FRANKFORT — Over protests that children were being ignored, the state Senate approved a bill Monday that would open to the public some juvenile court proceedings under a four-year pilot project.
Senate Bill 157, sponsored by Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, would allow a court district to participate in the pilot project if approved by the chief justice, local judge and county attorney.
Givens said his bill would provide more transparency in court proceedings that are now closed to the public. But Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and several other Democrats said the bill tries to please media outlets while ignoring the well-being of children.
She said publicity about juvenile court proceedings could follow children all their lives.
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Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said she is "thrilled" by the bill because it will expose "bad characters" in juvenile court proceedings.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the bill will help the public determine whether the courts and public agencies are doing their job in protecting children.
The Senate approved the bill on a 30-7 vote and sent it to the House for its consideration.