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Grimes Formally Receives New Law to Aid Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Kentuckians

Apr 3, 2017

Credit Kentucky.org

Joining advocates and lawmakers from across Kentucky, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes formally recorded a new law that will help aid communication between more than 700,000 deaf and hard of hearing Kentuckians and law enforcement. Gov. Matt Bevin signed Senate Bill 189 into law last week.

"Today is a day which shows what good governing can do," said Grimes. "Citizens saw a need. They came to Frankfort and they worked with lawmakers and advocates. Now, we have a law on the books that will help ensure the safety of 700,000 Kentuckians. I am grateful to have played a part in shaping this law and so thankful for its many advocates."

Senate Bill 189 will allow deaf and hard of hearing persons to voluntarily indicate their status in the Kentucky vehicle registration system, allowing law enforcement officers to see the status during traffic stops.

Grimes worked with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Kentucky State Police, Protection and Advocacy, and other advocates to lobby for the bill before the General Assembly.

Robert D'Angelo, a deaf Kentuckian, met with Grimes and worked with her and her office to get the legislation through the General Assembly.

"Senate Bill 189 will change the landscape for many deaf and hard of hearing motorists in the Commonwealth," said D'Angelo when the bill became law. "It will foster a better understanding of communication needs while protecting and facilitating a strong relationship with police enforcement officers. I was pleased to see our legislature reach a bi-partisan unanimous vote for Senate Bill 189's passage. This would not be possible without Secretary Grimes and her staff, director of the Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virginia Moore, and Sens. Buford, Girdler, Turner, Neal, Smith."

"This bill helps everyone and proves what we can do when we all work together in a bipartisan fashion," said Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville), the legislation's primary sponsor.

"I was proud to be part of this effort," said Sen. Gerald Neal (D-Louisville), a co-sponsor. "Senate Bill 189 not only was the right thing to do, but it opens the door to other things we can do to benefit Kentucky's deaf and hard of hearing community."

Sens. Johnny Ray Turner (D-Prestonsburg) and Rick Girdler (R-Somerset), Rep. Al Gentry (D-Louisville), commissioner of the Kentucky State Police Richard Sanders, and Amy Hatzel, chair of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, joined Grimes in the ceremony.

The law will take effect 90 days after the General Assembly adjourns.

Story provided by: Kentucky.org