Category Archives: 2016 Legislative Session

HouseSpeakerStumboMay112016FRANKFORT – Looking to the courts for clarity on whether Governor Bevin’s recent vetoes—and another bill he signed into law – were done properly, Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed a lawsuit today in Franklin Circuit Court. 

            “I believe the governor’s actions go against the letter and spirit of Kentucky’s constitution, but case law is silent in many of the areas being called into question,” said House Speaker Stumbo of Prestonsburg.  “As a long-time lawmaker and a former Attorney General, I think we need direction so that this and future governors will have a better understanding of what they can do when it comes to approving or rejecting bills sent to them by the General Assembly.  This is not an adversarial lawsuit, but I do think it highlights what I see as a clear separation-of-powers issue.  We need to make sure nothing like this happens again.”

            The lawsuit is focused on the vetoes of House bills approved on April 15th – legislation that includes the state’s upcoming two-year budget – and the passage of Senate Bill 296, which the governor signed into law even though it had not been properly delivered to him.

            “There are questions about how he signed the vetoes, which office received them and whether each veto was explained as required,” Speaker Stumbo said.  “As for Senate Bill 296, the record shows our chamber could not enroll this bill because it arrived after the House had adjourned the legislative session on April 15th.   Without enrollment and my signature, the bill could not have been sent to the governor.”

            Speaker Stumbo also questioned the governor’s ability to line-item veto language within House Bill 129, which will implement the state’s two-year highway plan.  “This was not an appropriation bill, so it either needed to be approved or rejected entirely,” he said.  “We need more answers from the courts in this area as well.

            “I am also deeply concerned about vetoing House Bill 626 but maintaining the $100 million worth of bonds in the budget for workforce-development projects,” Speaker Stumbo added.  “Without the framework of House Bill 626, he essentially has a blank check on how this money can be spent.  Taking away legislative input entirely is wrong, and I don’t think he can issues these bonds as a result.”

            Speaker Stumbo noted that, as Attorney General, he had successfully litigated another budget-related matter a decade ago during the administration of Gov. Fletcher.  “Back then, there was question whether the governor had spending authority if no budget was in effect at the start of the fiscal year,” Speaker Stumbo said.  “The Kentucky Supreme Court correctly ruled that the only budgetary matters that can go forward are those required by the federal government or state constitution.  This lawsuit will shine further light in this area and give us the guidance we need.  I’m looking forward to what should be a quick and easy-to-make decision.”

 

Summary of Vetoes to Executive Branch Budget Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Deletes language related to special initiatives that were to be funded with $21 million from Tobacco MSA dollars in FY 2016. The funds now shall be used solely for agricultural development initiatives approved by the Agricultural Development Board with no dollar limit for… Continue Reading

Despite the projected growth – of nearly $1 billion in the next biennium – the Governor’s vetoes: …limit access to education opportunities for Kentucky’s students who are most in need Vetoes Work Ready Scholarship that would allow traditional high school graduates to earn a 2-year degree debt free, leaving the funding in 2018 with no… Continue Reading

FRANKFORT – Following the General Assembly’s near-unanimous approval this evening of a budget that will run state government for the next two years, House Democratic leaders said they were “extremely pleased” that proposals the chamber championed were included. “This budget is a great blueprint that will move the commonwealth forward while putting our retirement systems for… Continue Reading

April 14, 2016 Louisville Courier-Journal House and Senate negotiators finally reached agreement Thursday morning on a 2016-18 state budget that will infuse the state’s troubled pension funds with more than a billion new dollars but slash funding for state universities by 4.5 percent. The agreement capped three weeks of bumpy on-again, off-again bargaining sessions and… Continue Reading

At nearly midnight last night, the Senate walked away from budget negotiations even though some progress had been made. Here is the statement from House Leadership: “It is unfortunate that the Senate walked away during discussions about changing the calendar.  Because of the late hour, and the considerable amount of work remaining, we recommended moving… Continue Reading

Last week House and Senate leaders announced that budget negotiations had reached an impasse but are committed to reaching a deal before the April 15th deadline.  The House budget proposal has less debt and put more money directly into the pension system and protects public education from devastating and unnecessary cuts. Despite strong economic numbers… Continue Reading

Last week the House of Representatives passed a balanced budget, investing in education and workforce development. All 53 Democrats voted in favor of this budget while Republicans abstained from voting. Highlights of this budget include: Restoring cuts to K-12 and postsecondary education Fully funding ARC for KTRS and KERS retirees Largest rainy-day fund ever Less… Continue Reading

Kentucky Forward – Legislation to track the progress of workforce development in Kentucky was passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives. House Concurrent Resolution 97, sponsored by Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville, and Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro, would direct the Legislative Research Commission to establish a Kentucky Workforce Development Task Force to study workforce issues and… Continue Reading

Call to Create Kentucky Workforce Development Task Force Frankfort, KY—This week Representative Larry Clark (D-Louisville) introduced a concurrent resolution to the House Labor & Industry Committee in the House of Representatives to establish the Kentucky Workforce Development Task Force. HCR 97 calls for the establishment of a task force of stakeholders to study and develop… Continue Reading

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