens of our Commonwealth, supports a unified court system, administered by a central
authority, with uniform methods for selecting judges,** with the establishment of a procedure
for discipline, retirement and removal of judges.
**More than half the Leagues responding to consensus questions favor merit selection of judges.

State Tax Structure
1. The League of Women Voters of Kentucky believes that the following primary principles of a
just tax system should be applied to aid in evaluation of taxes proposed.

A. Government has the duty to collect sufficient revenue to promote the common good and to
deliver the services that are best supported through government.
B. For government to tax in excess of the requirements of the common good or to waste tax
revenues is unjust since this unfairly deprives the citizen of his property and the produce of his
labor without a corresponding common benefit.
C. All citizens have the duty/right to contribute to the common good. One usual way is the
payment of taxes to support the government.
D. The burden of taxes should be in proportion to the citizens’ ability to pay.
E. The taxation and appropriation process should allow government the necessary flexibility for
responsible fiscal management adaptable to changing circumstances and priorities.
F. The use of tax laws as incentives or disincentives to action should be viewed in the light of
the common good. The granting of tax preferences (exemptions, deductions, etc.) should be
genuinely premised on the promotion of the common interest and not upon special interest or
G. Taxes once established should be collected with even-handed enforcement. To permit the
illegal nonpayment or underpayment of taxes is unjust to those who comply with the law.
H. The norm for choosing a form of taxation should first be the equitable distribution of civic
burden and not the ease of collection or the lack of popular opposition. However, where there
are equivalent equitable options, the simpler methods should be used.
I. The tax system should be diversified to provide a broad revenue base and to minimize
the effect of imperfections in any one tax. Each form of taxation should not be looked at
in isolation, but evaluated as part of the total tax system. Further, the impact of tax laws
should be consistent with other public policies (the conservation of energy, the preservation of
neighborhoods, etc.).

2. When a real and pressing need can be demonstrated for new revenues, we support the
following taxes:
A. Support reform of the individual income tax in order to make it more progressive.
B. Establishment of a uniform, statewide minimum property tax and repeal of rollback or
limitation laws to allow this minimum tax to be levied at a higher rate than is presently possible.
C. Taxation of unmined minerals in the same manner as other real property. This is without
regard for the need for new revenue; equity demands this.
D. An increase in the severance tax, which should be levied on all extractive minerals presently
known and those which may be discovered in the future in Kentucky. This severance tax should
be administered by the state, giving consideration to just distribution of the monies collected.
E. An increase in the cigarette tax to a figure closer to the national average and more nearly
compatible with that of surrounding states.
F. Imposition of special sales taxes on luxuries such as furs, jewelry and entertainment.
G. Reform of the corporate income tax, by removal of Accelerated Cost Recovery System and/
or by increasing rate categories.

3. We also take the following positions:
A. Reform of the inheritance tax by increasing the exemption for widows/widowers and children
or abolishing the tax.
B. Opposition to a value added tax.
C. Sunset legislation to accompany earmarked taxes.

4. We support better administration of the property tax by any or all of the following methods:
A. Upgrading the office of the Property Valuation Administrator by applying such methods as:
1. requiring more vigorous qualifications for office
2. relaxing or removing residency requirements
3. making the office appointive rather than elective after proper qualifications are met
4. using the merit system as a method of removal from office or removal by trial in
Franklin County Court rather than in local courts
5. other methods.
B. Removal of tax ceilings set by the constitution or by statute in order that local initiative may
be used to provide local services.
C. More frequent reappraisal of real estate, preferably on a continuous cyclic basis, with special
attention to developing areas whose cost should be borne by state and county jointly.
D. Requiring proof that the personal property tax on automobiles has been paid before a license
is issued.

5. In order to ensure that all taxes are fairly imposed on each citizen, we strongly support
measures to increase the efficiency of the tax levying and collection procedures, such as removal
of political pressure from tax collectors and auditors, paying higher salaries commensurate with
professional qualification and providing checks on taxes now easily evaded.

6. We support new sources of revenue, state or local, to increase the funding of primary and
secondary education in the Commonwealth.

