Legislative Updates from the Kentucky Council of Churches

Kentucky Legislative Updates Important for Prayer and Action:

The deadlines for new House and Senate bills were last week. This means no new bills will be filed for the rest of the General Assembly. It doesn’t mean that our work is done. Committees, and the House and Senate are busy hearing testimonies and voting on bills. There are several pieces of legislation that concern the Kentucky Council and our member Churches. We will continue to send out calls-to-action, and encourage you to respond promptly to them. Decisions are being made quickly on some important issues and you can sign up here for Calls to Action and Alerts:

Click Here to get KCC Legislative Alerts!

AND

To take action on these items call the legislative message line:

800-372-7181 (8am-9pm)

HB501 would criminalize sanctuary movements, and aid or defined “support” of undocumented persons. It is sweeping and draconian in it’s implementation and specifically would require police to take over the job of Immigration enforcement from the federal government. We oppose this bill both because of the undue burden it places on police for non-violent, non-offending community members, and also because it criminalizes humanitarian and educational outreach agencies who even unwittingly provide services to someone undocumented: ACTION: Contact the House Leadership, House Judiciary Committee Members, and Rep. Wesley Morgan (Berea and Richmond are in his district) and OPPOSE HB501.

House Resolution 44, approved by the House, proclaims Kentucky a welcoming state. Sister bill Senate Resolution is with the State & Local Government Committee.  ACTION: Contact Senate Committee members to ask them to follow the House in approving this resolution.

SB 7, which would allow conceal carry without a license, is with the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protections Committee.  ACTION: Contact Senate Committee members and ask them to vote “NO” on SB 7. This bill will make it more difficult for law enforcement to track firearms used in crimes and will put more Kentuckians in danger of being shot.

Likewise HB 249 could cause great harm. This bill will allow concealed weapons in our public schools and on college campuses, and puts our children and young adults in danger. The bill is with the House Education Committee. ACTION: Contact members of the House Education Committee and ask them to vote “NO” to HB 249.

The Senate Judiciary has two bills that KCC is supporting: SB 120 is the justice reform bill. Though the final bill is not the comprehensive reform we wanted, it is a step in the right direction. It creates re-entry opportunities that will help inmates prepare for re-assimilation so that they will be less likely to commit new crimes. SB 20 will create a more effective monitoring system that will help prevent discrimination.  Not introduced to the Committee yet is SB 220. This bill will protect young children (under age 12) from criminal responsibility. Children who commit crimes will still be held responsible, but will not be prosecuted.  ACTION: Contact members of the Senate Judiciary to ask them to support comprehensive justice reform, beginning with these three bills.

There are several bills that would build upon the legislation approved last year. We support all bills that make expungement more accessible. This year we are focusing on SB 195, which pertains to juvenile expungement. Juveniles who have completed their sentences and have not re-offended would be eligible for automatic expungement. We support this bill because it would give these young people opportunity to get into college or find a job without the stigma of a criminal record. ACTION: Let the Senate Judiciary Committee know you support the approval of SB 195.

SB 131 and HB 251 are bills to abolish the death penalty. These bills are with their respective Judiciary Committees. ACTION: Contact your Senator and Representatives to let them know you support total abolition of the death penalty in the Commonwealth.

HB 178 and 179 in the House Economic Development & Workforce Investment Committee, and SB 33 in Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, are among the bills addressing minimum wage.  ACTION: Let you legislators know that you support a raise in the minimum wage.

A new bill has been filed that could cause more financial distress for persons seeking emergency loans. HB 447, “fair credit loan” bill, would allow loans similar to pay-day loans except the loans are higher.  ACTION: Contact your legislators to let them know you support pay-day lending cap of 36% and higher penalties for companies that break the rules. Ask them to vote “NO” to HB 447.

Remaining Prayer in Action Days

Feb. 28                  Death Penalty                                    Annex Room 171

Mar. 7                   Environment/Energy                      Annex Room 113

Mar. 14                 Immigrants/Refugees                    Annex Room 111

Categories News | Tags: , , , , , , | Posted on February 23, 2017

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