Week 12 of the 2022 Legislative Session

The final day of the 2022 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is on the horizon, which means legislative activity is taking place at a rapid pace. We are required by the constitution to be finished by April 14.  Week 12 of this year’s session included busy committee agendas and important legislation making final passage through the legislative process.

At this point in the 2022 session, 22 bills have been enacted into law. Approximately 30 bills are with the Governor now for consideration; a number of other bills are nearly at the Governor’s desk with more to come.

The Senate was able to finally pass a number of bills that were modified by the state House of Representatives, including priority legislation, Senate Bill 1 along with Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 83. These bills are now with the Governor. I have been detailed each of them in previous legislative updates.

Notably, however, I want to let you know, added onto the Senate Bill 1 was the language of Senate Bill 138, the “Teaching American Principles Act,” which aligns history curriculum standards in middle and high school with those already present in elementary school history education.  I cannot overstate the importance of this legislation to help young people to understand and appreciate the history of this great country.

The previously mentioned bills and others were returned to the Senate with changes passed by the House.  The House asks the Senate to “concur,” or agree, to their changes. We often do so, and did with these three bills.  On the occasions we do not agree, those bills go into a conference committee where a final language is hammered out by members representing each chamber.

The most notable example of a conference committee is the two-year state budget bill. Both the House and the Senate have made their respective priorities for the budget clear. Significant provisions of the Senate’s proposal were outlined in my previous legislative update. Budget negotiations are nearing their end, and you can expect a final product to be announced in the week ahead.  While the final budget is always a compromise on individual line items, the end goal is to provide for a great education, safe communities and high quality of life for every Kentuckian.

The Governor has vetoed several bills and the House and Senate have begun to override them. Most notably was the Governor’s veto of Senate Joint Resolution 150. Upon the override of his veto, the state of emergency in Kentucky effectively ended Tuesday, March 22. Following an unprecedented two-year-long state of emergency declaration, the enactment of Senate Joint Resolution 150 is a symbolic, yet strong, message to Kentucky residents that the emergency is over, and life as normal should quickly return to the Commonwealth.

The Governor’s veto of House Bill 4, unemployment insurance reform, was also overridden on Tuesday, March 22.

With the passage of more and more legislation in the waning days of the 2022 session, there are sure to be more vetoes issued by the Governor. The session will soon enter what is known as the “veto period” to give the Governor time to consider the bills passed by the legislature. The final days of session on April 13-14 will be reserved for the legislature’s consideration to override such vetoes.

In closing, I want to recognize two of the members of the Senate who will be retiring when this session concludes. They include a staple of the legislature since 2003, C.B. Embry, Jr. (R-Morgantown), who epitomizes public service and Wil Schroder (R-Wilder), who we hope will be back someday after devoting his full attention to his wife and precious young children.

Both of these fine men were honored with Senate resolutions accompanied by emotional testimony and stories from their colleagues in the Senate. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to serve with both and they will be deeply missed.

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