Adopted (portions) 1966, 1973, 1985; Readopted (portions) 1969, 1973, 1975, 1977

Distribution of Primary and Secondary School Funds

After reaching agreement that adequate financing was needed for quality primary and secondary
education in Kentucky, LWVKY supports the following goals:
A. The per pupil expenditure should be increased to equal the national average effort.
B. Teachers’ salaries should be increased to a level at the average of the surrounding states.
C. School districts should be required to increase their local effort from the property tax in order
to qualify for state support payments.

In addition, the League recommends that the differential cost for the education of different
grades and programs be used for distribution of state funds to the school districts. The
differential funding should include units for the handicapped, gifted, vocational training,
kindergartens and remedial reading.

The League recommends that state funding be structured to allow school districts to develop
extended school year programs.

We realize that all of these goals and recommendations will require more funds. Since the
education of youth is one of the best investments government can make, we urge that the state
consider a reordering of priorities to increase support for primary and secondary education.

The League also supports full state funding of public kindergartens.

Adopted November 1973, April 1975, April 1977

Quality Education

The LWVKY affirms that the goals of education are to enable people:
A. To participate effectively in all aspects of our democratic society
B. To fulfill their individual potential and talents.


2. To meet these goals, quality educational programs should help all individuals grow and
develop in the following areas:
A. Academic knowledge, such as arts, health, humanities, language, math, physical and social
sciences and physical education
B. Social interaction
C. Citizenship.

3. Specifically, students need to acquire the following abilities:
A. To reason critically
B. To solve problems
C. To adapt to change
D. To read and communicate effectively
E. To continue to learn independently.

4. Educational policies and programs should meet the following criteria:
A. Equal access to educational opportunity to meet the individual needs of all people is assured.
This means that programs, policies and placements should:
1. Broaden rather than limit individuals’ choices and opportunities.
2. Foster success in learning
3. Encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.
B. Local initiative and responsibility are encouraged. This means the state’s role should be:
1. To foster innovation and reward excellence
2. To set general criteria for implementation of legislation
3. To provide resources, including grants
4. To monitor and evaluate compliance with statutes and regulations
5. To provide districts with technical assistance
6. To gather and disseminate research data.
C. The effectiveness of teachers and administrators is encouraged by enhancing their
professionalism. Professional enhancement should include:
1. A process of recruitment and selection that attracts the best teacher candidates.
2. A process of teacher education that is meaningful and relevant.
3. An adequate support staff (secretaries, counselors, aides, etc.).
4. An increase of the teacher’s role in decision making regarding curriculum planning,
implementation and evaluation.
5. An adequate time allotment for all job requirements.
6. Techniques for student and teacher evaluation which foster rather than restrict educational
7. Professional rewards that encourage cooperation and growth.
8. Equitable and competitive salaries.

5. Local and state education agencies should facilitate informed public participation. They
should provide clear, adequate information and technical assistance to teachers, parents, students,
administrators and other citizens so that all can have input into educational decision making and
hold public officials accountable.

Adopted 1987.
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State’s Responsibility towards County Government

The LWVKY recognizes that democratic government in the United States is based on the
belief that service in government can be performed by dedicated citizens who have a capacity
to learn. This belief applied to all levels of government, including county government in the
Commonwealth of Kentucky. Therefore, the League believes that the Commonwealth, as creator
of its county officials, has an obligation to furnish county officials with all information, in-
service training, technical assistance and the tools necessary for them to carry out their duties
with competence, economy and pride.

The League, taking note of the desperate need for competence, economy and flexibility in county

government, urges its complete reorganization by constitutional change at the earliest date
possible. In the meantime, it urges that those changes which are now possible be made, such as:

1. Elimination of fees as basis for compensation for county officers.
2. Provision for expanded state assistance to all county officers responsible for county financial
management and a state or professional audit of every aspect of county finances annually.
3. Mandatory accountability of county officers to fiscal courts.
4. Complete redefinition and possible reallocation of duties of existing officers to simplify and
clarify duties, such as:
a. * separation of judicial duties of county judge from administrative
b. separation of tax collecting duties of sheriff from law enforcement
c. consolidation of offices of jailer with sheriff and other consolidation where feasible.
5. Consolidation of counties and/or of functions and services within a group of counties.
6. Provision of more flexibility to make county government more responsive to the needs of
changing conditions.
* Accomplished

Adopted June 1967, Edited and readopted April 24, 1975

Library Concurrence

The LWVKY concurred with the Lexington Library Study that the state has a responsibility for
contributing to the local libraries.

