The Kentucky Senate has added emergency first responders to the list of protected groups when it comes to hate crimes with a as 33 to 5 vote after much debate on the Senate floor Tuesday.
If enacted into law, the measure would give sentencing judges the authority to cite hate as the primary factor in denying probation for attacks against police, firefighters, or emergency medical technicians. Taylor Mill Senator Chris McDaniel said public safety workers should join those who are protected based on such factors as religion, race, or sexual orientation.
“When you commit those same crimes against somebody because before they go to work they put a badge on and they put a gun belt around their waist. That’s hate,” he said.
Casting a "no" vote was Louisville Senator Gerald Neal. He said it’s important to promote what pulls people together at the base level.
“We must step forward together against hate,” he said.
The bill now goes to the governor for his consideration.