House Bill 18 passes. What’s next for source of income discrimination in Lexington?


House Bill 18 has passed the Kentucky State Senate and House of Representatives last Tuesday. Sponsored by Representative Ryan Dotson, this bill will prohibit local governments from enforcing source of income discrimination bans that prevent landlords from refusing to rent to tenants participating in any federal housing assistance program. This means that Lexington’s recently adopted source of income discrimination ban ordinance will be mostly unenforceable.

Governor Beshear will have until this Saturday, March 9th, to sign or veto the bill.

  • If Governor Beshear vetoes it, each Chamber of the Legislature will have to vote to override his veto.

  • A veto override vote could happen at any point between March 11th and April 15th, the final day of the Legislative Session.

When HB 18 is enacted into law — whether Governor Beshear signs it, or his veto is overridden — it will take effect immediately. Lexington’s source of income discrimination ban ordinance became effective on Friday, March 1st.

In last Tuesday’s Work Session, Dave Barbery of the Department of Law told Council that Law’s advice to the Human Rights Commission — who is charged with enforcing the source of income discrimination ban — is to not enforce the ordinance at all, since it will likely be rendered unenforceable by the time they were able to penalize landlords who were not complying with the ordinance. The Department of Law will bring an amended version of Lexington’s ordinance to Council for consideration after HB 18 is enacted.

Lexington’s source of income discrimination ban does extend protections beyond Federal assistance programs. Income sources such as alimony, child support, and Social Security are protected under Lexington’s ordinance and are probably not impacted by HB 18. However, no information is currently available regarding how prevalent rental discrimination against these income sources is in Lexington’s housing market.

Republished from CivicLex.

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