The ACLU team had a busy week in Frankfort during the sixth week of the 2020 legislative session. Our team is always working in a number of issue areas. Below are some specific highlights about key pieces of legislation we are following and what our team accomplished the week of February 9 to February 15.


BLACK HISTORY MONTH

BHM Celebration with Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus

It was a full house in the Capitol Rotunda for a Black History Month celebration hosted by the Kentucky Black Legislative Caucus. Lawmakers honored the military contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. See more here.


SMART JUSTICE

House Bill 327

HB327 upholds the principle of innocent until proven guilty by removing charges from peoples' records if they are acquitted or charges are dismissed. Currently, these charges stay on a person's record even if the charges are dismissed or they are acquitted. 

Smart Justice Advocate Keturah Herron testified last week in the House Judiciary Committee in favor of HB327. Watch here (start at 00:31:00).

NEW BILL ACTIVITY

  • February 10: Passed out of House of Representatives with a vote of 91-0. Bill is now headed to the Senate. 

House Bill 284 

HB284 allows people on probation to earn credit for education, community service, and more, just like people on parole already can.

NEW BILL ACTIVITY

  • February 10: Passed out of House of Representatives with a vote of 91-0. Bill is now headed to the Senate.

Senate Bill 15, Marsy's Law

We met with several lawmakers this week about our concerns with Marsy’s Law. This legislation is bad for victims and wrong for Kentucky. It is well-intentioned, but fails to provide any real support to victims of criminal acts and turns due process on its head. Learn more about SB15 here.


IMMIGRATION

Senate Bill 1, the Family Separation Bill

We continued to connect Kentuckians with their lawmakers to share their concerns about SB1. This bill passed out of the Senate last week and is expected to be heard in the House next week.

NEW BILL ACTIVITY

February 10: SB1 assigned to House Judiciary Committee.


VOTING RIGHTS

Senate Bill 2, the Mandatory Voter ID Bill

We continued sharing our concerns about SB2 with lawmakers and the Secretary of State. ACLU-KY Legal Director was interviewed by Spectrum News and will be featured in a story about the bill on Spectrum in Focus on Sunday, February 16. SB2 passed the Senate in January and is now in the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.


FREEDOM OF SPEECH

House Bill 44, the Silencing Kentucky Voices Act

This bill would make protesting on "critical infrastructure" - like pipelines - a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. It would also penalize people who help protesters, including providing water or first aid. It is already a criminal offense to trespass or damage property. This legislation would impose excessive criminal penalties and chill free speech by threatening Kentuckians with felony charges and up to five years in prison. 

NEW BILL ACTIVITY

  • February 10: Passed out of House of Representatives with a vote of 71-17. Bill is now headed to the Senate.

REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PROJECT

House Resolution 73

The House Health & Family Services Committee passed HR73, a resolution declaring January 23 of each year Maternal Health Awareness Day.

Other work

ACLU-KY Reproductive Freedom Advocate Jackie McGranahan connected Kentuckians with their legislators. They advocated against anti-abortion bills and supported the Maternal CARE Act, a bill addressing racial disparities in maternal mortality.


LGBTQ EQUALITY

Ban Conversion Therapy Lobby Day

We supported Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky during their second-annual lobby day at the Capitol. BCTK connected dozens of concerned Kentuckians with their legislators to discuss HB199 and SB85. These bills would protect LGBTQ kids from the torturous practice known as "conversion therapy." Both bills have wide bipartisan support but still need your help to get across the finish line. 

 

VIEW THE FULL LIST OF BILLS WE ARE TRACKING AND TAKE ACTION. 

Stay informed

ACLU of Kentucky is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National