Bill that would reclassify some non-violent offenses passes Ky. House

Lawmakers say it will reduce corrections costs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky House has passed a bill that would reclassify some non-violent felony offenses as misdemeanors in an effort to reduce corrections costs.

The measure would create a new misdemeanor category -- gross misdemeanor -- that would include some low-level offenses now classified as felonies. It would apply to such offenses as flagrant non-support, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and second-degree forgery.

High-level misdemeanors carry up to 12 months in jail, while Class D felony offenses result in one to five years in prison. Supporters say the bill could save the state about $20 million.

The bill's lead sponsor is Democratic Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville. The measure passed the House on a 65-30 vote Friday and goes to the Senate.

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