Ky. lawmakers override Beshear’s veto of transgender athlete bill

We are down to the final two days of the 2022 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 11:59 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky lawmakers’ time to finish work for the regular session is down to hours.

Wednesday, they got right to work in overriding many of Gov. Andy Beshear’s vetoes.

Shortly after gaveling in, the Senate overrode the gubernatorial veto of Senate Bill 83, which would not allow transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports. Wednesday afternoon, the House also voted to override, meaning it becomes law.

Supporters say it ensures fairness for biological girls competing in middle school to college sports. Opponents say it’s not needed.

University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines came to Frankfort Wednesday to talk about why SB 83 means so much to her.

“I know I speak for the majority of female athletes across every NCAA sport when I say biological males should not be competing against women,” Gaines said.

Gaines competed for a national championship in swimming and says she lost a 5th place trophy to a transgender female swimmer. The UK swimmer says legislation like SB 83 is needed to protect women in sports but others say it’s not as simple as the male or female argument.

The Senate and House also overrode Senate Bill 1, which was combined with Senate Bill 138. It deals with the role superintendents have over school boards and councils and what historical documents should be taught.

However, there’s some controversy about that bill. First, some say it bans the teaching of certain racial subjects and the original language that detailed punishment for teachers.

“That when Senate Bill 138 and one were combined it establishes criminal penalties for educators, who do not adhere to the law,” said Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.”

Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, said the language about criminal punishments was an oversight and not intended by any means and is being corrected through the Free Conference Committee with House Bill 44.

All the bills vetoed by the governor have to be overridden by both chambers for them to become law.

By law, the General Assembly must adjourn by midnight Thursday.

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