Final push for voting rights bill blocked again by Senate

Yesterday, April 15, was the final day of the 2014 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. Supporters of legislation to allow for the automatic restoration of voting rights for most former felons once they have completed their sentence (House Bill 70) gave the Kentucky Senate yet another chance to pass this meaningful legislation.

The House Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee held a special meeting late in the afternoon and adopted a committee substitute for Senate Bill 58, rewriting the bill with the language of HB 70. It added to the original bill wording that allowed the General Assembly to set up to a three-year waiting period after one's sentence is complete before rights would be restored. This was compromise language that Senate leaders said they would have to have to consider the bill.

The full House passed the bill a short time later, 85-13.

That set off a flurry of calls, email, texts and tweets to members of the Senate, asking them to vote on SB 58 before they adjourned. Some of the tweets are captured below.

Although they had time to do so, Senate leaders Damon Thayer and Robert Stivers chose to not call the bill.

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