FRANKFORT, Ky. — A bill that would give indirect subpoena power to citizen review boards in Louisville has passed the Kentucky House. 

What You Need To Know

  • House Bill 309 passed on Wednesday

  • The measure gives indirect subpoena power to citizen review boards in Louisville

  • Under the bill, the LMPD civilian review board would have to go through a Metro Council committee to enact a subpoena

  • Most House Democrats voted against the measure

Rep. Jerry Miller (R - Eastwood) sponsored House Bill 309. 

"The entire state and nation watched as our city experienced a crisis," he said on the House floor Wednesday.

After months of protests that followed the police killing of Breonna Taylor, the Louisville Metro Council established a citizens review and accountability board.

Under House Bill 309, the board would have subpoena power through a request of a Metro Council committee. 

"The citizens review board can then do what they need to do to hold our police officers and our officials accountable and to improve the system," said Rep. Jason Nemes (R - Louisville).

The bill would also reduce the mayor’s term limits from three terms to two and allow Metro Council to approve settlements over $1 million. 

An earlier version of the bill would have made the Louisville mayor’s races nonpartisan — something some Democrats objected to.

“This is nondemocratic," Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D - Louisville) said in a committee meeting last week. "It’s a power grab from Frankfort. It’s what people hate about government.”

But even with that part of the bill removed, most Democrats voted against the bill Wednesday.

"I think there are a lot of things in this bill that need to be decided on a local level and I am not going to support the bill today," said House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Joni Jenkins (D - Shively). 

A similar bill is making its way through the Senate. It would give the citizen review boards subpoena power through an inspector general after approval by a judge.