The Kentucky General Assembly is currently in the middle of the January recess period that happens during every short session. The legislature is scheduled to reconvene on February 2nd for the remaining 22 days of this session. Below is a short update on several key issues.
Before adjourning for the January recess break, the legislature passed seven bills and sent them to the Governor’s office for his consideration. Last week, Governor Beshear issued vetoes on 6 of the 7 bills, which we have highlighted below. The General Assembly will have the opportunity to consider veto override votes when they reconvene. Override votes require a Constitutional Majority, which is 51 votes in the House and 20 votes in the Senate. The Governor has publicly asked for a dialogue on these issues with Republican Legislative Leaders in lieu of veto override votes, which House Speaker Osborne has entertained in a statement issued last week.
SB 1 – Sponsored by Senator Castlen, legislation to limit a governor’s executive authority during times of emergency.
SB 2 – Sponsored by Senator West, legislation related to administrative regulations and the process by which state agencies issue emergency regulation.
HB 1 – Sponsored by Rep. Rowland, legislation to allow entities to remain open if following CDC guidelines or Executive Branch guidelines, whichever is least restrictive. The bill also includes provisions to waive unemployment insurance late fees and penalties for employers.
HB 2 – Sponsored by Rep. Fischer, legislation to allow the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief and civil and criminal penalties against abortion facilities. Set additional parameters for abortion procedures during times of emergency.
HB 3 – Sponsored by Rep. Massie, legislation to change the venue for challenges to a state statute from Franklin Circuit Court to the circuit court in the county of the plaintiff’s residence.
HB 5 – Sponsored by Rep. Meredith, legislation related to temporary reorganizations.
Legislative Leaders have started working to reach agreement on changes to the Governor’s budget proposal. We expect action of the budget documents shortly after the legislature reconvenes in February.