Third District State Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville) was selected as the 2014 Legislator of the Year by the Kentucky County Attorney Association (KCAA) at the annual Prosecutors Conference in Lexington. The award was made by Christian County Attorney J. Michael Foster, President of the KCAA.
Foster praised Senator Westerfield, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for being “sensitive and attuned to the needs of prosecutors in the state.” During the 2014 General Assembly session, Senator Westerfield spearheaded significant revisions of the state juvenile justice code designed to reduce the number of juvenile status offenders who are incarcerated by the Commonwealth.
Senator Westerfield’s Senate Bill 200 was the result of a two year-long study of juvenile offender issues by the Task Force on the Unified Juvenile Code, created by the 2012 General Assembly and reauthorized by the 2013 General Assembly. Senate Bill 200 passed the 2014 General Assembly and was signed into law by the Governor. Foster noted that Senator Westerfield did an “amazing job” of listening to the concerns of the county attorneys as the issue was being studied and the bill was being drafted, and incorporating prosecutors’ suggestions into the substance of the bill.
Foster also praised Senator Westerfield for his work on legislation in the 2014 General Assembly impacting the traffic safety programs run by county attorneys. Fees from these programs help cover the expenses for the county attorney offices. Foster stated that Westerfield “went to war for us” over this legislation in order to protect this funding stream.
Senator Westerfield, a former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Christian County, expressed his gratitude to the KCAA for the award and his camaraderie with the prosecutors who daily work to protect the safety of communities and families across Kentucky saying, “As a former prosecutor, I am particularly proud of this award, and thankful I can continue fighting for public safety in the Kentucky Senate.”