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Kentuckians For The Commonwealth Present "Shared Vision For Kentucky" At Capitol

Josh James

A Kentuckians for the Commonwealth rally drew visitors into the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday afternoon with calls for minimum wage hikes, a statewide anti-discrimination law protecting LGBT Kentuckians, clean energy initiatives, and the restoration of voting rights for non-violent former felons who have served their sentences.

"Here our voices! We have vision!" the tightly packed rally-goers chanted.

Voting rights advocates had applauded outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear's executive order opening up the ballot box to many former inmates, but the move was reversed by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin - who says the issue deserves a more permanent legislative solution. KFTC chair Dana Beasley Brown told WUKY the momentum is on her group's side.

"It's such a common sense thing, right? We live in a democracy and it only works when the citizens can participate. And we're finding that more and more people are embracing that that really is the right step for Kentucky," she said.

Telling the audience she's only able to "stand up and give this speech today" because of the state's health insurance exchange set up under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act, Brown lambasted Gov. Matt Bevin's plans to dismantle the system and shuttle applicants onto the federal HealthCare.gov exchange.

"Gov. Bevin said he wants to build something here that is a national model," she said. "We already built it. It's called Kynect."

Bevin has dubbed the exchange created by Beshear "redundant."

Brown says KFTC held their rally early in the session to share the organization's broad "shared vision" for the state and track their progress throughout the session.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.