Adopted April 1989.

Governmental Ethics Reform

PAC Contributions. The League believes keeping PAC limits at their current level is preferable
and that requiring stricter limits is acceptable.

Public financing and spending caps. The League favors limits on how much can be spent in
state and local election campaigns regardless of whether public financing is provided.

Applicability of spending limits. The League favors campaign spending limits based on
amounts that would reasonably allow candidates to communicate their views and positions to
the public and tied to an inflation index. Limits should apply to the following elective offices:
all statewide elective offices; state senators and representatives; and statewide judicial offices.
Ideally, spending limits should also apply to: countywide or district offices; other county
officials; and mayors, city commissioners, and council members.

Campaign fundraising and reporting. The League favors strict limits on when candidates can
raise and expend campaign funds within each election cycle.

Local code of ethics. The League favors adopting a code of ethics for local governments which
includes the following essential elements:

prohibitions on abuse of public office for personal financial gain
prohibitions on awarding no-bid government contracts to companies, friends, or relatives
of elected officials or to companies where principals contributed to campaigns of elected
prohibitions on conflicts of interest and standards of conduct to prevent and avoid them
prohibitions against allowing elected officials to participate in decisions to hire or promote
relatives for positions in local government
prohibitions on use of public employees, equipment, or appointed officials to work on
election campaigns or personal projects
prohibitions on use of stature and inside information after leaving government to gain private
employment (“revolving door restriction”)
periodic ethics education and training for local officials
the establishment of a nonpartisan, independent commission to administer the law with
investigatory and civil enforcement powers
some way of ensuring that provisions of the local ethics code are applied consistently and
fairly administered and enforced from one community to the next and are consistent with
interpretations of the state code of ethics.

Applicability of local code of ethics
The League believes all local governments and all local government agencies should be covered
by the local code of ethics. Local governments are defined as any city, county, urban-county,
charter county, or special taxing or non-taxing district created under KRS, and agencies are
defined as any board, commission, authority, nonstock corporation, or other entity formed by an
individual local government or combination of local governments.

Possible loopholes in the existing ethics law
The League favors prohibiting spouses of lobbyists from giving anything of value to legislators.
Members of an organization which hires a lobbyist should also be prohibited from giving
anything of value to a legislator. The League also favors closing the “caucus loophole” by
applying the same spending restrictions that apply to individual legislators to members of
officially recognized caucuses.

Cost of proposed reforms
The League supports increased taxes or other revenue-producing mechanisms to finance
implementation, administration, and enforcement of a code of ethics for local governments. The
League does not favor increased taxes or other revenue-producing mechanisms to pay for public
financing of countywide or district judge races or other city and county races.

Adopted February 1994.
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Juvenile Justice. This consensus related to juveniles and their parents who are subject to
juvenile justice procedures in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This would include children
who are classified by statute as status offenders, dependent children, neglected or emotionally
disturbed children.

Responsibility. The LWVKY recognizes that the responsibility of the juvenile court lies in
the promotion of the best interest of the child. We believe that this will, in the long run, also
promote the best interest of society. WE also recognize the responsibility of the court in the
protection of the public interest.

Rights. The LWVKY believes that:
1. Parents and children should have the right to adequate and written notice of the charge.
2. Children should have the right to counsel for any adjudication hearing. Children should also
have the right to counsel at intake or arraignment if requested by the child, a parent or the
judge. Counsel may be a private attorney or, if appropriate, an attorney appointed by the
3. Children should also have the right to confront evidence and examine witnesses, to remain
silent and to appeal.
Further, the LWVKY believes in the principle of emancipation of certain juveniles between 16
and 18 who are capable of assuming or who have assumed responsibility for their own lives.

Placement of Children. The LWVKY believes that juveniles awaiting court action and after
adjudication should be placed in the least restrictive placement compatible with their situation.
The courts should develop valid criteria to assist the judge in determining if detention is
and, if so, in what type of facility. If juveniles are deemed likely to harm themselves or someone
else, or if they are apt not to appear in court when scheduled, they then should be placed in
restrictive or secure facilities.

