felon voting rights

Local News
6:57 am
Wed April 16, 2014

High-Profile Bills Falter on Last Day of Kentucky General Assembly Session

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FRANKFORT—Kentucky lawmakers squabbled until midnight, turning the final day of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly into a last-minute dash that saw many promising bills fail to clear the House and Senate.

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7:12 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Felon Voting Rights Restoration "Unlikely" To Pass in Kentucky This Year

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A bill that would restore voting rights for thousands of Kentucky felons isn’t likely to pass this year.

Lawmakers say they could not reach an agreement over different versions of the proposed legislation.

GOP Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer previously amended the bill to include a five year waiting period and not cover felons with multiple offenses. Supporters of the proposed legislation have criticized Thayer’s changes, which would not affect about half of the 180,000 Kentuckians the original bill was meant to help.

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7:58 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Kentucky House Rejects Senate's Changes to Felon Voting Rights Legislation

Jesse Crenshaw
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky House on Wednesday 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.

State Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, a Lexington Democrat, implored colleagues to vote against the changes.

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Local News
5:05 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Frankfort Rally Commemorating 1964 Civil Rights March Focuses on Felon Voting Rights

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FRANKFORT — The fight for civil rights in Kentucky continues 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. led a march in the state Capitol.

The 1964 march on Frankfort agitated for Civil Rights in segregation-era Kentucky, resulting in the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

A commemorative rally today Wednesday centered on restoring the voting rights for felons. In Kentucky, about one in five African-American males cannot vote because a felony charge, and legislation has been proposed in the General Assembly to restore voting rights to felons.

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12:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

In Kentucky the Path to Restoring Voting Rights to Felons Makes a Detour

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FRANKFORT — As a child, Teddi Smith-Robillard suffered trauma that haunted and shaped her early years—to the point that she ended up a convicted felon, she said.

“I lived in hell, in my mind," she said. 

Now 74, she can reflect on a life of overcoming many obstacles—including regaining the right to vote in Kentucky, which she needed extraordinary measures to achieve.

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6:45 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Kentucky Legislators React to U.S. Attorney General's Call to Restore Felon Voting Rights

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FRANKFORT — The push to restore felon voting rights has received a major endorsement from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, but it's not clear what effect that may have in the state Capitol—where lawmakers are debating the issue.

As he called on states to lift rules that make it harder for felons to get their right to vote back, Holder singled out Kentucky. He said it's one of three states where a fifth of black adults are prohibited from voting because of a felony record.

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Local News
2:14 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Kentucky Felon Voting Rights Bill's Hopes Rest on Rand Paul's Support

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A bill to restore voting rights for non-violent felons has passed a Kentucky House committee.

The measure is Rep. Jesse Crenshaw's latest attempt to put about 130,000 felons back on the voting rolls.

Similar efforts have repeatedly stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. But Crenshaw says he hopes that his bill will fare better this year because of support from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

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3:25 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

JCPS Committee Proposes Giving Former Drug Offenders Second Chance To Volunteer

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The Jefferson County Board of Education will consider a new policy later this month to allow some ex-offenders with drug convictions a second chance to volunteer in schools.

In JCPS, hundreds of parents are rejected from volunteering because the district bans anyone with a felony or drug and alcohol conviction from volunteering in supervisory roles.

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4:33 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Republican State Senator Damon Thayer Hits Breaks on Kentucky Felon Voting Rights

Kentucky Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown,
Credit File photo

A Republican leader in the Kentucky Senate says GOP members are not warming to the restoration of felon voting rights despite U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's support of the issue.

The response comes days after Paul staffers said they had been in contact with state lawmakers about the voting rights of ex-convicts

Democratic Senator Gerald Neal of Louisville told WFPL he was beginning to see opposition to his proposal wane earlier this week.

Neal's bill would automatically restore the civil rights of certain convicted felons unless they committed an intentional killing, treason, bribery or a sex crime.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens said no specific bill has been discussed. However, GOP state senators appeared to be "more open to the conversation" than in years past he said.

But Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown made it clear it's too early to make predictions and that other issues remain a priority.

"It’s way too early for pundits to start handicapping the chances of legislation that may or may not pass sometime between January and April when we adjourn the session," he says.

The GOP holds a 23-seat majority in the 38-member state Senate. The one independent caucuses with the Republicans.

If felons' rights are to come up in the 2014 General Assembly it might have to be tied to a more conservative measure such as a possible voter ID bill in order to pass.

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