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Tell the Kentucky GOP:

Stop Supporting Bills that Hurt Working Families

Under the leadership of Governor Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, Democrats in the Kentucky General Assembly worked tirelessly this legislative session to build on the incredible economic momentum created by the Beshear-Coleman administration, to find solutions that create a better future for every Kentucky family, and to secure a budget that addresses Kentuckians’ needs.

Unfortunately, Republicans had a different agenda. They stood in the way of positive policy and progress and pursued an out-of-touch, cruel agenda that inflicts harm on communities across our Commonwealth.

Passing a Budget that Hurts KY’s Working Families

Republicans in the General Assembly passed HB 1, a budget that moves Kentucky backward and leaves working families behind. 

The KY GOP opposed Governor Beshear’s proposals for universal pre-K — which would have helped parents, kids and child care businesses across the Commonwealth — and an across-the-board raise for the teachers, school custodians, and nurses who support students. Republicans even removed a sales tax exemption for diapers from the budget, but added a sales tax exemption for gold.

It is clear that the Kentucky GOP cares more about helping rich people make money than helping working families get by.

Pitting Kentuckians Against One Another

Instead of proposing real solutions to the problems that Kentuckians care about, Republicans in the General Assembly introduced SB 6, legislation that would have gutted diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at universities in our state. All this bill would have done is pit Kentuckians against one another and made it harder for students to feel comfortable in the classroom. 

It would also have made our state’s universities less competitive on the national stage and made our Commonwealth less attractive for new businesses. This was such a bad piece of legislation that the GOP majority couldn’t even find the votes to get it passed. 

Diversity is an asset — it is not a liability. 

Infringing on Women’s Freedoms

This legislative session, Republicans continued a never-ending onslaught against reproductive freedoms. They opposed a measure that would add rape and incest exceptions to Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban. They inserted extreme language into a bipartisan maternal health bill, which was later removed because Democrats fought back.  

And — in the aftermath of a horrendous Alabama Supreme Court ruling — they did nothing to fully protect IVF, which has helped countless Kentuckians start new families. 

Let’s be clear: KY politicians should have zero say in your own private reproductive health decisions. 

Making it Harder to Find a Home

Every Kentuckian should be able to have a safe place they can call home. Unfortunately, Kentucky Republicans don’t seem to agree and passed HB 18, a bill that prevents cities from enforcing anti-discrimination housing ordinances. 

Overriding a veto from Gov. Andy Beshear, the GOP gave landlords a greenlight to turn away tenants who rely on federal assistance to pay rent — including our veterans and seniors. Despite making it harder for Kentuckians to find safe and affordable housing, the Kentucky GOP added insult to injury, doubling down by failing to provide adequate funding for affordable housing in this year’s budget bill. 

Republicans are all about “local control,” unless it involves families putting roofs over their heads. 

Using your Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Private Schools

Kentucky’s public schools are the cornerstone of our communities, investing not only in our children’s future, but also serving as some of the largest employers in our Commonwealth. But instead of supporting public schools, Kentucky Republicans passed HB 2, a bill that would send taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private schools.  

Sixty percent of Kentucky counties lack certified private schools, and more than 20 Kentucky counties count public education as their largest employer. This means that funding and jobs would be stripped away in largely rural communities, subsidizing private schools in big cities.

Also included in HB 2? A provision that would remove the legislature’s duty to fund public education altogether. The GOP not only wants to send your hard-earned taxpayer dollars to private schools — they want to be able to defund K-12 public education as a whole.

This November, Kentuckians will send a clear message: no public money for private schools.  

Putting Kids in Danger

During the legislative session, Kentucky Republicans introduced HB 255, a measure that would reverse child labor laws meant to prevent kids from being exploited. Who was this legislation in the best interest of? It sure wasn’t Kentucky’s children.

By allowing children to work longer hours and removing GPA requirements, Kentucky Republicans aren’t encouraging them to succeed. They are setting them up for failure. 

Our legislature should be passing bills that keep our kids safe — not put them in danger.

Forcing Families to go Hungry

Too many families across Kentucky already find it hard enough as is to put food on the table. Instead of addressing this hardship, Kentucky Republicans introduced HB 367, legislation that would rip food directly out of their hands by kicking families off SNAP. 588,000 Kentuckians — including 256,000 children — depend on SNAP for survival. 

Introducing a bill that forces families to go without a meal isn’t just bad politics. It’s also plain wrong. 

Criminalizing Homelessness

Homeless Kentuckians are already struggling to get by enough as is, yet Republicans in the General Assembly were eager to pass a bill that makes their lives even harder. HB 5 criminalized homelessness. 

This new law is downright cruel — even by the Kentucky GOP’s standards. 

Not only does it hurt vulnerable Kentuckians, but it also increases Kentucky’s prison population without any means of additional funding, putting an unnecessary strain on state prisons and county jails across the Commonwealth. This bill, coupled with HB 18, allowing landlords to discriminate against Kentuckians who rely on housing vouchers, illustrates just how unsympathetic the GOP really is.

Attacking Kentucky’s Workers

All of us know that Kentucky wouldn’t be able to run without the hard-working men and women who power its economy. It’s why laws are in place to safeguard their basic rights. 

But these protections are under attack from Kentucky Republicans, who introduced HB 500, a bill that would remove workers’ rights to lunch breaks and overtime pay.  This means that hardworking Kentuckians — everyone from a nurse working a 12-hour shift to a construction worker pouring concrete in the summer heat — would have no right to stop and take a break. 

Working Kentuckians deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. This bill would have done neither.