The League feels that a variety of facilities is necessary to meet the diverse needs of these
juveniles. Emphasis would be placed on keeping juveniles in their local communities with
provisions made for the necessary support services for these children and their families.

Status Offenders. The LWVKY supports the inclusion of status offenders under the jurisdiction
of the juvenile courts only when all other remedies to aid the family have been exhausted. This
is in order to lessen inappropriate intervention of the juvenile justice system. We support the
deinstitutionalization of status offenders through the use of community based resources such as
group homes, foster homes, crisis intervention programs, temporary shelters and family services.
We feel that these should be financed by any combination of private, local, county, state and
federal funds with families contributing on a sliding fee schedule. If detention centers must be
used for lack of any alternatives, then status offenders should be separated by sight and sound
from youthful offenders or adult offenders.

Looking Ahead
The LWVKY recommends that standards should be actively and uniformly enforced. Citizens
should monitor the system at both the local and state levels. Emphasis should be placed on
equalizing resources for the supervision and treatment of children in trouble. Programs should
be developed and implemented which will promote delinquency prevention throughout the state.

Health Care

The LWVKY believes that there should be reasonable, equitable access for all residents of
Kentucky to adequate, appropriate health care.

We believe that access could be improved through but not exclusively by the following:
1. A mechanism for ensuring health care provision to people who are not covered by any third
party insurance (including Medicaid or Medicare), and for catastrophic illnesses.
2. Tax benefits for employers who provide continuing health insurance coverage for laid-off
3. Availability of state indigent health care funds to hospitals throughout the Commonwealth.
4. Legislation to assure that students attending medical and other health professional schools
whose outright fees are funded by public funds of the Commonwealth of Kentucky practice in
underserved areas in Kentucky for a specified period of time.

We believe that Kentucky residents would be better able to receive the most adequate
appropriate care through but not exclusively by the following:
1. Requirement for health care providers to release comparable price and quality information
that would be compiled in one place and made readily available.
2. Shifting of priorities of Medicaid and other state health funding programs so that there is
more emphasis on and funding for all natal (pre-, peri-, post-) care, alternatives like home
health and family reimbursement for care of elderly and disabled, alternative living facilities
for the mentally ill and retarded, specialized alcohol/drug treatment programs, and other
programs which would provide the most appropriate, effective care.
3. Reimbursement for those health promotion and prevention of disease activities which have
proven to be effective.
4. Reduction of barriers to the increased utilization, when appropriate, of alternative effective
services and providers such as outpatient surgery, home health care, hospices, birthing
centers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives.

The LWVKY believes that in the process of insuring reasonable, equitable access to adequate,
appropriate care, the financial burden imposed should not e unreasonable for the consumer,
government or providers. The LWVKY believes that the cost should be shared fairly among the
public, federal, state and local governments, providers, insurers and consumers.

We believe that the following actions or policies would contribute to less of a financial burden
and one that is shared fairly:

1. Consideration of regionalizing of expensive specialized care facilities.
2. Consideration of a prepaid cost-effective quality program for Medicaid recipients.
3. Some restrictions on the amount of assets which can be transferred to family members by
people going into nursing homes.
4. Reimbursement policies which provide incentives for the providers who deliver cost-effective
quality care.
5. Identification and discontinuance of duplicative or unneeded health care services and
6. Reduction in quantity, duplication and complexity of government forms for providers.
7. Incentives for more sharing of high technology resources among providers.
8. Incentives and encouragement for all providers and institutions to provide a fair share of care
to indigents.
9. Consideration of state and/or local health taxes.
10. Courses offered in the two Kentucky medical schools on cost containment, affordable
medicine and alternative delivery systems.
11. Consideration of using a professional fulltime Certificate of Need and Licensure Commission.
12. Legislation which defines the method by which death is determined.

The LWVKY believes that although government has the ultimate responsibility for seeing that
there is equitable access to the most adequate, appropriate health care for all Kentuckians, the
public and providers should also share in that responsibility.

