Bernheim, LG&E offer closing arguments in trial to seize conservation lands
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and Louisville Gas and Electric offered closing arguments Wednesday in a hearing that will decide the utility’s right to take conservation lands to build a natural gas pipeline. LG&E wants to build a 12-mile-long natural gas pipeline that would cut through the Cedar Creek Wildlife Corridor. Lawyers for Bernheim argue the pipeline could be routed elsewhere to avoid impacts to habitat for endangered and threatened species. At the crux of the case is whether Kentucky’s eminent domain law applies to conservation easements. (Louisville Public Media)
Kentucky lawmakers introduce marijuana bills in House, Senate
The Kentucky governor has pushed for the legalization of medical marijuana, and it appears as if the legislature is working on it.
Now, several bills have been filed to legalize some forms of cannabis. House Bill 22 and Senate Bill 51 have both been introduced and would create a control board to help administer the cultivation, sale, taxation and licensing of marijuana. Meanwhile, House Bill 47 would decriminalize marijuana for personal use up to one ounce. (WHAS)
Kentucky’s ‘booming’ bourbon industry doesn’t need another tax cut
Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry had a banner year in 2022, with announcements of over $2.1 billion in new investments and 700 jobs created, both record highs. According to the Kentucky Distillers Association (KDA), 2.4 million full bourbon barrels roll out of distilleries each year, which the trade group calls the highest production rate in modern history. “We don’t mean to brag — or maybe we do,” the KDA says on its website. Yet the industry is currently asking the commonwealth for a tax break, claiming that the taxes distilleries pay on aging barrels, known as the barrel tax, makes Kentucky less competitive and is causing the Bluegrass to lose ground. How can the industry be booming and suffering at the same time? (KY Policy)
Second Louisville coffee chain votes to unionize
Wednesday, Sunergos employees gathered at the Woodlawn Avenue store and voted to unionize. In a previous press release, the union said around 57 employees were expected to vote. So far there are five locations in the metro. Employees said the final vote was 30-14 for the union. (WHAS)
Fourth Louisville Starbucks ‘tired of waiting’, unionizes
Coffee shops in Louisville are unionizing left and right.
On Jan. 11, the Baxter Station Starbucks in the heart of the Highlands won their union vote in a "landslide victory" of 14 to 4, according to a Starbucks Workers United press release. Margot Mutter, Baxter Station Starbucks barista, said they feel energized after the successful union vote. (WHAS)