Metro Council presents Jefferson County Legislative Delegation with resolution in support of restori
For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622
Stephen Haag 574-1204 / 645-1752
Louisville ? As a way of encouraging the Kentucky General Assembly to move forward on the issue, members of the Louisville Metro Council have formally presented Jefferson County?s Legislative Delegation with a signed copy of a Council resolution which calls for a statewide vote on the restoration of voting rights for those who have served their time.
?Let this send a strong message that Kentucky?s largest city, Metro Louisville, believes now is the time to move forward on this issue,? said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch who is the Council?s Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Democratic Caucus. ?This Council resolution, with bi partisan support, passed unanimously.?
The resolution was passed by the Metro Council on July 24th. It was signed by Mayor Greg Fischer earlier this week.
"Our calling as legislators is to focus on public policy that makes a difference in people's lives and that is exactly what we are doing with the restoration of voting rights Resolution," said Councilwoman Attica Scott (D-1), who was one of the primary sponsors of the resolution. "I appreciate my colleagues for affirming that voting is fundamental in a healthy democracy and I thank the members of the Jefferson County legislative delegation for their leadership on this issue in Frankfort."
Accepting the resolution was Rep Darryl Owens, who is Chair of the Delegation.
Rep. Jessie Crenshaw of Lexington proposed a constitutional amendment in this year?s session that called for a Constitutional Amendment that if approved would allow restoration of voting rights for those felons who had served their time. It died in the last days of the session. Owens has indicated he will sponsor a similar measure that will be put forth in 2015.
The Council?s resolution calls on state lawmakers to put forth a Constitutional Amendment for voter approval that would automatically restore voting rights to persons convicted of a felony and give the fundamental right to vote for those who have paid their debt to society allowing full participation in the democratic process. This resolution does exempt automatic restoration of voting rights for felons convicted of treason, bribery, intentional murder or sex crimes.
Sponsors of the resolution including Scott and Welch were Council members Barbara Shanklin (D-2), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3), David James (D-6), Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5), Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9), Rick Blackwell (D-12), Marianne Butler (D-15), David Tandy (D-4), Jerry T. Miller (R-19), Jim King (D-10),Tom Owen (D-8), Kelly Downard (R-16) Cindi Fowler (D-14) and Stuart Benson (D-20).
?My faith calls me to give people a second chance. I wholly support the restoration of voting rights to non-violent, first-time offenders,? said Miller.
?This resolution shows good things can happen when all of us on the Metro Council work together and now it is time for Frankfort to follow our lead,? said Shanklin.