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February 20, 2020 9:10am

GLI voices support for removing barriers to education for ex-felons

This week in Frankfort, GLI voiced support for legislation that would remove barriers to education for ex-felons in Kentucky. In a letter to lawmakers, GLI pushed for passage of Rep. James Tipton’s House Bill 368, which would remove language in state statute that prohibits individuals with felony convictions from eligibility for the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.

Kentucky is home to an estimated 250,000 individuals who have completed a sentence for a felony conviction. In recent years, the General Assembly has taken great strides to ensure that these individuals are able to re-enter society, join the workforce, and support themselves and their families. A good example is Senate Bill 57 from the 2019 session. With GLI’s support, this legislation significantly expanded access to criminal record expungement, thereby helping to remove a common barrier to employment, housing, and licensing for more Kentuckians. Despite this progress, numerous barriers to success remain. House Bill 368 will help ensure that ex-felons in the Commonwealth have ample opportunity to better themselves and improve their chances in the job market through access to the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship. This bill is pro-education, pro-workforce, and pro-economic growth.

House Bill 368 has been assigned to the House Education Committee, where it awaits a hearing.