In an effort to remove barriers to reentry for those exiting the corrections system, House Bill 497 saw final passage late Monday night. The legislation provides a certificate of employability for individuals following success in programs completed while incarcerated.
Sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, House Bill 497 tasks the Kentucky Department of Corrections with issuing this certification once programs are complete and also tasks the Department of Transportation with ensuring those leaving incarceration have necessary identification. The bill would also incentivize employers by providing limited liability protections, eliminating a ban on SNAP benefits for those convicted of a felony, and allowing use of Medicaid for necessary treatments if an 1115 waiver is issued. The certification of employability will not be issued to sex offenders, and there are other exclusions in the bill as well.
The House gave the legislation final passage with a 91-0 vote.
A bill changing the makeup of the Kentucky Board of Education also saw final passage late Monday night with a 89-5 vote.
House Bill 178, sponsored by Rep. Steve Sheldon, seeks to bring balance and stability to the Kentucky Board of Education by requiring board appointments reflect equal gender representation and proportionally reflect the Commonwealth’s political affiliation and minority racial composition.
Earlier in the day, the Senate gave final passage to legislation dealing with Kentucky’s water infrastructure.
House Bill 465, sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig, seeks to empower local communities when it comes to water infrastructure investment, providing a clear roadmap for municipalities to pursue mutually beneficial partnerships with professional water companies, all while opening the door for new investments and jobs in local communities at a time when they are needed most. The Senate vote was 30-3.