- A new Kentucky bill would largely ban diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the state’s public colleges and prohibit race-based scholarships. The proposal follows similar moves in other conservative states.
- If passed, colleges could not have DEI offices, offer DEI training or investigate alleged bias incidents except when required by law. Institutions would also be barred from establishing scholarship eligibility criteria based on sex or race. And they couldn’t ask scholarship applicants about their views or experience with race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.
- Republican state Rep. Jennifer Decker introduced the proposal Friday with support from seven other Republican co-sponsors, including the House's majority whip.
Decker's bill is just the latest in a series of state legislative efforts aimed at restricting college DEI. But her proposal is especially far-reaching, resembling laws passed by Florida and Texas last year that banned DEI programs at public colleges.
While the proposal would allow a college to keep DEI training and programs required by federal and state law, those exemptions would need to be approved by the institution’s general counsel.
Colleges would have until the end of June to comply if the bill is signed into law.
Decker's proposal comes on the heels of another anti-DEI bill introduced by Kentucky Senate Majority Whip Mike Wilson, a Republican. It would bar the state's colleges from promoting “divisive concepts” — such as that a person of any race is inherently privileged — in mandatory trainings.
Both bills have strong chances of passing if they gain support from other Republicans. While Kentucky's governor is a Democrat, the Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Legislature.