Here’s the constitutional amendments you could see this fall Skip to content

Here’s the constitutional amendments you could see this fall

There can only be four proposed constitutional amendments on any election ballot, but this year’s General Assembly has seen over 20 filed. Which ones are likely to make the cut?

2 min read

Every session of the Kentucky legislature sees multiple bills filed that propose to amend our state’s constitution. Most of them never get further than the Committee on Committees. A few make it to the floor in one chamber, and perhaps get passed there, but don’t get through the other chamber. And a very few actually get approved by both chambers and are placed on the ballot.

The last constitutional amendment approved by Kentucky voters was Marsy’s Law, which added some crime victim’s rights to the constitution. It was approved in 2020.

In 2022, voters rejected both amendments that were on the ballot: one that would have said that there was no constitutional right to an abortion in the state, and the other that would have let the General Assembly extend the dates they could meet.

This year, there are at least 20 bills that propose to amend the Kentucky Constitution. But only four are allowed on the ballot. So which ones are we likely to see this fall?

Passed both chambers

  • SB 143/HB 341, which says that non-citizens cannot vote. They already cannot vote, so it’s possible the point of this amendment is merely to get certain voters to the polls.

Passed one chamber

  • HB 2, for funding charter schools. The state Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the state’s constitution forbids using public funds for private schools, so the Republican majority wants to eliminate that barrier.
  • SB 23, which expands the homestead exemption for home-owners, to take into account increases in property values. In other words, the homestead exemption would be adjusted in times of dramatic increases or decreases in home values.
  • SB 126, barring the governor from issuing pardons around a gubernatorial election. The ban begins one month before the election, and last through to the inauguration.
  • SB 10, which moves election of the governor and other state-wide constitutional officers to even-numbered years, the same years as presidential elections.

Has had two readings

  • HB 4, for called sessions without the governor’s involvement. Specifically, it allows the Senate President and the Speaker of the House to call the legislature into session on their own.
  • HB 14, which allows the legislature to authorize additional local taxes, such as sales taxes, for individual local governments.

And the rest

All of the other bills proposing to amend the state constitution are either in a committee and not moving, or are still in the Committee on Committees. Could they move, even overtaking the above bills? Surely. But at this point in the session, it would seem that there are seven bills that have a chance of being on the ballot this fall.

And a final note: If a proposed constitutional amendment passes the legislature, the governor cannot veto it; it goes straight to the Secretary of State’s office.


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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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