Amanda's Bill receives final passage in House, goes to governor for consideration

Amanda's Bill receives final passage in House, goes to governor for consideration

Amanda's Bill receives final passage in House, goes to governor for consideration


by Associated Press

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 14 at 10:53 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- People who violate domestic violence orders could be required to wear ankle monitors under legislation that received final passage Wednesday night in the Kentucky General Assembly.

House lawmakers voted 100-0 on Amanda's Bill, a measure that would allow authorities to keep electronic tabs on domestic abusers in the most volatile cases. It now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear for consideration.

Beshear had called for lawmakers to pass such a measure in his State of the Commonwealth address in January, and he is expected to sign it into law.

"This bill has been refined right up to the last minute to make sure we have the best possible tool for judges to use in these cases," House Speaker Greg Stumbo said.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said the legislation, which passed the Senate earlier Wednesday, would prove to be one of the landmark achievements of this year's legislative session.

The bill is named after Amanda Ross, who was gunned down outside her Lexington home last year. Former state Rep. Steve Nunn has been charged with killing her and has entered a not guilty plea. After the breakup of their engagement, Ross had obtained a domestic violence protective order.

Nunn was one of the most recognized men in Kentucky politics -- as the son of a former Kentucky governor and a one-time Republican gubernatorial candidate himself.

Police and prosecutors allege that Nunn ambushed Ross outside her Lexington home last September. Ross' family pushed for passage of the legislation.

House and Senate negotiators hammered out an agreement on the bill over the past week.

The legislation is aimed at protecting domestic violence victims in part by attaching GPS monitors to suspected abusers. Under the final version, judges could order the electronic tracking devices for people who violated domestic violence orders. The original version would have allowed judges to order ankle monitors for anyone named in a domestic violence order.

Family spokesman Dale Emmons said the bill will help save lives.

"We would have liked to have done more, but we recognize there are a lot of different perspectives on this matter," Emmons said. "Even this is a significant step forward."

Ross' mother, Diana Ross, had personally lobbied for the measure, as did other relatives.

Stumbo said he's happy with the final version.

"I think overall it will give more protection to people in those unfortunate situations," he told reporters.


The legislation is House Bill 1.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)