Rape Assault. The LWVKY agrees that rape is a crime of violence and supports the redefinition
of rape to include male rape and penetration of objects as well as penis. We agree that sexual
assault victims have special needs including medical and psychological, and we support
programs and legislation to meet those needs.
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Children at Risk. The LWVKY makes these recommendations regarding the state plan required
by The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, known as
the welfare reform bill. (LWVKY recognizes that caregivers may be mothers or fathers. The
language reflects the language of the bill.)

It is our belief that the provision of quality developmental child care is essential if the welfare
cycle is to be ended, as the bill aims to do. Since the first three years of life are crucial in
determining a person’s health, productivity and future employability, quality care is imperative.
Minimal, custodial care will perpetuate the cycle of poverty. This means:
• State payments for child care should cover the cost of care including the cost of
accredited programs. The new fee scales that are necessary must reflect the increased
minimum wage and the difference in cost according to the age of the child. This may
vary by region, which is allowable.
• Public funds for child care should go to providers who meet state standards for health and
safety and caregiver training.
• The state should establish registration and minimum standard guidelines for in-home care
that is not certified as a day care home or licensed as a day care center.

Quality developmental care requires caregivers who truly want to care for children and
who are trained.
If welfare mothers are to be expected to care for other mothers’ children, it must be
by choice, and they must meet the standards above and receive payment equal to the
minimum wage.

The state has many options. We specifically recommend that the state take these options that
will benefit children:
• Exempt mothers of infants under 12 months from any work requirement. Taking care of
an infant IS work; also infant care is very expensive and the state currently is not paying
what infant care costs.
• In succeeding years, limit the work requirement to 20 hours per week for mothers with
children under six.
• Continue to allow the “at risk of welfare” category as eligible for child care assistance,
and raise the income eligibility to 85% of state median income as allowed by law.
• Continue to provide child care assistance for the first year that a welfare mother gets
gainful employment and no longer gets cash assistance. (This is in the plan; it is called
transitional child care.)
• Make strong efforts to prevent teen pregnancy.

Many questions will need to be asked and answered as this law is implemented. State legislators
and members of the Cabinet for Human Resources should be prepared to analyze the impact of
the many changes on children.
• What impact did the 15% reduction in Title XX funds have on funding for children’s
services, especially services to neglected and abused children?
• What impact will the changes in food stamps have on children?
• Was the state able to find matching funds to enable Kentucky to secure the maximum
amount of federal funds?
• What impact will the changes in the Child and Adult Care Food Program have on
children, and specifically on family day care home providers?
• How will children be taken care of when the family’s two-year maximum is reached?
Will more foster care be needed?

Adopted November 1996
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Air Quality. The LWVKY favors strong legislation and regulations, strict enforcement and
adequate financing for state control and abatement of air pollution. The LWVKY advocates the
inclusion of mandatory inspection and maintenance programs in compliance with the Federal
Clean Air Act Amendment of 1977.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Division of Air

Pollution should encourage the formation of local districts where needed. When a regional
problem exists or the formation of a single county district is not feasible, a multi-county district
should be formed. Such districts should be given long-term administrative and technical
assistance and short-term financial assistance when necessary. The Kentucky Cabinet for
Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Division of Air Pollution should continue to
exercise authority where local governments have not formed such districts.

Adopted February 1969. Edited and readopted April 1975.

Strip Mining. The LWVKY reaffirms that the Commonwealth has a definite responsibility to
all its citizens to regulate and control surface mining in such a way that successful reclamation
is accomplished and the environment protected. We support the goals set out in Public Law 95-
87, which include prompt stabilization of the affected area, control of stream pollution and the
prevention of landslides and other damage to nearby land and people.

Reclamation bonds must be set sufficiently high to ensure that present and future reclamation
regulations are met. Bonds should not be released until the desired end results have been
achieved. Permit fees must be high enough, unless other funds are provided, to permit the
training and employment of more personnel by the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources.
We continue to urge that funds be made available from any and all possible sources for the
reclamation of orphan banks. Every possible effort must be made to end the subservience of the
surface owner’s right to the mineral owner’s rights under the “broad form deed.”

In conclusion, we continue to support the strengthening of the enforcement process, research in
coal mining methods and reclamation and prompt application of technological advances.

