The Associated Press has reported that Governor Bevin will sign HB40 into law this Tuesday, April 12th. The expanded expungement bill will allow at least 62,000 Kentuckians to have their felony records wiped clean. Thousands others will be able to erase their misdemeanor records and cases that were dismissed by a grand jury. Stay tuned for more expungement news, and congratulations to everyone that will get a second chance!
While we all wait for Governor Bevin to sign the expanded expungement bill into law, I thought I’d take a moment to review exactly how a bill that has passed both houses of congress becomes a law. The particular part of the Kentucky Constitution that governs is Section 88. It states:
Every bill which shall have passed the two Houses shall be presented to the Governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated, which shall enter the objections in full upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be considered, and if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that House, it shall be a law; but in such case the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered upon the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless disapproved by him within ten days after the adjournment, in which case his veto message shall be spread upon the register kept by the Secretary of State. The Governor shall have the power to disapprove any part or parts of appropriation bills embracing distinct items, and the part or parts disapproved shall not become a law unless reconsidered and passed, as in case of a bill.
The short version: The governor has ten days (excluding Sundays) to sign the bill into law, otherwise it becomes law without his signature unless he vetoes it. Seeing as Governor Bevin has expressed enthusiasm about signing this bill, and quite candidly, I believe he was instrumental in it getting out of committee in the Senate, I am quite confident that he will sign it. As the bill was delivered to him last Friday, I believe we are on day six of the ten days (remember, Sundays don’t count). This means that he will be signing it next Wednesday at the latest. The last day for the two houses to reach a budget is Tuesday. I wonder if there is some significance to this timing?
We will know very soon.
I know that Governor Bevin is very busy, and I have no doubt that he intends to sign HB40 into law very soon. I’ve seen a lot of traffic from people interested in the bill the last week, and I’m sure you all are waiting for the same thing I am–the Governor to sign the bill so we can start talking about the process for getting Kentuckians back to work, back to voting, and back to college. I appreciate all of you that check the site daily and everyone out there Googling to find out what’s going on. As soon as I have word that the bill is signed, know that it will be posted here, along with a big announcement about free tools to help you determine if you qualify.
I know how important this issue is to everyone. Patience is key for now, as even after the bill is signed, it will still be July before we can file a petition. I know that all of you with felony records have been far more patient than I can ever imagine. I hope that this site, as insignificant as it may be, has inspired those of you who will qualify in July and those of you who will qualify under future bills that pass. HB40 is not the end of the journey. It’s the beginning. Disenfranchising and disqualifying people from jobs for life is inhumane to them and unsustainable for Kentucky. Let’s help all of our neighbors reach their potential.
Thank you for reading,
I know that lots of you are anxiously awaiting Governor Bevin signing HB40. It will automatically become law ten days after it is delivered from the concurring body (that being the House, who sent the bill to the Governor on April 1). I have every expectation that the Governor may be planning some sort of event for the signing of this historic legislation. There is no reason to believe he will veto it. He won’t. He has said multiple times he will sign it.
All the same, I would like to see the final language of the bill before posting my thoughts on it. I know a lot of people with old offenses are excited and ready for the opportunity. Regardless of when the bill gets signed, it will not go into effect until July, and the forms to apply likely won’t be out for months. We will have plenty of time to discuss how the law is going to work and explore some of the nuances of it between now and then.
If you are reading this, you are one of my good friends who I gave an early preview of the site to. Thank you for your support in helping me accomplish this. I know that the good work I do on this site will lead to many more people accomplishing their dreams. If you aren’t one of the early few, and you somehow are going back through the archives reading this, just know that I wasn’t the only one who put all this together. I had great help from my friends and family.
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who had my back on this project. My beautiful wife, my brothers (Lawson, Ty, John, Trevan, everyone), my parents. My great coworkers Alex and Derek. Erin L. Suzanne H. Kim G. You all know who you are. I couldn’t have built this without Angela and Chad and the Plantory. Chris Tracy I see you. Clay, thank you. If I missed anyone else, just know that I’m exhausted and there will be plenty more time to thank people later.
Governor Bevin, sign this bill and let’s get started getting people back to work.
All the best,