Frankfort lawmakers consider bill to regulate names placed on state buildings or roads
If passed, the bill would prohibit any road, bridge, building or program from being named after a living politician or state worker.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lawmakers in Frankfort are considering new rules that would limit whose name could be placed on state buildings or roads.
A sign grabs more attention when it has special meaning to the reader. That's a feeling Penny Mills knows all-too-well. In 2014, she was named Kentucky School Psychologist of the year -- and lawmakers dedicated part of State Road 1230, near Watson Lane Elementary School -- in her honor.
"The sign being there was really neat to see," Mills said. "You know, seeing your name on a great big sign when you are driving through."
Mills works on the Jefferson County Public Schools crisis response team, which most recently traveled to Marshall County after a mass school shooting.
"It was unlike any other experience I've ever had," Mills said. "It was tough."
But Senate Bill 72 would throttle this honor for any future living recipients, stopping any road, bridge, building or program from being named after a living politician or state worker.
"But if someone has a great record of public service and they have passed away, and you choose to name something after them because of their service, I see nothing wrong with that," said Senator C.B. Embry, (R-District 6).
For Embry and his five Republican co-sponsors, this bill is a sign of the times.
"You know, all across the nation, from entertainment to officials and sports personalities, there are many charges of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct against very prominent people, so that is probably what prompted it," Embry said.
Universities would be exempt.
No signs would have to come down. If passed, the law would only impact future naming.
"I think it would be unfortunate in a way because it does bring attention," said Mills. "So for me, it helped me to advocate in my role and the work I do."
The measure cleared the Senate with ease, with a vote of 35-3. It has been sent to the Kentucky House for consideration.
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