We now have the first Beshear veto of the post-session period. And what is it about? Parking spaces.
Governor Beshear vetoed HB 291, an “ACT relating to the transactions between the Legislative Research Commission and the executive branch.” His veto message is short and not too sweet:
I, Andy Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, pursuant to the authority granted under section 88 of the Kentucky Constitution, do hereby veto the following:
House Bill 291 of the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly in it entirety.
I am vetoing House Bill 291 because the role of the General Assembly is not to determine who is assigned which parking spots at the Capitol through legislation. Moreover, in House Bill 291 the General Assembly attempts to give itself more favorable terms for rent and service than the Executive Branch receives.
Now before you assume this is just a minor pissing contest between the Republicans and the gov, the bill is actually worse than Beshear notes. At the very end of the bill, it says that the Legislative Research Commission (run by the Repub leadership) shall assume control of the entire Capitol Annex, and then there’s this:
The cabinet shall allocate to the General Assembly and the Legislative Research Commission all parking spaces within the Capitol campus parking garage, all parking spaces in the east, south, and west parking lots of the New State Capitol Annex, and all parking spaces in the west parking lot of the New State Capitol, except for those spaces in the west parking lot of the New State Capitol allocated, as of January 1, 2022, to the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State. Any further allocation of any parking spaces allocated pursuant to this paragraph shall be within the sole discretion of the Legislative Research Commission or its designee.
You’ve heard the term “land grab” before? Now we’ve got a “parking spaces grab.” And of course, what it really is, is a power play.
It’s a good thing that someone read to the end of the bill. And kudos to Governor Beshear for vetoing it.