Republican Supermajorities Override Beshear Vetoes

News Release from the Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT— The Kentucky General Assembly spent the second to last day of the 2022 legislative session overriding gubernatorial vetoes related to the state budget, taxes, education and more.

Lawmakers voted to override 17 of Gov. Andy Beshear’s vetoes on the executive branch budget for the next biennium outlined in House Bill 1.

The five areas of the budget that lawmakers allowed vetoes to stand included 13 line items. In his veto message, Beshear wrote some of those line items contained technical errors.

Some highlights of HB 1 that were not vetoed include:

•                     8% raises for state workers on July 1, 2022, and additional raises based on a pay study for the following fiscal year

•                     $250 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for clean drinking water

•                     Hundreds of millions of dollars to fully fund state pensions

•                     Funds to provide social workers with a $2,400 pay increase in addition to the across-the-board raises

•                     Funds to increase the SEEK formula from the current $4,000 per student to $4,100 per student in the first fiscal year and to $4,200 in the second year

•                     Funds to cover the full cost of all-day kindergarten at every public school district in the Commonwealth

•                     Funds to cover 70% of transportation costs for public schools

•                     $25 million in grants for county clerks for elections and deed recording online

•                     $150 million in fiscal year 2023-24 for a major overhaul of the state parks system

The legislation was originally approved by a 31-0 vote in the Senate and a 93-3 vote in the House on March 30.

Other veto overrides: 

Senate Bill 1 – The measure calls for local superintendents – rather than school councils – to determine educational curriculum. The Teaching American Principles Act, which would require instruction in social studies to align with a list of core concepts and documents that supporters say are central to American civics, is also included in the bill.

House Bill 3 – This bill would require minors to have parental consent before undergoing an abortion procedure. It would also ban the online sale of abortion medication and limit abortion to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

House Bill 7 – This legislation aims to revamp public assistance benefits and combat fraud. HB 7 would create new rules around the presumptive eligibility for benefit recipients and seek more accountability from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It would also establish penalties for fraudulent sales of benefit cards.

Another provision seeks to encourage participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – known as SNAP – to make good nutritional choices.

House Bill 8 – This is a tax modernization bill that aims to reduce the state income tax rate and diversify the state tax base. Using a special formula, the state will look at the budget reserve trust fund and compare it to the general fund to make sure the state can afford to reduce the state income tax by .5%. If certain conditions are met, the income tax reduction will take place in the second January after that fiscal year.

In order to reduce the income tax rate, the state plans to expand the sales tax base.

Another provision of HB 8 imposes a 6% use tax on nonessential services such as, nonessential cosmetic surgery, body modifications, photography, research polling, bodyguard services, marketing and more. Another section of the bill imposes a tax on ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, and electric vehicles. 

Electric vehicle owners will pay an annual $120 ownership fee. Owners of hybrid vehicles and electric motorcycles will be a $60 annual fee.

House Bill 9 – Following legislation from 2017, HB 9 codifies the funding mechanism for charter schools, authorizes two pilot charter school projects in Northern Kentucky and the West End of Louisville, and makes changes to the appeal process if a charter school application is denied by a local school board. 

Senate Bill 83 – Senate Bill 83 would prevent male-to-female transgender students from participating in girls’ sports, starting in the sixth grade.

House Bills 241 – The Transportation Cabinet budget contained in HB 241 appropriates nearly $3 billion toward road projects across the Commonwealth for the next two fiscal years.

House Bill 243 – This bill is the biennium spending plan for the legislative branch.

All of these bills go into effect 90 days after the end of the 2022 legislative session, unless the bill has an emergency clause or a provision that sets a different effective date.

The Kentucky General Assembly will convene for its final day of the 2022 legislative session at 10 a.m. on Thursday.