January 7, 2021 7:19pm
Key bill to support successful reentry through access to education
Legislation to support workforce development and the successful reentry of formerly-incarcerated individuals has been filed in Frankfort. Representative James Tipton filed House Bill 25, which would allow individuals with a felony record to access Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship funds for educational opportunities. Under current law, a felony disqualifies Kentuckians from being eligible for KEES funds. By removing this ban, thousands of Kentuckians who have made mistakes in the past and had run-ins with the law will have a better chance of successfully reentering society, supporting themselves and their families, and driving economic growth in our region.
Access to education has been widely linked to reduced recidivism rates and successful reentry – top priorities for GLI and key components of our regional workforce development strategy. GLI also supported Congress’s recent removal of the ban on incarcerated individuals from receiving Pell Grants.
GLI strongly supported this same legislation in the 2020 session, testifying in support of House Bill 368 in the House and Senate education committees. The bill passed the House unanimously but did not receive a full vote in the Senate. As with 2020, GLI will be championing this legislation again in the 2021 session.