Expand Voting Rights, Protect Civil Rights | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Expand Voting Rights, Protect Civil Rights

lobby1With just four working days left for the Kentucky General Assembly, our actions may influence the important final outcome for two bills.

Voting Rights

Our democracy could be strengthened if Senate leaders would allow House Bill 70 to have a hearing and vote. This legislation would place on the statewide ballot a constitutional amendment to allow automatic restoration of voting rights once a person has completed their sentence for most felony convictions, as happens in most other states. HB 70 passed the House, 75-25, nearly three weeks ago but is stuck in the Senate State and Local Government Committee. Help us make one more push to get Senate leaders to open the door to voting for nearly a quarter of a million Kentuckians.

ACTION: Please call the Legislative Message Line, 1-800-372-7181, and leave a message for your own senator plus "Senate leadership" and "Senate State and Local Government Committee members." A good, simple message is "Please allow a hearing and vote on House Bill 70." The line is open 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. EDT. If you have already contacted your senator on this issue, please do so again.

Civil Rights

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A bill that allows any individual to “act or refuse to act on religious grounds” has passed the House and Senate and been to delivered to Gov. Steve Beshear. House Bill 279 is written so broadly that it could be used to subvert existing civil rights laws in Kentucky that protect individuals from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.

HB 279 has the potential to “make it harder to pursue criminal prosecutions and civil remedies in everything from child abuse to housing discrimination,” according to a Lexington Herald-Leader editorial, and is “a slippery slope when the state authorizes people to disregard laws,” wrote The Courier-Journal editors.

ACTION: Join the Fairness Campaign, ACLU, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, KFTC and other groups in asking Gov. Beshear to “Please veto House Bill 279.” You can do so by leaving him a message at 502-564-2611 or by using his online form at: http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/contact.aspx.

Thanks for taking one or both of these actions.
Please do so on Monday starting at 7 a.m.

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