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2019 Session Wrap-up11 Apr

With the governor’s signing and vetoing of several bills earlier this week, the 2019 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to an end. To all of those who took the time to call and email your representatives and senators, made visits to legislators, attended Catholics @ the Capitol events, and remembered the work of the bishops and CCK staff in your prayers, thank you!

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Here is a look at the final state of bills we highlighted in our various email alerts and social media activity the past few months.

On Life issues, this was another very productive session. HB 148, which would become effective when Roe v Wade is overturned and would provide significant legal protection to the unborn, passed overwhelmingly. Also becoming law was HB 5, which prohibits abortions on the basis of sex, race, or physical disability. SB 9, the “fetal heartbeat” bill has been signed into law as well.

The Pregnant Workers Act, SB 18, which CCK staff put a great deal of effort into the past few years, was signed into law by the governor on Tuesday. This new law will provide much-needed protection to women in vulnerable economic situations.

The movement to abolish Kentucky’s death penalty continues to gain strength. HB 115 had 30 cosponsors, a new record! More and more legislators are willing to come forward and publicly announce their support for abolition. 

Unfortunately, SB 17, which would have prohibited the application of the death penalty in cases where the defendant has a severe mental illness, did not make it through. A number of technical concerns about the bill caused it to stall, but work will continue on those points with the goal of trying again next year.

SB 227, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, made it through almost the entire process, but the session ended with one more step to go. We will certainly see this bill brought forward again.

Late in session, we included in one of our alerts HB 3, which could have potentially erected significant barriers to public assistance. Thanks to many calls of concern, HB 3 was never even given a hearing in committee.

There has already been a separate communication on this issue, but HB 205, Scholarship Tax Credits, also failed to pass this session. However, we witnessed more support than ever from legislative leadership and we hope to build on that momentum over the course of this year.

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Bishops Applaud Ruling on Ultrasound Law05 Apr

The Roman Catholic Bishops of Kentucky applaud Thursday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Beshear.


The statute in question was passed to ensure women have access to unbiased and medically sound information about abortion procedures and the unborn child in the womb before making an irreversible decision to have an abortion. The court held that this is a legitimate interest of the Commonwealth and that a doctor does not have a right to withhold such information.


HB 2, passed overwhelmingly during the 2017 session of the General Assembly and signed by the governor, requires that a woman seeking an abortion be given the opportunity to receive information about her pregnancy, including the chance to view an ultrasound image, hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, and receive other verbal information from the doctor if she desires it. The requirements regard what the doctor must make available. The woman has the right to refuse any or all of the offered information.


Given the devastating effect that abortion has on both the unborn child and often the mother who later regrets the abortion, it is vitally important that women have all of the information they need to make a decision that is as fully informed as possible. HB 2, when implemented, will ensure that all women have this essential information.


In addition to expressing our gratitude for this court decision, we also reiterate our appreciation to Kentucky policy makers for making the protection of children and women in vulnerable situations a top priority. We look forward to continuing to work with our elected officials to ensure access to information and also to necessary protections in the workplace, health care, education, and all that Kentuckians need to thrive and achieve their God-given potential.

A printable version of this statement may be found here.

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Bishops Statement on Recent Pro-Life Victories15 Mar

The Roman Catholic bishops of Kentucky applaud the Kentucky General Assembly for passing, in the 2019 Regular Session, a number of new laws that will provide legal protection for the unborn and support for pregnant women and new parents. Following the passage of a number of pro-life bills in recent sessions, such as protection for unborn children after the 20th week of pregnancy and strengthening of Kentucky’s informed consent law, these newly passed bills will further ensure that unborn children will be protected and pregnant women will receive the support they need.

We particularly applaud the passage of HB 148, which will ensure full protection for unborn children when Roe v Wade is overturned, and HB 5, which will help curb abortions performed for discriminatory reasons, such as the race, sex, or physical disability of the unborn child.

We also wish to acknowledge the progress made so far on SB 18, which would provide much-needed support for pregnant women and nursing mothers in the workforce. Being pro-life requires defense of both unborn children and their mothers. We urge the General Assembly to grant final passage to this important bill when they return later this month.

HB 115, which would abolish the death penalty, received a record number of cosponsors. We are encouraged by the growing support for ending capital punishment in our Commonwealth. 

We are proud to lead the Church in a state whose political leaders are so committed to the protection of unborn children. May we always stand for the dignity and defense of all life, born and unborn.

A printable version of this statement may be found here.

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Legislative Update – Four Days Left!08 Mar

Only four legislative days remain in the 2019 Kentucky General Assembly Regular Session. Please take a few moments to contact your state Representative and Senator by following the instructions below or by calling 1-800-372-7181.

