FRANKFORT, Ky. – “I have long been a supporter of allowing low-level, non-violent felony offenders to have their voting rights restored once they have paid their debt to society. I have been a co-sponsor of legislation for several sessions in the House seeking restoration of voting rights.My issue with yesterday’s action is not about the restoration of those rights, but the fact once again this Governor has chosen to usurp the authority of the Kentucky General Assembly through executive order. This Governor has done that with implementation of Obamacare in Kentucky, and by artificially raising of the minimum wage on state and local agencies which puts additional strains on their already tight budgets. It should be the role of the legislature, not one person, which should address these issues through legislative debate.
Furthermore I question the legality of the Governor’s action Tuesday, as the ability to restore voting rights for convicted felons can only be done through amending Kentucky’s Constitution. House Bill 70, which I was a primary co-sponsor during the 2014 Session, sought to amend Section 145 of our Constitution and let the voters of Kentucky decide whether to amend it. Once again this is a prime example of this Governor following in the footsteps of President Obama and putting his own agenda above the people of Kentucky and the elected legislators who serve them.”