Gov. Beshear takes action on nine pieces of legislation

Governor signs bills that help Kentuckians; vetoes bills that violate Kentucky Constitution

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

Via press release from the governor’s office

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 1, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear signed six pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly that help Kentuckians and he vetoed three pieces of legislation that violate sections of the Kentucky Constitution.

The bills, which will become law on their effective dates, are: Senate Bill 8; Senate Bill 112; Senate Bill 152; House Bill 194; House Bill 251; and House Bill 273.

“Protecting Kentucky’s children is a priority for me and my administration and today I was proud to sign Senate Bill 8, which will provide our children most in need with additional support and protection,” said Gov. Beshear. “Other pieces of legislation signed today will provide further support and opportunities for our students, increase efficiencies in our local governments, and assist health care heroes specializing in nutrition.”

Senate Bill 8 provides additional support, protection and services for Kentucky’s most vulnerable children who have suffered abuse, neglect and exploitation or are at risk. It expands the membership of the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board and broadens the rights of children in the foster care system. It also seeks to keep families intact by providing prevention services.

Senate Bill 112 reduces the administrative burden on public agencies by no longer requiring interlocal agreements amended solely to add or remove parties to an existing agreement be filed with the Secretary of State to be effective.

Senate Bill 152 streamlines the process local governments must follow for issuing initial solid waste franchises and reduces the administrative burden and expedites transmission to privately provided services. This change will benefit cities with populations under 8,000 that currently operate their own solid waste management system but could reduce costs through privatization.

House Bill 194 will permit students who are enrolled in a district-operated alternative school and are at least 17 years old to take the high school equivalency exam. This change will expand future educational and economic opportunity for students who would not otherwise be eligible to earn their GED.

House Bill 251 removes the statutory cap on licensure fees for the Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dieticians and Nutritionists. It also allows the board to set fees by administrative regulation, expands the types of fees the board may charge and lifts the current fee cap.

House Bill 273 makes staff within the Department of Agriculture’s Division of Amusement Rides responsible for overseeing the administration of regulations and statutes for the office. This change allows greater consistency through the transition between agriculture commissioners.

The bills the Governor vetoed today are: House Bill 388, Senate Bill 119, and House Bill 335.

“While the Kentucky Constitution outlines strict separation of powers among our three distinct branches of government, the Legislative Branch and the members of the General Assembly keep trying to grab power away from the Executive Branch,” Gov. Beshear said. “Their actions are unconstitutional and that is why I am vetoing these bills today.”

House Bill 388 violates the Kentucky Constitution by giving the Legislative Branch’s Government Contract Review Committee final decision-making authority over Executive Branch contracts, even when the General Assembly is not in session. It also takes the final decision-making authority on these contracts away from the secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the chief financial officer of the commonwealth and the Governor’s designee on such matters. Furthermore, House Bill 388 forces the finance secretary to appeal decisions of the legislative committee on some contracts to the state treasurer, placing the treasurer in control of the Governor, who is the only constitutional officer with supreme executive power and the duty to ensure the laws are faithfully executed. For contracts the Governor enters under specific constitutional sections, House Bill 388 also bars the finance secretary from any option but to accept the legislative committee’s decision as final. Click here to read the Governor’s veto message on House Bill 388.

Senate Bill 119 takes away the discretionary authority of the Secretary of the Transportation Cabinet to name a road or bridge on the state highway system after a person, a historic event or any other name of significance to the history of Kentucky, its counties or its communities. Click here to read the Governor’s veto message on Senate Bill 119.

House Bill 335 strips power away from the Governor, requiring him to appoint certain members of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and the Advisory Council for Recovery Ready Communities from lists of three names provided by various entities. Under the current law, the Governor makes these appointments without such involvement. Click here to read the Governor’s veto message on House Bill 335. Last year, the General Assembly stripped the Governor of his powers to protect the public during a state of emergency. Lawmakers also tried to strip the Governor of his ability to appoint members to the State Fair Board and agriculture related boards, which a court held unconstitutional.

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