Several bills on the fast-track in Kentucky legislature
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers continue to move quickly to pass their priority bills.
Thursday night, Governor Beshear gave his budget proposals and, Friday morning, both House and Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committees are meeting to move forward on a spending plan.
Priority bills passed on the House floor are also now being heard in Senate committees and Senate bills passed by the chamber are now in House committees.
Lawmakers will also meet on Saturday and they have amended the legislative calendar to meet Monday through Wednesday of next week before they adjourn for three weeks.
The second part of the session starts in February.
Among the items they want to pass and send to the governors’ desk, possibly as early as Saturday, are bills to limit the governor’s power, cut down on the times of states of emergency unless the legislature has input, and bills that place more restrictions on abortion procedures.
“We are meeting tomorrow because it takes five days to pass a bill, we want to get these bills and on the governor’s desk for his consideration,” said Sen. Damo Thayer, R-Georgetown. “We are coming in Monday Tuesday and Wednesday basically related to the state budget.”
Some Democratic lawmakers have said the Republicans are moving too swiftly on these bills, especially those that deal with policy changes, but Thayer said many of them were filed months ago or some were talked about and studied starting last spring.
The House and Senate could take final votes on four COVID-related bills and at least one abortion-related bill on Saturday.
Many of the bills being considered also have emergency clauses, meaning once the governor signs them, or if the legislature overrides a gubernatorial veto, they will become law immediately. Bills without that clause would not take effect until the start of the fiscal year in July.
After the legislature adjourns next Wednesday, they will reconvene on February 2 and must be done by March 30.
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