FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky lawmakers will consider a spate
of domestic violence bills after one of their former colleagues was
charged in the high-profile killing of an ex-girlfriend.
The legislative session will focus mainly on the state's
financial woes, but legislators will also consider multiple
proposals to protect domestic violence victims. One bill requires
people named in emergency protective orders to wear ankle monitors.
Another calls for more jail time for convicted stalkers.
Women's advocates were at the Capitol on Tuesday to be sure the
legislation isn't overlooked.
State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, said she hopes the bills
can move quickly through the legislature and be signed into law by
"This is a very, very serious situation," Stein said.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo has been pushing for the ankle
monitors since last year's shooting death of Lexington resident
Amanda Ross. Her ex-fiance, state lawmaker Steve Nunn, was charged
with murder, and has entered a not guilty plea.
After the breakup of their engagement, Ross had obtained the
domestic violence protective order.
Stumbo's chief of staff, Pierce Whites, said Tuesday that
placing an ankle monitor on someone who poses a domestic violence
threat could alert a potential victim of imminent danger. Tracking
devices would send a signal when the person wearing the monitor
gets too close.
Lawmakers were scheduled to convene at noon Tuesday for the
start of the 2010 legislative session.
Lingering financial problems promise to be the overriding issue
for the General Assembly, which will meet through mid-April.
Kentucky faces a $1.5 billion shortfall during the next two
years. Gov. Steve Beshear and other political leaders have ruled
out broad-based tax increases, leaving expanded gambling as one
potential way to generate money for state coffers.
That proposal would require legalizing video slot machines so
that they could be placed at horse tracks. But it faces staunch
opposition and failed to garner enough support to pass last year.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)