Kentucky’s House of Representatives voted 85- 10 Tuesday to bring back the fees for disabled parking placards.
House bill 81, sponsored by Louisville Rep. Jerry Miller, would let disabled people get one placard for free. But it would cost $10 to get another one. The goal, Miller said, is to reduce the number of placards the state issues.
Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, lawsuits have popped up across the country challenging fees for disabled parking placards as discriminatory. The courts have split on the issue, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down California’s fees in 1999 while the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Kentucky, upheld Tennessee fees in 2000.
Kentucky lawmakers got rid of the fee in 2008.
Republican state Rep. Brandon Reed, who has cerebral palsy, voted against the bill. He said he understands the argument for the change, adding he has trouble finding parking spots in the state’s bigger cities like Louisville. But he voted against it because local officials in his district, who issue the placards, oppose it.
“They went from charging to not charging now to be charging again,” Reed said. “Imagine the public coming in. (Local officials) are the front-line workers. They are the ones who get the earful.”