Adopted March 1971. Edited and readopted April 1974, April 1979.

Energy Policy Positions
1. Kentucky should adopt energy policy goals that surpass the governor’s 2008 goals of:

18 percent electricity offset by 2025 (Kentucky’s goal should be to reduce electricity demand by
more than 18 percent), and

1,000 megawatts of renewable energy generated by 2025 (Kentucky’s goal should be to generate
more than 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy)


Kentucky should require every energy-generating utility and/or distribution utility to provide quality
energy efficiency programs for their customers or members and provide the means for customers to obtain
electricity from clean, renewable energy. All utilities – whether municipal, co-operative or investor-owned
– should strive to meet the highest possible standards for energy efficiency as a way to reduce electricity
consumption and keep utility bills steady, even as utility rates may rise.


Kentucky energy policies should be designed to meet the following criteria: creation of safe new jobs;
protection of public health; reductions in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of
our air and water quality.


Clean renewable energy should be defined as electricity sources such as solar, wind or hydro power that
avoid greenhouse gas emissions; have little or no toxic waste or air emissions; preserve forests; represent
proven, long-lasting and robust technology; and avoid generation of wastes. Biomass and landfill gas may
be considered renewable energy sources depending on their ability to meet the criteria stated in section 3.


When considering state and local transportation options, policies should be enacted that protect public
health, avoid greenhouse gas emissions, provide better access to services through public transportation, and
expand non-automotive (e.g. walking, biking) transportation infrastructure. Transportation options may
include use of some biofuels.

The Kentucky League is a member of the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA) and upholds the KySEA
principles as in alignment with its energy position. The Board identifies a representative to attend the KySEA
meetings, participate in email listservs and report back as necessary.

Severance Tax. The LWVKY is concerned about land use, equitable taxation and assessment of
property, and adequate financing of county and state governmental services.

We advocate a severance tax on all extractive minerals presently known and those which may be
discovered in the future in Kentucky. Such a severance tax should be administered by the state.

Adopted September 1969.

Land Use Planning. The LWVKY, recognizing that land is a finite resource, not just a
commodity, believes that the state government of Kentucky should take immediate action to
insure that planning and management of our land is done wisely and efficiently.

We believe that the state government should support a public education campaign in land use
planning, explaining the benefits and problems of land use planning to the public and to local
officials. The state government also should actively coordinate programs already existing which
affect land use and establish guidelines and require local governments to plan for and control
land uses in their jurisdictions.

We believe a land use program on the state level will best serve the public if such a program
were coordinated closely with plans and policies of local and regional agencies and bodies. Such
a program should be tailored to enhance maximum local decision making.

In order to bring those parts of the public affected by certain land use decisions into the proper
decision-making arena, we believe that the state government should establish a critical area
and activity program to regulate the use of certain critical areas or activities of greater-than-
local concern. Critical areas include fragile or historic lands, renewable resource lands (forest,
watersheds, aquifers) and natural hazard lands (floodplains, unstable geologic formations).
Critical activities include industrial parks, new communities, regional shopping centers and
energy facilities. In such a program, local governments should be required to regulate uses
of designated areas and activities, including but not limited to a combination of police power
(zoning and subdivision regulations) and eminent domain, scenic easements and tax breaks.

State government should help localities develop and exercise local land use management
functions by means, including but not limited to financial aid for research, state technical
assistance, and state data information collection, storage and retrieval. The state legislature
should authorize localities to exercise innovative land use planning and regulatory techniques,
such as land banking, planned unit development, transfer of development rights and times
development ordinances. Impact statements on major public and private developments should be

We believe there should be an appeals board with power to arbitrate conflicts between
governmental bodies in land use decision and between citizens and governmental bodies in land
use decisions.

We believe the state should continue to encourage substate regional bodies for land use planning.
The Area Development Districts, among other activities, presently do some land use planning.
We feel the powers of the Area Development Districts, as those districts are presently constituted
and administered, are sufficient for their role, which is advisory to local governments.

We believe that citizen involvement in every facet of a land use planning program is essential.
Informed and active citizen involvement promotes political responsibility in and outside of

Adopted April 4, 1977.
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