On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced he is vetoing five of the first bills passed by the General Assembly so far in the 2021 session citing public support for executive orders enacted throughout the pandemic and potential issues with the constitutionality of the bills.
House Bill 1, Senate Bill 1, House Bill 2, Senate Bill 2, and House Bill 5 have all been vetoed by the governor after they saw passage in the first week of the 2021 session.
Beshear said House Bill 1 overcomplicates enforceable regulations and ensuring businesses know what they need to do to comply. He also said he believes most things point to the executive branch being the one in charge during an emergency and he believes the bill violates that.
Beshear noted cost was an issue in vetoing Senate Bill 1 as the General Assembly would need to be called back into a special session if the governor wanted to extend an executive order and a special session costs $65,000 per day to call and requires at least five days to pass legislation through both the House and the Senate.
House Bill 5 gives the General Assembly more authority over the reorganization of boards and commissions by taking away the reorganization power of the governor. Beshear believes the bill is problematic because legislators would have to be called into a special session often, and the bill strips executive power.
The governor said he will send a letter to legislative leaders in the coming days to try and find some common ground as they consider overriding the vetoes when they return at the start of February.