Building on progress made with felony expungement legislation that passed in 2016, a bill to provide for the automatic expungement in certain cases was passed by lawmakers during the 2020 session and is now law in Kentucky.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher of Louisville, allows for the automatic expungement of a person’s record after acquittals and dismissals with prejudice.
In an interview with The Bottom Line, Bratcher said when the issue was raised to him, it was a no-brainer to get it fixed and correct this flaw in the system (listen to Bratcher’s comments on the bill in the interview below).
As for what criminal justice bill he would like to see passed next, Bratcher said legislation to enact bail reform is a priority for him, as people with low incomes struggle to make bail and end up losing a lot in their lives as they sit in a local jail.
Bratcher also discussed the status of fellow Rep. John “Bam” Carney, who has been in the hospital since December 2019 as a result of a major health issue and has had many ups and downs on his road to full recovery. Bratcher said Carney was recently moved to a new facility, and that his health has seen very positive improvements recently.
“Bam Carney is one of the most, if not the most, beloved person in the General Assembly. He had no enemies that I know of and we all loved him. He’s like a brother to both parties,” Bratcher said, adding he can’t wait to see Carney back on the House floor in the future.
Watch the interview with Bratcher below to hear his comments on criminal justice reforms, what needs to come next for the General Assembly in 2021, and Rep. Carney’s health: