Among them was a directive to reverse an order issued by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, which restored voting rights to felons. Bevin’s order strips the new rights from roughly 140,000 former felons who are “overwhelmingly African American and lower income,” according to reports.
Kentucky, once again, is among only three states in the nation, along with Florida and Iowa, which permanently bars citizens with past convictions from voting.
Bevin also rolled back Beshear’s June 8 executive order which raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for state workers and contractors—a move that Kenny Colston with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy said was a “step backward for many hard working Kentuckians who have seen their wages remain flat despite a growing economy.”
In his executive order, Bevin echoed other conservative arguments against the minimum wage, writing: “The minimum wage stifles job creation and disproportionately impacts lower skilled workers seeking entry-level jobs…Wage rates ideally would be established by the demands of the labor market instead of being set by the government.”
In addition to these measures, Bevin also placed a freeze on hiring for all unoccupied state government positions and abolished a system that extended some collectively bargaining power to state employees.
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