Lawmakers discuss Safer Kentucky Act, HB 5 now in Senate

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Its a measure that lawmakers designed to tackle crime at many levels in Kentucky.

“We feel very confident that we will see crime decrease as the deterrent effect takes place,” says Rep. Jared Bauman a sponsor of the bill.

Essentially the bill would target persistently violent felony offenders, require life without probation or parole, while also combating street camping.

“Some of the changes that you saw on the amendment had to do with violent offenses, and ensuring that we modernize that violent offender statute to include things like strangulation, burglary, things of that nature to that violent offender statute. The street camping provision to include sleeping in your car,” added Bauman.

And while the measure passed the house, not all were on board with the way it is written.

“We’re going to waste our law enforcement time with issuing citations to people who can’t afford to pay them,” added Representative Chad Aull, who says targeting the most vulnerable will only lead to more problems.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bauman says, “there’s just the different and philosophy and the the liberal social justice philosophies have proven not to work the the soft on crime, anti law enforcement approach has not worked.”

Rep. Bauman says violent criminals need to be held accountable.

“I think the penalties are commensurate with the offenses. So when you talk about life in prison for someone that commits three violent felonies, these are very serious, heinous acts. And these people do not need to be in our communities, if they’re going to continually demonstrate these behaviors. We’re talking about rape, attempted murder, murder, arson, burglary,” he adds.

While Rep. Aull says the root of the cause of the problem is not being addressed.

“With this piece of legislation, we’re addressing the symptoms, and not the root causes,” said Aull.

Others are concerned with the cost to taxpayers.

“We should not be passing legislation as legislators in Frankfort when we don’t know the costs it could have on the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” added Aull.

“The cost of crime on the state, far outweighs the cost that would be associated with this measure,” says Bauman.

The bill is currently in the Senate, awaiting its fate.

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