The current Kentucky Constitution says if the General Assembly wants to meet outside of its regular sessions, the governor has to call it into special session. And, that special session can only consider matters that the governor includes in the call.
The Republicans in Frankfort want to change that.
A bill moving through the General Assembly would allow the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to jointly call the legislature into special session on their own, bypassing the authority of the governor. And, during those special sessions, they can consider any bill that was filed during the regular session of that year.
Senator David Givens, president pro tem of the Senate, filed Senate Bill 8, proposing a constitutional amendment to make the above changes. The bill was introduced on two weeks ago, on January 12, and has already had its first reading.
Provisions of the bill
Here are the major provisions of the bill:
Days allowed per special session: Should the General Assembly reconvene upon Joint Proclamation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the General Assembly shall meet for no more than twelve (12) legislative days, during which time no less than four (4) legislative days shall be used in any calendar week.
Holdover of bills for consideration in a special session: Any bill filed prior to March 31 in an odd-numbered year, or April 15 in an even-numbered year, shall hold over for purposes of legislative action until December 31 of the year in which it was filed, or until all available legislative days have been expended, whichever occurs first.
Compensation: During any session of the General Assembly convened upon Joint Proclamation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives ... the members of the General Assembly shall receive as compensation the amounts specified under subsection (1) of this section for each calendar day on which the General Assembly meets.
Constitutional amendment required: This Act shall take effect only upon the ratification, in the regular election of November 8, 2022, of a constitutional amendment relating to sessions of the General Assembly, including sessions convened upon Joint Proclamation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If such an amendment is not ratified, this Act shall be void.