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Two bills of interest to CCK are still alive but need further action to ensure passage.

HB 205 – Scholarship Tax Credits – House Bill 205 has received two readings in the House, and could therefore be voted on at any time, but as yet has not been sent to the floor for a vote. Hundreds of supporters have contacted their legislators asking them to pass the bill. However, we still have more to do.  If you have not already, please take a couple of minutes of your time to call your state representative and leave them a message in support of House Bill 205. You may call at the number below, or, if you prefer email, you can click HERE and send an email to your state representative based on your address. We also need to reach out to senators, since both the Senate and House will be involved in any efforts in the closing days to pass HB 205. You may click HERE to send a message to your state senator. If you have already contacted your state representative or senator, please support this effort by encouraging three friends or family members to contact their state representatives.  Every single call or email makes a difference. 

SB 18 – Pregnant Workers Act – This bill has passed the Senate and is expected to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. If passed, it would establish clear rules for accommodations that should be made for pregnant employees in the workplace. This is both a workers rights issue as well as a pro-life issue. Economic anxiety is a significant factor in decisions to seek an abortion. A vote next week in the House will be the final step before the bill goes to the governor’s desk. Please call and leave a message for your state representative and ask them to support SB 18.

Other bills of interest are at various points in the process. Here are some highlights.

HB 148 – Would prohibit non-medically necessary abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned – Several states have passed bills in recent years to establish what their state law would be in the event Roe is overturned. Most recently, New York passed a very pro-abortion statute. HB 148 would align Kentucky with a number of other pro-life states, providing the unborn with significant legal protection automatically after a decision by the Supreme Court. This bill is currently on the Senate floor, where it is expected to be passed next week. It will then be sent to the governor, who is expected to sign it.

HB 5 – Would prohibit an abortion from being performed because of the child’s race, gender, or disability. Like HB 148, HB 5 has progressed almost all the way through the process and is expected to be sent to the governor’s desk after final passage by the Senate next week.

SB 9 – Would require a doctor, prior to an abortion, to determine if there is a fetal heartbeat and, if so, would prohibit the abortion from being performed. A final vote on the House floor is all that is needed for final passage of SB 9. That is also expected to happen next week.

SB 17 – Prevent executions of people with severe mental illness – This bill has already been reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could receive a vote on the Senate floor at any point this week. If passed, defendants with a diagnosed severe mental illness at the time of their offense would not be eligible to receive the death penalty. The fact that people with mental illness can be executed in Kentucky was one of the flaws in our death penalty system identified by the American Bar Association’s Assessment Team in 2011. Unfortunately, though SB 17 was reported favorably by the Senate Judiciary Committee, it has not progressed further through the process and is therefore not likely to pass this session.

HB 115 – Abolition of the death penalty – This year’s abolition bill has received a record number of co-sponsors! Click on the bill number to see if your state representative has co-sponsored this bill. While we did not see HB 115 advance through the legislative process this session, we do see a growing number of legislators from both parties publicly taking a stand on this issue. That bodes very well for the future.

HB 3 – Would erect numerous unreasonable barriers to accessing public assistance. These proposals have arisen before and will likely arise again. You an access a brief overview of the bill HERE. Fortunately, the General Assembly has taken no action on HB 3 and therefore it is dead for this session.

Call 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for your representative or senator. The operator will help you get the message to the right representative or senator based on your home address.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to Faithful Citizenship!  

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Take Action on Educational Choice!05 Feb

House Majority Floor Leader Bam Carney recently filed House Bill 205 which would create a Scholarship Tax Credit program in Kentucky. It would help ensure that students, regardless of their financial situation, have the opportunity to obtain the education they deserve at a school that best meets their needs. House Bill 205 would dramatically increase tuition assistance available to families who want to send their student to a Kentucky K-12 non-public school, including Catholic and other faith based schools.

We need your help to make sure that it passes!  Please call your state representative at 1-800-372-7181 and ask them to support and pass House Bill 205. The operator will help you get the message to the right representative. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the call. 

If you prefer email, you can use the link below to ask your state representative to support and pass House Bill 205.  It will connect you with the correct representative based on your address. 

Take Action on Educational Choice!

Thank you for your support of Kentucky families!

Latest news

2019 Session Wrap-up
With the governor’s signing and vetoing of several bills earlier this week, the 2019 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly has come to an end. To all of those who took the time to call and email your representatives and senators, made visits to legislators, attended Catholics @ the Capitol events, and remembered the […]

Bishops Applaud Ruling on Ultrasound Law
The Roman Catholic Bishops of Kentucky applaud Thursday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Beshear. The statute in question was passed to ensure women have access to unbiased and medically sound information about abortion procedures and the unborn child in the womb before making an […]

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