Grassroots Support Will Help Us Win! | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Grassroots Support Will Help Us Win!

As we enter the final few weeks of the 2016 General Assembly there is a furry of bills and lots of action to keep track of. Monday afternoon, for example, the House Elections & Constitutional Amendments Committee approved a bill (HB 290) to allow early voting in Kentucky – something we definitely support. They also approved the Local Option Sales Tax (HB 2) – a bill we oppose because that tax would ask more of low-income folks than those better able to pay.

Last week Senate Republicans filed a new Voting Rights bill (SB 299) representing their approach to that issue. We’re sticking with House Bill 70, which has already passed the House. There’s likely to be serious discussion and negotiation in the coming weeks about these bills, so watch for action alerts when we need to push legislators to take the best approach to restoring voting rights.

Finally, we focus your attention on a hearing and vote Wednesday on House Bill 203, a bill KFTC supports to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without parole (or in some cases imprisonment without parole for 25 years). This is significant – though there have been hearings before on the death penalty abolition there has not been a vote.

There are 19 members on the House Judiciary Committee: Reps. Darryl Owens, Joe Fischer, Brent Yonts, Johnny Bell, Robert Benvenuti, Kelly Flood, Jim Gooch, Chris Harris, Jeff Hoover, Joni Jenkins, Tom Kerr, Stan Lee, Mary Lou Marzian, Reginald Meeks, Suzanne Miles, Tom Riner, Kevin Sinnette, Ken Upchurch and Gerald Watkins. Ten votes are needed to get the bill out of committee. Owens and Flood are cosponsors of HB 203 so we need to win at least 8 more Yes votes.

Take Action

Here are ways to contact legislators:

Legislative Message Line: call 800-372-7181 to leave a message with an operator (open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Fridays)

Call their legislative office directly at 502-564-8100, asking for them by name

Email (Find and message your elected officials here)

Visiting them in Frankfort on Wednesday during the KFTC lobby day; sign up here

Your support could be critical in winning committee passage of HB 203. Here’s how you can best help:

  1. If your representative is on the Judiciary Committee, please send them an individual message using the Message Line, direct office number, email or personal contact (these options are listed to the left). Messages from constituents will carry the most weight.

  2. Everyone call the Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181 and leave a message for “members of the House Judiciary Committee.”

MESSAGE: “I support abolition of the death penalty and urge you to vote Yes for House Bill 203."

The coming weeks may be a little hectic for our legislative work, but it’s also exciting so see some of the issues we care about make their way through the legislative process. Thanks for all you do to support this work!