FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to expand an address confidentiality program intended to protect domestic violence victims from their abusers.
The measure cleared the House on a 96-0 vote and now goes to Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY). The action came at the start of a hectic last day of legislating before lawmakers conclude their 30-day session.
The bill would build on a limited, little-used program that now can shield victims’ home addresses from voter rolls. Under the bill, the program would be expanded to mask their addresses on other publicly available government records.
Republican Sen. Julie Raque Adams (Louisville), the bill’s lead sponsor, has said the proposal would offer protections for victims of domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. The bill’s supporters have noted that Kentucky is plagued by one of the nation’s highest rates of domestic violence.
The bill’s supporters include Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams (R). He urged the governor to sign the measure, saying it would provide “critical protections to victims of domestic violence.”
The Secretary of State’s office runs Kentucky’s address confidentiality program related to voter rolls and it would administer the expanded program.
The measure — Senate Bill 79 — is intended to expand the program’s accessibility.
Currently, victims getting court-issued protective orders can have their addresses hidden when registering to vote. However, many victims don’t get those orders. The bill would allow victims who sign a sworn statement to have their addresses shielded from the broader list of records.