Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Kentucky Anti-Trans Bill Is FINALLY Dead!

It took a little longer than expected, but Sen. CB Embry anti-trans Bathroom Bounty Bill is finally dead with the end of the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly session at midnight EDT.

You'll recall that back in February the Kentucky senate Republicans shadily passed the bill out of committee, then passed the unjust bill it in the GOP controlled Senate on a 27-9 vote.

But SB 76 was DOA in the Democratically controlled House, and it was parked in a committee with no intention to let it out to the House floor much less bring it up for a committee vote.  

With the clock ticking toward the end of the session, Embry decided to tack his unjust bill to HB 236, a bill that overwhelmingly passed the House that would allow for a student representative to be appointed to school superintendent search committees. 

Dismayed Kentucky students from across the commonwealth not only saw the bill they had worked so hard to pass being hijacked by Embry, but also being altered Tuesday after two student rallies in Frankfort and news coverage about the impasse.

HB 236 was altered by the Kentucky senate to allow the student to sit on the search committee,  but the student would not be able to vote on who is recommended for the job.    The 'Student Religious Speech' amendment was also attached to HB 236  by Sen. Albert Robinson (R) to permit students to voluntarily express religious viewpoints in schools.  Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington) successfully attached another amendment that would make HB 236 immediately come into force after it became law with Governor Steve Beshear's (D) signature. 

Coat of arms or logoSen. Embry withdrew his 'Bathroom Bounty Bill' amendment and the altered  HB 236 passed 27-9. But the damage was done, and the amended HB 236..has no support in the Democratically controlled House when they voted overwhelmingly for the original bill.

While I'm sad that a great bill that would have empowered Kentucky students fell victim to GOP political shenanigans, the bigger picture is that the unjust anti-trans bill is FINALLY dead. 

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