Governor Andy Beshear signs and vetoes bills including pensions, open records

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 11:56 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Once again, Governor Andy Beshear had praise and criticism for the legislature. He announced he’s signing bills dealing with public protection, but also says he is vetoing some. The bills deal with everything from pensions to child abuse, to open records.

Governor Beshear says one bill will help the pension system so much it will literally keep some public places open, such as domestic violence shelters and sexual abuse recovery centers.

With contribution rates rising, Gov. Beshear says there’s been more layoffs and outsourcing, hurting healthy retirements. And he says this really impacted a lot of agencies.

“And this bill gives more time for these agencies to pay their pension obligation which in turn means there’s more services to help our children right now,” Gov. Beshear said.

The governor also announced the signing of several bills aimed to curb child sexual abuse, such as more defined background checks for workers at youth camps and more penalties for viewing child pornographic images.

“These measures will assure that survivors will seek accountability for their perpetuators,” said Terry Brooks with Kentucky Youth Advocates.

But the governor also says the legislature did harm in other bills, one being House Bill 312.

“I’m vetoing House Bill 312, because it defeats the entire purpose of the Kentucky Open Records Act, which exists to ensure people’s right to know how their government operates,” Gov. Beshear said.

Governor Beshear also said he’s vetoing House Bill 475 which he says will weaken occupational health and safety, and Senate Bill 65, which he called “cruel” because he says it will make it tougher for some parents to get food for their children.

The super majorities in both House and Senate will likely move to override the gubernatorial vetoes when they return next Monday for two more days of the regular session.

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