Ky. Senate Bill Would Allow Terrorism Victims To Sue
A Kentucky lawmaker wants the state to take what he calls a "proactive approach" should terrorists strike in the commonwealth.
While it was a fictional terrorist attack that’s put Kentucky in the news as of late, Campbellsville Republican Max Wise says the growing threat of domestic attacks warrants tougher state penalties for convicted terrorists. His bill - SB186 - creates a new section of the Kentucky Revised Statutes establishing terrorism as a capital offense and preventing convicted offenders from being released early.
Wise points to last June's Orlando nightclub attack and failed Florida legislation that would have permitted victims to sue, something his bill would also allow.
"We need to make sure at the state level we also have ways for those families and those victims to seek damages and not just at the federal level because so much at the federal level you can't seek recourse as quick as we would hope that they could do on the state and local level," he tells WUKY.
The bill sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not without some pushback. Grayson Democrat Robin Webb worried aloud about the bill's broad definition of terrorism.
"I think we could see unintended consequences and I would feel more comfortable leaving this in the hands of the federal government at this time," she told colleagues.
SB186 defines terrorism as violent or dangerous violations of state or federal law that appear geared toward intimidating or coercing a civilian population, influencing government policy, or affecting the conduct of government by mass destruction.
The measure now awaits action in the Senate.