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County Champion


Veto period sees many bills sent back to legislature

By Kayla Carter Smith, Policy Analyst
Final two days of session are April 12 and April 15

Lawmakers returned to the Capitol Friday for the last two days of session following the veto recess. 

As of April 12, Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed 27 measures – six Senate bills, 20 House bills and one House resolution. 

The Republican supermajority will likely override Beshear's vetoes on priority bills and pass bills still remaining in the final days. All work must be completed by midnight on Monday, April 15 before they adjourn the 2024 Regular Session.

Appropriations Legislation

In appropriation bills, the governor has the option to line-item veto specific provisions rather than vetoing the bill in its entirety. Beshear line-item vetoed the following measures:   

One-Time Funding – HB 1 (Rep. Jason Petrie) 

Beshear line-item vetoed a drafting error directing the G.R.A.N.T. program funds to the Department of Agriculture. HB 723 moves the program under the Cabinet for Economic Development. Read the full veto message here. 

FY2025-FY2026 Executive Branch Budget – HB 6 (Rep. Jason Petrie) 

Beshear line-item vetoed multiple provisions in the executive branch budget including a provision limiting funding available to be used on natural disasters without needing the General Assembly to appropriate additional funds. He also vetoed a provision that limited funding for jail per diem payments if they exceed more than $5 million in FY2024 and $10 million in FY2025 and FY2026 over the appropriated funding level. Read the full veto message here. 

Revenue Bill – HB 8 (Rep. Jason Petrie)  

Beshear line-item vetoed the provisions exempting currency and bullion from the sales and use tax and the tax amnesty program. To read the full veto message here.  

FY2025-FY2026 Transportation Cabinet Budget – HB 265 (Rep. Jason Petrie) 

Beshear line-item vetoed multiple provisions in the Transportation Cabinet budget including the requirement for legislative approval of the projects funded through the County Priority Projects program. Read the full veto message here. 

Kentucky WWATERS Program - HB 563 (Rep. Josh Bray)   

Beshear line-item vetoed provisions in the bill that required General Assembly approval of projects. Read the full veto message here. 

Non-spending Legislation

Bills that are not appropriation bills may only be vetoed in their entirety. Beshear vetoed the following proposals relating to counties: 

The Safer Kentucky Act - HB 5 (Rep. Jared Bauman) 

This bill creates harsher penalties for violent crimes and creates new consequences for homeless encampments, including making unlawful camping a Class B misdemeanor after the second offense.  Beshear’s veto message pointed to issues with criminalizing homelessness and increasing incarceration costs without additional funding. Read the full veto message here. 

Autonomous Vehicles - HB 7 (Rep. Josh Bray) 

This bill sets the framework to allow and regulate the use of fully autonomous vehicles on public highways in Kentucky. Beshear’s veto message requested more study and a testing period prior to fully authorizing autonomous vehicles. Read the full veto message here. 

Voter Registration Records - HB 44 (Rep. John Hodgson) 

This bill requires circuit court clerks to provide list of those jurors excused for not being a U.S. citizen. Beshear’s veto message pointed to issues with the proposed requirements for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Read the full veto message here. 

Gas Stations - HB 581 (Rep. Ken Upchurch) 

This bill prohibits local governments from enacting an ordinance or utilizing planning and zoning to limit a gas station from locating at any place which similar businesses may locate or treating gas stations differently from electric vehicle charging stations. Beshear’s veto message stated that the bill preempted local control. Read the full veto message here.

G.R.A.N.T. Program - HB 723 (Rep. Richard Heath)  

This bill amends the G.R.A.N.T. program piloted through HB 9 during the 2023 legislative session to help local governments leverage federal grant funding. The bill moves the program from the Department for Local Government to the Cabinet for Economic Development. The bill also tiers local match requirements based on county population rankings (factors in population density and percent change in population). Beshear’s veto message pointed to issues with the structure of the commission that the bill would form for approval of applications. Read the full veto message here. 

Click here for a complete list of Beshear’s vetoes and his messages.  

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