The Kentucky General Assembly passed over 100 bills in just two days to beat Governor Andy Beshear's veto period, which started on Thursday. Any bill passed before Wednesday night midnight was subject to a supermajority veto override. After that period, Beshear can veto a bill, and it can't be forced through.
Some bills that passed included:
House Bill One: The executive branch budget, this bill provides a salary increase across the board for employees, 8% this year and up to 12% next year. It includes full-day Kindergarten and more. The one group of state employees left out of the automatic raises: schoolteachers.
House Bill Three: HB3 is an anti-abortion bill designed to make it harder to get an abortion, adding hurdles to minors who request an abortion and placing additional burdens on doctors, pharmacists, and distributors of abortion drugs. Clinics will be forced to discuss the disposition of fetal remains with parents. Creates new requirements for professionals to report complications from surgical or medically induced abortions. It prohibits simultaneous cremation of fetal remains. Places abortion on a combination birth-death certificate. It prevents any public funding to any organization that "performs, induces, refers for, or counsels in favor of abortions."
House Bill Seven: This bill creates additional hurdles for anyone requesting food stamps or Medicaid in the state. It also places the state legislature in charge of some state requests for federal waivers.
House Bill Eight: This bill may eventually eliminate the individual income tax in the state. The tax rate would drop immediately from 5% to 4% and continue to decrease as long as certain thresholds are met. Conversely, the bill will add sales tax to many items that have been exempt until now, like car-hailing services, like Uber, and non-primary residential electricity bills, such as at a vacation home. It will charge fees for battery mitigation and reclamation, for example, from electric cars. It also creates a new tax on electric vehicle power.
House Bill 564: In a reversal of many other Republican-run legislatures, this bill expands hours for in-person early voting, removes the requirement that in-person absentee voting happens seven days early, and increases the penalties for intimidating an election official. It increases election security by preventing voting machines from being connected to the internet, already a common practice in the state.
The legislature has sent over 100 bills to Governor Beshear's desk for signature, but the action is Pro-forma since the bills were voted in by a supermajority of Republicans and not subject to the Governor's veto.
The Kentucky Daily
Image credit: By Peter Fitzgerald, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22897882