The arrival of Memorial Day each year is traditionally the start of summer, especially with students’ school years ending across the commonwealth. During the holiday weekend, families across our state gathered to begin their yearly traditions and the memory-making we all enjoy. These moments with family and friends would not be possible without the sacrifices of many who laid down their lives to bless ours. Properly honoring the memory of fallen service members demands a celebration with a heart of gratitude and a deliberate effort to educate our children on the significance of Memorial Day. How fortunate are we to live as residents of the United States and our great state?
Lawmakers returned to Frankfort on Wednesday, March 29, following the 10-day veto period, in which Governor Andy Beshear was allowed time to consider all legislation that had reached his desk. The Governor vetoed 15 bills in total but, likely given it is an election year, allowed several to go into law without his support (signature). Those bills were all added to the list of over 70 bills and resolutions he has vetoed but have been soundly overridden by the state House and Senate chambers since his inauguration. To begin, I want to inform the thousands who have contacted my office, spoken with me at the grocery store, gym, movie theater and everywhere else that sports betting will soon be legal in Kentucky. I've long supported and strongly advocated for the bill in the Senate. Thanks to the good work of advocates, we secured the necessary threshold of votes to get the bill over the finish line.
“I am so pleased my Senate colleagues approved Rep. Meredith’s legislation,” Thayer said. “I want to congratulate him for carrying on the good work of our good friend, Adam Koenig, and I was honored to carry the bill in the Senate. Sports betting is something I have wanted for Kentucky for a long time because I view it as an extension of our time-honored tradition of betting on horse races. I look forward to Kentuckians being able to place their wagers right here in the commonwealth instead of traveling across state lines to spend their money in other states. This is a great day for the commonwealth and its people. Freedom won the day.”
The veto period is upon us, and numerous bills are now on the Governor's desk awaiting his action. The Governor has 10 days to consider whether he will sign them, allow them to become law without his signature, or veto them. In this short session, the General Assembly has worked hard to deliver meaningful legislation to the Governor protected by the veto override period. Any vetoed bill will qualify for a legislative override when we return to Frankfort on March 29. Any additional bills fully passed during the final two days of the session will not be eligible for a legislative override.
The 2023 Legislative Session is in the home stretch, with only 4 more legislative days before we enter the veto period. Next week we will be in session Monday through Thursday with two days scheduled for the House and Senate chambers to find agreement on any qualifying legislation. Friday, March 17 will begin the 10-day veto period until Tuesday, March 29 for the Governor to consider all legislation lawmakers have sent to his desk. I am eager to see any bills he may choose to veto that will enter the category of bills the legislature has swiftly overridden and enacted into law over his veto.
During the General Assembly's fifth week of the 30-day legislative session, March came in like a lion, with over 30 bills clearing the Senate chamber. However, the legislative forecast is not calling for March to go out like a lamb, as plenty of work remains in Frankfort before the final day of session on March 30.