Safer working conditions for Kentucky’s social workers won unanimous approval in the State House today, Thursday, March 1, 2007.
The Boni Bill was proposed and named after Boni Frederick, a social worker who was killed when responding to a home visit last year.
The bill would provide more than $4 million to create 15 visitation centers and hire an additional 76 social workers and 33 aides.
The visitation centers would be considered safe zones for workers who have to meet with parents who for some reason don’t have custody of their kids.
The bill also creates a task force that will study further changes to the social worker system. The task force will present suggestions to the General Assembly next year. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Governor Fletcher commended the House for the bills passage today. He said the actions taken are a step in the right direction.
Meanwhile, the State House has also voted to restore projects that were vetoed by the governor last year.
House Bill One is sponsored by House Speaker Jody Richards of Bowling Green. The majority of the projects will take place on college campuses like Western Kentucky University.
Western’s renovations to academic buildings on campus previously vetoed by Fletcher would be reinstated. Funds were appropriated in the state’s current budget so no additional funding is required.
The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Also moving to the Senate for consideration, the House has approved a proposed Constitutional amendment that said non-violent felons would have their voting rights automatically restored.
Currently, felons may have their right to vote restored only through a partial pardon by the governor. Opponents have claimed Governor Fletcher’s policy on restoring felons’ voting rights is too stringent.
The proposed amendment would not be posed to Kentucky voters until the 2008 election. The restoration process for people convicted of violent crimes would remain the same. The proposal now moves to the Senate for consideration.