Kentucky State Rep Calls on Colleagues to Pass Voting Rights for Ex-Felons Bill

January 30, 2020 by Dan McCue

Kentucky State Rep. Charles Booker called on his colleagues in the state legislature Wednesday to pass House Bill 6, a proposed constitutional amendment that could restore the voting rights of tens of thousands of ex-felons who have completed their sentences.

“There is a saying my mother tells me, and it’s that we’re more than our mistakes and that our lives are not defined by our stumbles but how we get back up,” the Louisville Democrat said to a roomful of supporters.  

“We want Kentuckians to be able to get up and get back on their feet and pursue their dreams.  We need to do what should have been done a long time ago and make this constitutional amendment a reality,” he added.

To fulfill Booker’s goal, the bill needs to be approved by both the General Assembly and voters, who would have their say on the measure in November.

Booker’s bill would automatically and permanently restore voting rights to all Kentuckians with a felony record who have served their time.

During his remarks, Booker thanked Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear for recently signing an executive order that restored voting rights for 140,000 Kentuckians with a non-violent felony record.

But Booker believes the state needs to do more.

‘We need to go even further and make this available to anyone after they complete their sentence,” he said. “We also need to remember that what can be given by executive order can also be taken away by executive order. My legislation will keep that from happening with a future governor.”

Booker went on to praise former Reps. Darryl Owens, of Louisville, and Jesse Crenshaw, of Lexington, both of whom championed earlier versions of the amendment during their years as legislators.  

He also noted when the constitutional amendment has been introduced in the state House, it has often received significant bipartisan support.  The last time it was considered, in 2016, the vote was 82-9.

Booker noted that before Beshear’s order, Kentucky and Iowa were the only states still enforcing an effective lifetime voting ban for felons.

“States across the political spectrum recognize that this type of disenfranchisement is wrong and needs to be corrected,” he said.  “Kentucky took a big step forward with Gov. Beshear’s executive order, but we need to complete that journey this legislative session and then in November.”

State News

A Kennedy Emerges as Upset Winner in NJ Congressional District to Face Jeff Van Drew
2020 Elections
A Kennedy Emerges as Upset Winner in NJ Congressional District to Face Jeff Van Drew

A member of the storied Kennedy political family emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee in a South Jersey congressional district late Tuesday, defying expectations that it would take days before results were clear in the state’s primary election while officials count hundreds of thousands of mail... Read More

Trump Urges K-12 Schools to Reopen; Others Aren’t So Sure
Education
Trump Urges K-12 Schools to Reopen; Others Aren’t So Sure

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged the nation’s public schools to reopen “quickly and beautifully” and jabbed at districts such as Los Angeles’ that remain uncertain, again injecting politics into the pandemic response. As the nation’s death toll from COVID-19 surged past 130,000 this... Read More

High-stakes Lawsuits Could Shape Who Votes and How Ballots Are Counted in November
2020 Elections
High-stakes Lawsuits Could Shape Who Votes and How Ballots Are Counted in November

PHILADELPHIA — The lawyers are busy. And the future of voting is at stake. With less than four months until November’s election, a flurry of lawsuits in state and federal courts is seeking to change election rules in Pennsylvania and dozens of other states around the... Read More

Utah Secures 500,000 Face Masks in Anticipation of Reopening Schools
State News
Utah Secures 500,000 Face Masks in Anticipation of Reopening Schools
July 7, 2020
by Jacob Pederson

The Utah Board of Education has received a shipment of 500,000 face masks it plans to distribute to students and teachers as they return to school in the fall. The collection of masks is the latest manifestation of Gov. Gary Herbert’s Masks for Every Utahn Program,... Read More

NewDEAL Forum Launches Task Force to Address Rebuilding the Country Following COVID-19
Economy
NewDEAL Forum Launches Task Force to Address Rebuilding the Country Following COVID-19
July 7, 2020
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – The NewDEAL Forum has established a task force comprised of state and local officials to devise recommendations on a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus outbreak. The Renewing America Task Force will be led by five Democratic co-chairs including Phoenix, Ariz., Mayor Kate Gallego; Michigan... Read More

Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Mississippi Legislature As Cases Surge Across State
State News
Coronavirus Outbreak Hits Mississippi Legislature As Cases Surge Across State
July 7, 2020
by Gaspard Le Dem

Health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak in Mississippi's state legislature after several lawmakers tested positive for coronavirus last week. House Speaker Philip Gunn, a Republican, announced on Sunday that he had contracted the virus after coming into contact with another member of the state’s lower... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top