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Conservative constitutional amendment fails in state Senate

State Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard

State Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard

Track the progress of key legislation on Kentucky.com’s new legislature page.

By Jack Brammer – jbrammer@herald-leader.com

FRANKFORT — A constitutional amendment that touches on an array of hot-button issues pushed by conservatives failed in the state Senate Monday after Democrats took a pass on the bill.

The measure, which backers called the “21st Century Bill of Rights,” would amend the Kentucky Constitution to say no law could force Kentuckians to participate in health insurance systems, provide abortion services or surrender their firearms. It also would ban laws that prevent posting the Ten Commandments and coal mining.

If approved by the legislature, voters would decide its fate at the polls in November.

Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, needed 23 votes for passage. All 20 Republicans in the Senate and its one independent, Bob Leeper of Paducah, voted for the measure, but the 16 Democrats present recorded “pass” votes. Sen. Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, was absent.

Senate Minority Leader Ed Worley, D-Richmond, said the bill was “a political ploy” by Republicans to attract more conservatives to the polls in hopes they would support Republican nominees.

But Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said Worley “is the person playing politics with the issue.”
Williams said a “pass vote is equivalent to a no vote on a constitutional amendment” and that he thought at least three Democrats would have voted for the bill.

To revive the bill, two Democrats who voted “pass” would have to ask the chamber to reconsider the issue.

Before Monday’s vote, the political parties met in separate caucuses to discuss the bill.

Afterward, Smith explained the explained the legislation, saying it was needed to protect “the great and essential liberties of government.”

There was no debate on the measure and no member explained his or her vote.

Filed Under: David WilliamsKY General Assembly

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Comments

  1. JACOB says:

    Elitists and Liberals are showing their colors in the Kentucky Senate. VOTE THEM OUT.

  2. Liz says:

    What is elitist about wanting to do away with mine safety protections and not protect our coal miners? That sounds pretty un-American to me.

  3. Liz says:

    I meant to say NOT do away with…It seems to me that this was a pretty extreme measure. I’m sure glad I will have the opportunity to vote against Brandon this fall.

  4. not_gov_steve says:

    What a stupid bill. This is NOT a conservative. This guy may have conservative sentiments, but a real conservative does not promote such a not-needed bill. We have the constitution and bill of rights; why would we need this piece of crap?

  5. What a crock... says:

    Look at that look on Brandon’s face…it seems to say, I wonder if Kentuckians are stupid enough to buy this crock of $3!t…well it’s clear conservatives are but progressive liberals are too smart to eat the $#!t that went along with this anti American bill.

    Go $cr#w yourselves conservatives

  6. Mike says:

    LOL Tell me this isn’t a joke. I’m surprised someone would even offer up such a ridiculous bill and then have 19 other people climb on board . These are the people we support with our tax money ? Pitiful . . .

  7. Dave says:

    This might be the most absurd piece of proposed legislation I’ve seen… and I remember the bill to buy a nuclear submarine and hunt gambling boats in the Kentucky River.

  8. daniel says:

    The Democrats are fearful of the voters this year. No doubt suffering from Pelosi and Obama..

  9. daniel says:

    What’s with that pictue of Smith. Is he posing for some girlie magazine?

  10. Phil says:

    What’s with all of the limp-wristed pinkos commenting on this article? You guys are a dying breed in Kentucky. But I’m sure that there’s a place for you in San Fran or Manhattan. Can I buy you a bus ticket?

  11. ted says:

    @Phil, Yes please! I’d love to get out of this hell-hole. All y’all scare the little baby jesus out of me.

  12. Paul says:

    The republicans voted for this stupid piece of “legislation” only because bully Williams told them to. The Democrats should have all voted no but probably didn’t because Williams would try to use it as a club by telling voters they voted against mother and warm apple pie. Smart move in some ways, though it looks like Williams is already trying to make some political hay out of it. I really wish these guys would do something that would truely benefit the citizens instead of doing things that amount to choosing the state dog!

  13. Ricky says:

    This just shows where Williams head is and it isn’t on making Kentucky better; it is preaching from the government pulpit. Talk about abuse of position and waste of tax payer dollars!

    This is pathetic!

  14. Floyd DeBarber says:

    What a thoughtful looking goober Brandon Smith is. Vanity shots..they’re not just for teen age girls anymore.

  15. Big Ben 4 liberty says:

    Wow, the Democrats didn’t even have the balls to vote no. Just like when Obama was in the IL state senate. Just vote present and then go into childish political rants when the other side is offering real issues of substance that threaten your power base.

    In fact many of the previous comments are typical of this mentality.

  16. Buck Feshear says:

    not_gov_steve | Jan 25, 2010 | Reply
    What a stupid bill. This is NOT a conservative. This guy may have conservative sentiments, but a real conservative does not promote such a not-needed bill. We have the constitution and bill of rights; why would we need this piece of crap?

    Well, when the feds and the Congress have shown that they have no qualms whatsoever about defecating all over the Constitution, someone needs to stand up for the Bill of Rights.

  17. Dan says:

    When I read the article my first thought was that these Republicans legislators must think that the average KY voter is retarded. When I read the comments from JACOB, daniel, and Phil it is clear to me that they know their constituency.

  18. Michelle Nicholson says:

    We have real problems in Kentucky, and these morons are taking up time to do this? Seriously? I read through the bill, and am convinced that all the “mom and apple pie” BS is wrapped around protection for the coal industry.

    When did stupidity become partisan?

  19. [...] Conservative constitutional amendment fails in state Senate 25 Jan 2010. FRANKFORT — A constitutional amendment that touches on an array. What’s with that pictue of Smith. Is he posing for some girlie magazine? Conservative constitutional amendment fails in state Senate [...]