Here’s the list of budget line-item vetoes Skip to content

Here’s the list of budget line-item vetoes

Governor Beshear has issued over twenty line-item vetoes in this year’s appropriations bills. Here’s the list.

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Photo by Scott Graham / Unsplash

Vetoes normally apply to an entire bill. Even if the governor likes some parts of a bill, he or she has to either veto the entire bill, or let it become law.

Appropriations bills are different. Here, the governor has the ability to veto single line items in the bill. Just like regular vetoes, these line-item vetoes can be overridden when the lawmakers return for their final two days of session. But, sometimes the line items stay vetoed, and the appropriations bill takes effect without those items being funded.

Here, then, are the line-item vetoes issued so far by Governor Beshear.

House Bill 1 – The large one-time spending bill

  • A couple of technical corrections

House Bill 6 – Executive Branch budget

  • Vetoes all the limits on disaster spending. The bill puts a cap on such spending until the legislature can meet and approve additional spending. Beshear goes into a long and convincing explanation as to why all these limits are bad, and concludes by saying “Had the General Assembly chosen to adopt a ‘disaster fund’ as most states have, and as I have proposed in the past, there would be a separate mechanism to provide financing to address exigent circumstances without requiring a delay to seek addition funding.”
  • Vetoes limits on unexpected inmate costs. The bill puts a cap on spending to house inmates, even as the “Safer Kentucky” bill will no doubt increase those costs. As the governor says, “the Executive Branch does not control the number of inmates coming into the corrections system, but must house them all.”
  • Vetoes limits on payments to guardians ad litem, and to benefits paid to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.
  • Vetoes limits on capital project accounts.
  • Vetoes an addition to the “Star Academy” program because the bill makes the funding available to charter schools.
  • Vetoes funding limits on the Office of Medical Cannabis.
  • Vetoes moving decisions regarding appropriations from the Commonwealth’s chief financial officer to the Attorney General. Said Beshear, “... violates the Kentucky Constitution’s separation of powers. This is a purely partisan action.”
  • Numerous other vetoes as unfunded mandates, violation of separation of powers, or imposing unworkable burdens on Executive Branch staff, including producing reports that have already been produced twice.

House Bill 8 – Various last-minute appropriations

  • Vetoes the sales tax exemption for purchase of currency and bullion. “... if you can own gold, you can afford to pay sales tax.”
  • Vetoes unfunded tax amnesty program, which Department of Revenue will cost $5 million to implement.

House Bill 263 – Legislative Branch budget

  • Vetoes the funding for the so-called “study committee” focused on Jefferson County Public Schools. Calls it “unconstitutional special legislation.”

House Bill 265 – Transportation Cabinet budget

  • Vetoes limits on spending in the Highway Construction Contingency Account. Such a limit could cause the Cabinet to miss out on federal matching grants.
  • Vetoes the Legislature having to approve all County Priority Projects, since these projects are being submitted and acted upon year-round. Running each of these through a part-time legislature would greatly impair this work.
  • Vetoes the halting of work on the Mountain Parkway, the I-69 Ohio River Crossing, and the Hal Rogers Parkway. The legislature said these can’t move forward until there is a federal grant. The governor points out that such grants depend on the state first putting up its share.
  • Vetoes various redundant and burdensome reporting requirements.

House Bill 563 – Water / Wastewater System improvement bill

  • Vetoes the clause that says the Infrastructure Authority board to wait a year before doing any of this work.

Now you’ve got a scorecard to use to track any overrides of line-item vetoes.


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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

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