All the Governor’s vetoes, and why he issued them Skip to content

All the Governor’s vetoes, and why he issued them

Here’s your scorecard for the final two days of the session: Which vetoes get overridden, and which ones are upheld?

4 min read

As we head into the last two days of this year’s session, there are 21 bills that Governor Beshear has vetoed. All vetoes require a “veto message” to accompany the veto, explaining why the bill was vetoed.

Below we have listed all the bills vetoed by Governor Beshear (as of this writing), and why he said he was issuing the veto. Since all of these can be overridden by the Republican super-majorities, it will be worth watching to see if any of the vetoes are upheld in either chamber.



Senate Bill 16

“Ag-Gag” bill – outlaws video and audio recording of industrial ag operations

Senate Bill 65

Attempts to overturn regulations that are already expired. “Stunt legislation”

Senate Bill 198

Creates a nuclear energy board in the Executive Branch whose members are primarily appointed by private industry.

Senate Bill 259

Allows the West End Opportunity Partnership board to remove any institution, even one included by statute, and replace it will one they choose

Senate Bill 299

Creates a new Horse Racing and Gaming Commission. “An unnecessary and unworkable bill.” Forces current Horse Racing Commission to move all its functions and employees in less than three months. (More reasons in the veto message)

Senate Bill 349

The “Coal Forever” bill, which makes it much more difficult for utilities to retire aging and unnecessary plants

House Bill 5

The “Incarcerate Kentucky” bill. Beshear notes that the bill has “some good parts,” then goes on to say that instead of passing those parts as stand-alone bills, the Lege decided to “include those good policies with dozens of other measures in one unwieldy bill that would criminalize homelessness and significantly increase incarceration costs without any additional appropriation.”

House Bill 7

Autonomous vehicles bill. Governor says the bill “doesn’t fully address questions about the safety and security of autonomous vehicles, nor does it implement a testing period …”

House Bill 18

The “let landlords discriminate against Section 8 renters” bill. Vetoed because it removes local control, as local governments try to deal with discrimination in housing. (Specifically, the bill would throw out the anti-discrimination laws in Louisville and Lexington.) This veto has already been overridden.

House Bill 44

Requires CHFS to provide “lifetime death records” to the State Board of Elections, when CHFS already provides monthly death records to the BOE.

House Bill 136

Says that polluters who “self-audit” can avoid civil penalties. Obviously directed at the Air Pollution Control Board in Louisville. Veto message is straightforward: “House Bill 136 is another attack by the General Assembly on Jefferson County, and another attempt to eliminate local control.”

House Bill 388

The “Mess with Louisville” bill, including making mayor and council elections non-partisan. The veto message is clear: “The structure of the Louisville Metro Government was democratically created by the people of Jefferson County through the popular vote of the people of Jefferson County. The General Assembly is attempting to overturn this previous election through House Bill 388. Letting people decide their form of government is a basic tenet of democracy. The legislature claiming that it knows better than the people is antidemocratic. If the basis for House Bill 388 is truly good government in making Louisville elections ‘nonpartisan,’ then the General Assembly should make all elections in the Commonwealth nonpartisan.”

House Bill 403

Bill to separate the KY Real Estate Commission from the three other property boards, which will greatly weaken those boards. Also sets up KREC as an entity without any outside controls.

House Bill 513

Bill saying can’t make changes to the Rotunda w/o General Assembly approval. “House Bill 513 is an encroachment on the authority of the Executive Branch … Such encroachment has taken many forms, from claiming ownership and management of parking spaces to the General Assembly now assuming the role of curator.”

House Bill 517

A bill that weakens the Legislative Ethics Commission.

House Bill 581

Prevents local government from using a zoning process to approve or disapprove a filling station. “… another instance of the General Assembly interfering with local government decisions on local matters.”

House Bill 622

Change to the process for filling a vacant U.S. Senate seat. “In House Bill 622, the General Assembly changes its mind for the second time in three years on how vacancies in the United States Senate are filled. Prior to these maneuvers, the same system had been in place since 1942. The administration deserves the same authority as previous administrations.”

House Bill 723

Bill creating a new commission to administer grants to local communities. “House Bill 723 attempts to put an important grant program that houses $200 million for local communities in the hands of an unconstitutionally-structured commission that does not give the Governor a majority of appointments. … Sections 69 and 81 of the Kentucky Constitution require that the Governor play a significant role in the appointment and, if needed, removal of board members that carry out the duties assigned to the executive branch.
“The commission’s makeup is also partisan, as it includes four constitutional officers of one party, but excludes the Lieutenant Governor, an office from a different party. …”

House Bill 771

A bill changing spendthrift trusts. “House Bill 771 would repeal an entire statutory chapter governing spendthrift trusts. … Parties and individuals involved in estate planning could be significantly harmed.”

House Bill 804

Bill to allow a change of venue for certain legal actions. “I am vetoing House Bill 804 because it is an unconstitutional power grab. Like Senate Bill 126 passed over my veto a year ago and unanimously struck down by the Supreme Court of Kentucky last Octover, House Bill 804 violates the separation of powers in the Kentucky Constitution, creates an arbitrary process for selecting the venue of civil actions, and blocks Kentuckians’ access to courts. The bill is also unconstitutional special legislation.” (More in the veto message)

House Concurrent Resolution 81

The “study JCPS so we can break it up” bill. “… It is unconstitutional special legislation that is aimed at one public school district in Kentucky: Jefferson County Public Schools. … (It) is the General Assembly’s latest attempt to set the framework for the legislature to divide the Jefferson County Public Schools district. That should be a local decision by citizens of Jefferson County, not by legislators from non-Jefferson County school districts.”

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

The Daily Wrap for Thursday, 5/23

Still some wrap-up from Tuesday’s primary, including late calls of winners and possible recounts. Plus, some breaking news in the tweets below, and a cool story about a possible billboard (or billboards!) in west Kentucky.

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