KY House panel considers restoring felons' voting rights

Published: Feb. 1, 2016 at 6:32 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2016 at 9:13 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Felons convicted of non-violent offenses have another opportunity to have their voting rights restored if a House committee approves changes to the Commonwealth's suffrage laws.

Rep. Reggie Meeks (D-Louisville), chair of the Standing Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs wants to codify into law what former Governor Steve Beshear gr anted through Executive Order, that Republican Governor Matt Bevin revoked also by Executive Order.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Beshear restores right to vote for non-violent felons]

The bill would still deny voting to those convicted of murder, the "intentional killing" of another human being, rape, violent sexual offenses, or any sexual offense involving a child. Only a Governor's Pardon could restore such rights.

Felons convicted of non-violent offenses would have rights restored upon completion of their incarceration, probation and parole.

The bill would require approval in the full House and Senate. In revoking Beshear's Executive Order, Bevin indicated he could sign such a bill into law, but believed such changes were the purview of the Legislative rather than Executive branch.

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