As Kentucky works to reform its criminal justice system and lower prison populations, the House passed a bill Wednesday that would increase the felony theft threshold for the first time since the 1990s with a 63-24 vote.
Sponsored by Rep. Ed Massey, the House Chair of the Judiciary Committee, House Bill 126 would raise the felony theft threshold from $500 to $1,000, which would aim to remove barriers to individuals who have made mistakes, according to Massey.
Kentucky Comeback, a coalition of grassroots advocates working to transform the state’s approach to addiction and criminal justice reform, released the following statement Wednesday following the passage of the bill.
“Kentucky Comeback thanks the House for passing House Bill 126, which will play a significant role in helping more Kentuckians in recovery find stable employment, and we applaud Rep. Massey for understanding the important link between long-term recovery and a steady job.
“The journey to long-term recovery is not an easy one, so if someone has taken the steps to get treatment and is looking for employment, we shouldn’t be holding them back. We urge our legislators in the Senate to bring HB 126 to passage and give Kentuckians the second chance they deserve.”
House Bill 126 now moves to the Senate for consideration in committee.