One of the critical functions of government at the state and federal level is the system of "checks and balances" on power held by any one branch. The General Assembly passes legislation but the Governor has the authority to either sign the legislation into law or veto the bill. In the event of a gubernatorial veto, the legislature has the authority to override that decision.
The GA has exercised this authority in the past, overriding Governors' vetoes. (I have seen a split legislature overturn a Democratic Governor's veto, and a Republican-controlled legislature overturn a Republican Governor's vetoes.) This year the General Assembly preserved its authority to override a veto on a number of the most critical (and contentious bills) by passing them prior to the start of the veto recess. By doing this, the legislature has reserved the final two days of session, after the veto period has expired for bills passed to date, to consider any vetoes for a possible override vote.
Earlier today, Governor Bevin issued two veto letters; one for the biennial budget and one for the tax/revenue bill passed alongside it. You can view the Governor's veto letter for each bill linked below. The General Assembly returns to session for its final two days on Friday and Saturday of this week. Stay tuned for updates on if or when we consider overriding the vetoes.
This Governor held a press conference explaining the veto on both bills, and sometime later in the day the Senate President and Speaker Pro Tempore of the House issued the following joint statement:
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Senate President Robert Stivers
House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne
For Immediate Release
April 5, 2018
Contact: John Cox
Contact: Daisy Olivo
SENATE PRESIDENT, SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE RELEASE JOINT STATEMENT RESPONDING TO GOVERNOR BEVIN’S VETOES
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 9, 2018) – The following is a joint statement from Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) and House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne (R-Prospect) reacting to Governor Matt Bevin’s announcement to veto House Bill 200 and House Bill 366:
“We believe Governor Bevin is misguided in his interpretation of the budget and the revenue bills, as we are comfortable with LRC staff revenue projections. To our knowledge, the Governor has had no discussions with any legislators on the details of this budget and what he might consider to be a shortfall. We believe Governor Bevin would be best served to meet with legislators to understand their thoughts and rationale before making a final decision on vetoing the revenue and/or budget bills.”
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NOTE: You can find links to each of the Governor's 2018 veto letters here, which is updated as new vetoes are issued.