Tweeting the Session: House Panel airs out concerns over Senate immigration bill's cost

02/02/2011 01:27 PM

The House Local Government Committee took up the issue of how much the Senate’s proposed bill immigration-related bill will cost the state.

Sen. John Schickel, a Republican from Union, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 6, which would allow Kentucky law enforcement agents to check the immigration status of individuals and arrest them if they are found to be in the country illegally. The bill is similar to the controversial law passed last year in Arizona.

The Legislative Research Commission review of the estimated costs said implementing the bill would require a net increase of $40 million to cover court, prison and jail expenses because of the bill.

Several Democrats, including the committee’s chairman Rep. Steve Riggs and Rep. Jim Wayne of Louisville, expressed concerns. House Democrats are pushing an immigration bill that would allow Kentucky businesses to have access to an online databased called E-Verify to check whether their employees or prospective employees are in the country legally.

cn|2’s Kenny Colston was in the committee room and tweeted the developments: (To follow legislative developments and other political happenings via Twitter, follow mycn2)

1:53 p.m. — Committee meeting over. Schickel ends by complaining about not having citizens speak.

1:45 p.m. — Head Start spokesman says immigration bill would subject staff to arrest for transporting children who are illegal immigrants.

1:32 p.m. — Schickel: immigration bill is not a mandate. Just “another tool in the toolbox.”

1:30 p.m. — Sen. Schickel says he’s talked to U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron, and both Ky. U.S. Senators to urge them to pass federal immigration law.

1:26 p.m. — Magistrates Assoc. says immigration bill could raise costs so much that local govts wouldnt be able to make bond payments.

1:17 p.m. — Rep. Wayne asks if state would tackle another federal issue and incur costs of enforcing federal immigration laws.

1:13 p.m. — Sen. Schickel, on immigration bill: “I knew it would upset the apple cart.”

1:12 p.m. — Rep. Wayne points out LRC report that says immigration bill will cost $40 million. Sen. Schickel says cost is indeterminable.

1:11 p.m. — Committee members debating how much cost of immigration would really be. Rep. Lee points out federal reimbursement for holding illegal immigrants

12: 56 p.m. — Jailers Association spokesman says costs up in the air, preparedness unknown as well, if arrests based on free will.

12:55 p.m. — Jailers Association spokesman says cost of housing more inmates in local jails is a concern. Dont know how long it will take ICE to pic

12:50 p.m. — Rep. Riggs, chair of the committee, defended the E-Verify system that Sen. Schickel discredited.

12:47 p.m. — Schickel says costs of not adopting immigration bill largely outweigh cost of passing the bill.

12:46 p.m. — Schickel says immigration bill says it has nothing to do with the Head Start program. Says that criticism was politics. (Rep. Mike Harmon, a Boyle County Republican and lieutenant governor candidate, raised that question in an interview with cn|2 Politics on Friday).

12:43 p.m. — Schickel says arresting illegal immigrants is up to local police. Bill doesnt require them to arrest, he says. Could just alert ICE instead.

12:42 p.m. — Schickel says immigration bill will save money because it will be a deterrent. Critics disagree, which Schickel acknowledges.

12:40 p.m. — Republican Sen. John Schickel, sponsor of SB6 defending the bill. Says it isn’t new law. Says House e-verify proposal isnt enough.

12:31 p.m. — House local govt committee going through House business and bills before getting to discussion on sb6-immigration.

12:02 p.m. — Packed committee room for House Local Govt cmte. They plan to discuss fiscal impact of Senate’s immigration bill.


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