Ex-Wildcat basketball star comes to Capitol to boost longshot bi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ex-Wildcat basketball star comes to Capitol to boost longshot bill

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- He specialized in making long shots. Now, a basketball legend is giving a boost to a longshot bill.

Supporters of a bill that would clear the records of some ex-felons brought the famous face to the Capitol to plead their case.

Big Blue Nation knows Cameron Mills as a key part of UK's 1998 championship basketball team.

Now, he's a minister preaching to the Senate Judiciary committee.

“I hope the Bible's clear description of hope, leads you to strongly support the legislation before you today,” Mills told lawmakers.

Mills supports a bill that would expunge the records of some ex-cons who have served time for non-violent and non-sexual offenses.

“Without the chance to move on, to start over, to have a second chance, they despair. And more often than not, despair is what brought them to their criminal decision in the first place,” said Mills.

The bill has already passed the House, but the Senate version is much different.

It covers fewer felony offenses, requires a 5-year waiting period, and a court hearing.

“Those records would then be expunged. You can't have anything pending at that time. You only get one bite at this apple,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville), the chairman of the committee.

But some senators want a 10-year waiting period, and are concerned about the public's right to know.

“Do you think you have a right to know if a person who's coming in to clean your house, to be in your personal space, is a convicted felon,” asked Sen. John Schickel (R-Union).

But despite concerns, the bill passed 10-1, with Schickel as the only “no” vote.

“Everyone's in support of this, we just have to find the right way to pass the right bill,” Mills told WDRB News after the vote.

The sponsor of the House version says he's encouraged, despite the Senate changes.

“I've been carrying this for 4 or 5 years, and we've never had a hearing. We had a hearing in there today. And there were people that, in my view, expressed support for this concept. I got to feel good about that,” said Rep. Darryl Owens (D-Louisville).

 If the bill clears the full Senate, then House and Senate negotiators will try to find a compromise on which both chambers can agree.

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