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Bill to Expand Kentucky's Hate Crimes Law Sent to Governor

Kentucky lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would expand the state's hate crimes law to include targeting police officers and other emergency responders.  The measure cleared the Senate Tuesday and now goes to Governor Matt Bevin. 

The bill applies to law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical crews.  It would make them a protected class under a law that currently applies to crimes motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation or national origin.

Under state law, an offender's hate crime status can be cited by judges in denying probation at sentencing or by a parole board in denying parole. 

Last year, Louisiana became the first state to expand its hate crime laws to protect police, firefighters and emergency medical crews.

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