Governor Andy Beshear issued vetoes on three more bills on Tuesday, noting that each of the bills harmed Kentuckians instead of helping them.
In a press release, Beshear said, “I am vetoing three bills that do not help to protect our families and in fact aim to harm them, take away food from children and keep the public away from reviewing legislative records and information. Vetoing a bill is not a small thing, but it’s my job as Governor to try to do the right thing, regardless of whether or not it’s popular.”
House Bill 312 – Guts open records
This bill damages the state’s open records laws, especially records held by the Legislative Research Commission. The bill makes the LRC the final arbiter of which records can be released, with no recourse to the Attorney General or to the courts. Thus, this bill passed by the legislature actually protects the legislature itself. The bill also prevents non-residents from obtaining open records.
“I am vetoing House Bill 312 because it defeats the entire purpose of the Kentucky Open Records Act, which exists to ensure people’s right to know how their government operates,” said Gov. Beshear.
House Bill 475 – Lowers safety protections
This bill says that the state’s safety board cannot put forward safety regulations that are more strict than federal ones. This actually makes Kentucky workplaces less safe, as there are industries and practices where Kentucky regulations are better and more effective than the federal regs.
Senate Bill 65 – Punishes children for acts of their parents
This bill takes away food stamps (SNAP) from any custodial parent who is behind on their child support payments. Thus, when that parent has their child in their home, they will not be able to use SNAP to feed that child.
In addition, monitoring the intersection of child support payments and food assistance across the state for thousands of people over time would require a large and expensive administrative bureaucracy.
“This is a cruel bill at any time – but certainly in a once-in-100-year pandemic, taking food benefits away from children is cruel,” said Gov. Beshear. “One in six Kentucky households with children experiences food insecurity. My faith teaches me that we never punish a child for the actions of a parent.”