A record of achievement
Although a freshman lawmaker in the Democratic minority, Morgan McGarvey is building a legacy of success in the state senate by working hard, across partisan lines.
This year he won cooperation from Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the state’s county clerks to solve the nationally-publicized gay marriage license controversy, with unanimous passage of his one-form compromise.
Morgan also took the lead on bills to (1) end needless benefit delays for survivors of firefighters who die in the line of duty, (2) stop schools from penalizing students who commit early to military service and must spend up to ten days of normal school time in basic training, and (3) give the city of Louisville long-sought help in dealing with abandoned and dilapidated buildings.
In 2013, during his first legislative session, Morgan passed a measure tightening safety regulation of amusement rides and attractions. He also helped obtain insurance coverage for nutritional supplements needed after premature births.
In 2014 helped with passage of major legislation dealing with human trafficking, including provisions that allow a person’s record to be cleared of a non-violent offense if a judge determines the offense resulted from being a victim of human trafficking. The bill also included provisions that would allocate funding for police training on trafficking issues. After receiving training, police should be better able to identify trafficking victims and prosecute their traffickers.
In 2015, colleagues credited him with convening a group to help break an impasse and ease passage of a much-needed heroin control bill. That year he also moved four proposals to adoption by the Senate and approval by the Governor. Those measures (1) created an interlock device program for drunk drivers that will save lives, (2) added outpatients to those about whose potential violent behavior mental health professionals may warn without liability, (3) put Kentucky in line with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act in order to save the state millions in child support funding, and (4) set requirements of insolvency under the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act.
Recognition from others
Morgan has been named to “Forty under Forty” by Business First, as a Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his ignition interlock bill, as a Leadership Award winner by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and as 2016 Outstanding Young Professional by the University of Kentucky College of Law. He was honored as the 2014 Legislator of the Year by the Brain Injury Alliance of Kentucky, received the 2015 Distinguished Public Service Award by the Kentucky Psychological Association, and was named a Most Valuable Policymaker by Greater Louisville Inc.
Preparing for public service
After graduating from duPont Manual High School and the University of Missouri’s journalism program, Morgan earned a law degree from the University of Kentucky, began work at Frost, Brown, Todd in Louisville, served as an assistant attorney general in Frankfort and now practices at Morgan & Pottinger, a firm founded by his grandfather. He volunteers in the Louisville Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Program.
Morgan’s early political experience came in campaigns on behalf of Ben Chandler, whose Washington congressional office he helped to open, and Jack Conway, for whom he focused on consumer protection in the attorney general’s office.
He puts a premium on communicating with constituents, answering calls, letters and emails while making himself available through his legislative email account and personal cell number. He lives in Louisville with his wife, Chris, and their twin children, Clara and Wilson.