Thursday, January 21, 2016

Address protection bill heads to Senate

A bill to make it easier for potential victims of abuse to get a substitute legal address unknown to their abusers has passed the Kentucky House.

House Bill 59, sponsored by House Health and Welfare Committee Chair Tom Burch, D-Louisville, would allow potential victims of domestic violence and others to apply for a substitute address under the state’s address protection program without first obtaining a domestic violence order. A sworn statement would suffice for program eligibility.

Those who qualify for a substitute address would be issued a residency letter, document or card “to offer as proof that he or she actually resides in a specific county,” HB 59 states.  The address could be used on driver’s licenses and state-issued personal ID cards and would not interfere with a potential victim’s ability to vote.

“I got the bill from the state of Colorado. I went out there and witnessed first-hand how it was adopted and how they used it,” said Burch.

“It worked very well, and I thought it would work well here in Kentucky.”

The address protection program was established to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse, stalking and related crimes under a 2013 Kentucky law.

HB 59 passed by a vote of 94-0 now goes to the Senate for consideration.