Lawmakers pass criminal justice bills, override vetoes, and make technical changes in final days of 2022 session

In the final two days of the 2022 legislative session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed two key Kentucky Chamber priority bills, voted to override many of the governor’s vetoes, and made small changes to the tax reform bill and other legislation.

On Wednesday, the House and Senate spent the day overriding many vetoes from the governor, including line-item vetoes to the budget, the tax reform plan in House Bill 8, charter school funding mechanism in House Bill 9, and much more.

And on Thursday, they took up any final action which included passage of two criminal justice bills supported by the Kentucky Chamber.

Senate Bill 163, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Storm, went to conference committee Thursday afternoon to hammer out differences between the House and the Senate. The final bill will allow Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awardees to use their awards at proprietary schools provided that the program falls within one of Kentucky’s top-five high-demand workforce sectors (Advanced Manufacturing, Business/IT, Construction, Healthcare, and Transportation) and expands access to financial aid funds to certain individuals currently or previously incarcerated. It passed the House 91-0 and the Senate 34-1.

Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, sets up a pilot program in at least 10 Kentucky counties to require a mental and/or behavioral health assessment early on in the process when an individual is charged with a Class D felony. The bill came out of conference committee with $10.5 million in each year of the budget to fund the pilot program and small technical changes to other bills and statutes. Senate Bill 90 saw final passage votes of 91-3 in the House and 35-1 in the Senate.

The legislature concluded their business around 9:00 pm Thursday. Any bills they passed in the final two days now goes to the governor who could veto any legislation and the General Assembly would not have the opportunity to override.

Unless called into a special session, lawmakers will not return to be in session until January 2023.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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