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Blue Lives Matter Bill Moves Approved, Heads to Senate

Stu Johnson

The so called "Blue Lives Matter" bill  to include police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians in Kentucky’s hate crime statute is on its way to the full Senate. The measure easily passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday.

If the legislation is enacted, anyone who attacks first responders could face an additional finding of a hate crime.  It would give judges and parole boards discretion when it comes to denying probation in those crimes.

Nicoli Jilek with the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police said the bill addresses those who target those in public safety. 

Senator Morgan McGarvey cast the lone "no" vote in committee.  He questioned where to draw the line on hate crimes.  The Louisville lawmaker asked if a marine, teacher, nurse, or social worker should be covered as well.  The House approved bill now goes before the full Senate.

Reema Paracha with Indivisible Kentucky told committee members public safety officers should not be placed in a protective class, “Choosing what faith to follow is not optional, nor the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, your gender identity.  But, your career choices are optional and with every career choice there are calculated risks,” she said.

 The House bill now goes on to the  Senate.?

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