Kentucky Republican lawmakers used their new supermajorities in the state legislature this weekend to pass what Governor Matt Bevin calls “generationally changing bills” on abortion and labor unions.
Hundreds of protestors crowded outside the Capitol building Saturday as lawmakers passed two harsh measures on abortion and three bills affecting labor unions and prevailing wage rates for construction workers.
Approved by the senate with a vote of 32-5, House Bill 2 forces any woman seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound (giving her the opportunity to hear the infant’s heartbeat).
Senate Bill 5, approved by the house with a vote of 79-15, bans abortions after 20 weeks unless the woman’s life is in danger. The law does not make exceptions for incest or rape.
Lawmakers attacked labor unions with a bill that makes it illegal for any employer to require workers to join a union or pay union dues. They also repealed the state’s prevailing wage law and banned union dues from being used in political donations.
Critics complain the new changes will weaken labor unions and dilute their bargaining power. Supporters believe the bills will attract jobs.
“We are going to try to create an environment that creates jobs that help Kentucky families,” said Republican Senate President Robert Stivers.
Democrats are alarmed with the unprecedented pace set by the GOP-controlled legislature, but Stivers says it’s a “signal that Kentucky is going to do differently than it has in the past.”
All bills passed on Saturday will go into effect this Monday (January 9th).
Editor's note: I happy to see my home state is not wasting any time. Conservatives have been beat up around the nation for far too long.