Legislation Page Main Graphic

The 2021 legislative session ran from January 5 through March 30. Scroll down to see some of the priority bills we tracked.

We worked in Frankfort and remotely with lawmakers and ally organizations to protect and defend the civil rights and liberties of all people in Kentucky.

  • 880 bills filed: 157 signed into law, 32 enacted over the Governor's vetoes, 39 vetoed, 11 enacted without the Governor's signature
  • 2 proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution passed (They now go to the voters and will appear on ballots in 2022.)
  • 270 bills tracked by ACLU-KY
    • 76 priority bills
      • 39 opposed by ACLU-KY: 8 became law (3 signed by Governor, 1 enacted without Governor's signature, 4 enacted over Governor's veto)
      • 37 supported by ACLU-KY: 11 became law with Governor's signature
  • 95 legislative meetings between ACLU-KY staff, Smart Justice Advocates, and engaged Kentuckians
    • 53 meetings between ACLU-KY staff and 34 lawmakers
    • 23 meetings with Smart Justice Advocates and 47 lawmakers
    • 19 meetings with engaged Kentuckians 
  • 18 committee hearings included testimony from or coordinated by ACLU-KY
  • 310,644 text messages sent by over 50 volunteers in 8 text banks encouraging other Kentuckians to take action
  • 5,300 emails from ACLU-KY supporters to lawmakers

2021 Session Highlights


Send a thank you message to lawmakers who supported civil rights and liberties during the 2021 legislative session:

We often ask you to send emails urging elected officials to support and oppose certain bills. It is just as important to let them know you appreciate their work when they vote to protect the civil rights and liberties of all people in Kentucky. Click the link below to send a message now. It only takes a minute with our ready-to-use email templates (plus you have the option to add your own message) and you don't even need to know the name of your representative or senator. 


What is the legislative session?

Kentucky's Constitution requires the General Assembly to meet in Frankfort every year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January. In even-numbered years there are not more than 60 legislative days. The 2020 legislative session began on January 7, 2020, and ended on April 15, 2020.

Our team is on the ground in Frankfort during the legislative session almost every day. We connect people directly affected by different issues to their elected officials. This helps lawmakers learn about how their actions directly affect Kentuckians. We work with lawmakers to protect and expand the civil rights and liberties of all Kentuckians by supporting, altering, or defeating legislation that would threaten those civil liberties.

What is the General Assembly?

The General Assembly is Kentucky's legislature. This branch of government makes laws. It is made of the House of Representatives and a Senate. Each bill that becomes law must be approved by both chambers. Kentucky has a part-time citizen legislature with members from diverse backgrounds and communities.  All 138 members serve year-round as legislators, representing constituents, helping them solve problems, and studying new ideas.

Filter Legislation

Civilian Oversight of Police (Failed) – SB245

Senate Bill 245 was one of several proposed police accountability measures but did not make it out of committee. It would increase police accountability by allowing local governments to establish civilian review boards independent of police departments.

March 5, 2021 Justice Reform

Removing Confederate Holidays (Failed) – SB248

Senate Bill 248 would replace some public holidays – including those celebrating confederate leaders – with holidays celebrating traditionally underrepresented people. SB248 did not make it out of committee this year, but we plan to promote similar legislation next year.

March 5, 2021 Racial Justice

Reducing Pre-Trial Restrictions (Failed) – SB223

Senate Bill 223 would require that the conditions of a person's pre-trial release be as minimally restrictive as possible. SB223 did not make it out of committee but we will continue promoting similar bills because all people are legally innocent until proven guilty and should be treated as such.

March 5, 2021 Justice Reform