The Kentucky House has rejected changes to a bill that would automatically restore voting rights to many felons.
This throws out a set of revisions from the Republican-controlled Senate that would have reduced the number of affected felons by more than half.
Bill sponsor Jesse Crenshaw implored colleagues to vote against the changes.
“The Senate committee substitute is a totally different bill. It does not accomplish what House Bill 70 was intended to accomplish,” said Crenshaw
The Senate must decide whether to drop its changes or keep them. If it’s the latter, the bill will go to a conference committee so lawmakers can seek a compromise.
Sen. Damon Thayer proposed the rejected changes in the Senate. He says it's premature to speculate about how the Senate will react.
Thousands of people descended onto the Kentucky state Capitol building Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a Civil Rights march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The original 1964 march on Frankfort agitated for Civil Rights in segregation-era Kentucky, building support for the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act.
Kentucky will mark next month the 100th anniversary of the Kentucky governor’s mansion in Frankfort. Governor Steve Beshear’s office has announced that the state will commemorate the Jan. 20th anniversary with a year-long celebration.
“Jane and I have been fortunate to live at the Mansion and experience firsthand the stunning architecture and impeccable attention to detail that went in to constructing this historic landmark,” said Gov. Beshear. “But we are just the temporary residents. This magnificent building is truly the people’s house and belongs to every Kentuckian.”
The festivities will include both public and private events, all of which have been paid for with private donations, according to the governor’s office.
The timing of a special legislative session remains uncertain, though Gov. Steve Beshear and top lawmakers have been tossing around potential dates.
Beshear wants lawmakers back in Frankfort before the end of the year to resolve the lingering issue of legislative redistricting, a politically divisive issue that tends to overshadow all other matters when it's up for consideration.
The governor said he wants the issue resolved before lawmakers begin budget talks in January.
Redistricting is undertaken every 10 years to account for population changes recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau. Kentucky had major population shifts between 2000 and 2010, requiring reconfiguration of legislative districts in both the House and Senate.
The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down lawmakers' initial redistricting plan last year, forcing them to start over.
A debate over Kentucky’s health insurance exchange ended with a walkout by Democratic lawmakers Wednesday. They were angered over an attempt by Republicans on the joint Health and Welfare committee to declare Governor Steve Beshear's executive order establishing the exchange illegal.
Motorcycle riders are revving their engines for a charity ride that they hope raises $100,000 for a memorial at the National Guard Center in Frankfort. Volunteers are raising money for the Labor Day weekend ride, called Ride II Remember, which is on Sept. 2.
Negotiators for the Senate and House have started talks to work out disagreements on spending priorities for a new state budget in Kentucky. A group of Representatives and Senators held their initial meeting this morning on the two year, 19.5 billion dollar budget.