Governor signs criminal justice reform bills into law
On Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear held an online ceremony Friday afternoon to sign two criminal justice policies into law.
House Bill 497, sponsored by Representative Kim Moser, removes barriers to reentry for those exiting the corrections system. HB 497 tasks the Kentucky Department of Corrections with issuing certificates of employability to those who successfully complete programs while in incarceration. In addition, it incentivizes employers by providing liability protections. The bill further encourages other important reentry supports such as IDs and better access to health care for people leaving incarceration.
“The Kentucky Chamber applauds the General Assembly and Governor Beshear for enacting important new laws to improve Kentucky’s criminal justice system. As the state continues to struggle with a low workforce participation rate, Kentucky companies are ready and willing to hire those in recovery and who are formerly incarcerated. If Kentucky wants to see economic recovery, we must create jobs and get people into positions and HB 497 is a critical step toward that goal. We thank Rep. Kim Moser for her hard work to ensure individuals are able to successfully reenter following incarceration.” − Kate Shanks, Vice President of Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Senate Bill 84,dubbed “Dignity Bill Part 2” and sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams, was also signed Friday. The legislation is aimed at providing pregnant people in incarceration the necessary resources for a safe and healthy pregnancy.