New governor Matt Bevin spoke today in front of the Kentucky legislature in support of felony expungement. The Herald-Leader republished the details from an Associated Press report. Prior versions of the bill had been passed by the Democrat led house, but stalled out in the Republican led senate. The blessing of the Republican Governor should hopefully push this bill into reality. Senate Majority leader Damon Thayer said: “there is a general bipartisan feeling that we ought to do something on expungement,” but noted “I’m not going to commit to being for an expungement bill until I get a chance to read it.”
I personally spoke to someone closely involved in the legislative process on this particular bill. She made it clear that supporters are optimistic that some type of felony expungement bill will pass, but aren’t sure what the particulars will be. In the past, Senate Republicans had suggested a ten year, instead of five year waiting period before someone could apply for expungement.
To those Senators, I leave the words of our governor, Matt Bevin: “I would challenge our senators to remember there is no time when an individual is more vulnerable, no period when there is greater likelihood of recidivism than during that immediate window after which a person has served their (prison) term.”