October Update15 Oct

The past several months have been busy ones for the bishops and for CCK staff! Below is an update on some of the major issues we are working on, and a look forward to the 2020 legislative session and beyond.

Capitol Dome


The past several sessions have seen a great deal of pro-life legislation pass the General Assembly. One bill that has not yet seen action is the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. We expect that bill to receive serious consideration in the 2020 session.

Refugee Resettlement

The Trump Administration has set the number of refugees to be resettled in the coming year at 18,000. While we are grateful this was not zero, as had been proposed, it is still much lower than the U.S. can easily absorb. Keep in mind that refugees are individuals who have applied for resettlement either in their home countries or in United Nations-controlled refugee camps. After years of waiting and intense vetting, they are then resettled in one of several countries around the world. 

Under the proposed new refugee policy, each state would have a say in whether or not refugees are resettled there. Following Kentucky’s elections on November 5, we will be urging the governor or governor-elect to continue to welcome refugees in the Commonwealth. Please look for further updates and action alerts on that as we move forward. For more details on the new federal policy, please click here.

Criminal Justice Reform

As many of you know, CCK is a founding member of the Kentucky Smart on Crime coalition. There have been some significant victories in recent years, particularly with felony expungement, easing the reentry process, and expanding access to drug treatment. We are currently helping to create a working group to look at a more comprehensive revision of the penal code. The working group will include as many stakeholders as possible, including prosecutors, judges, jailers, criminal defense lawyers, and law enforcement. Please keep this effort in your prayers.

Death Penalty

Efforts to limit and ultimately abolish Kentucky’s death penalty continue to build steam. This has become a truly bipartisan issue. We are saddened by the recent news that the federal government will begin seeking to pursue the death penalty at the federal level. But, the larger trends are clear, and we believe the death penalty’s days are numbered.

Last week, Catholic News Service hosted a live stream with three bishops discussing the Church’s teaching on the death penalty and the work of the U.S. Church in opposing capital punishment. You may watch the archived discussion by clicking here.

Educational Choice

One of CCK’s legislative priorities for the 2020 session is expanding educational opportunities through scholarship tax credits. You have likely received a few updates on that over the past few months. Please take advantage of the materials on EdChoiceKY’s Resources page, and if you are involved with a Catholic school, invite your local legislators to make a visit.


Finally, please remember that on November 5, all of Kentucky’s statewide constitutional officers will be up for election (Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor, Agriculture Commissioner, and Treasurer). Also, there are a few special elections in various places for state legislative and judicial offices. The policy priorities in Frankfort for the next four years will be largely determined by the outcome of these elections. Don’t forget to vote!

If you aren’t sure where to vote, you can look up your polling location on the Voter Information Center.

Also, remember Archbishop Kurtz in your prayers as he continues his treatment and recovery.


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