GOP-dominated Kentucky legislature overrides most of Gov. Beshear’s vetoes, including budget line-items

Staff report

The Kentucky General Assembly easily overrode several of Governor Andy Beshear’s vetoes, given the Republican supermajority in the legislature, in the first day of the last two days of its regular session. The session’s last day is Monday.
The overridden bills include:

• HB 5, an omnibus crime bill the Governor said “had some good parts,” but lacked an indepth analysis of the costs. One of the most controversial aspects of the bill is making street camping a crime.

• HB 622, a measure that ends the governor’s power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies.

• HB 6, the budget bill, overrides included nearly all the line-item vetoes of the Governor in the funding of the state executive branch $128 billion budget. The legislature sustained the Governor’s veto of the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources report on abandoned and active coal mine reclamation projects.

The final day of the regular session of the General Assembly is Monday.

• SB 16, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, prohibits the operation of drones, video, or audio recording devices, or photography equipment on or above certain food manufacturing or processing facilities without written consent from the facility.

“Protecting our agricultural assets is paramount to the economic well-being of our state,” Schickel said. “By overriding this veto, we are ensuring the safety and security of our agricultural sector and the many businesses it supports.”
• SB 65, nullifies three emergency administrative regulations regarding Medicaid services, identified as deficient during the 2023 legislative interim.
“This bill directly tackles shortcomings affecting the efficiency and accountability of our healthcare system,” said West. “By taking decisive action today, we affirm our commitment to ensuring Kentuckians receive quality healthcare services without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.”
• SB 198, establishes the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority (KNEDA) and facilitates the development of the nuclear energy ecosystem across the commonwealth.
• SB 299, sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, Establishes the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation as an independent body to regulate horse racing, gaming, wagering, and charitable gaming. It emphasizes accountability to the governor, General Assembly, and the public. The corporation will be governed by a fifteen-member board appointed by the governor, with a title amendment declaring an emergency.
“This legislation marks a crucial stride towards enhancing integrity and accountability within Kentucky’s horse racing industry, further motivating our decision to override the Governor’s veto. By establishing the Kentucky Horse Racing and Gaming Corporation as an independent regulatory body, we prioritize transparency and public trust while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders. With the successful veto override, this legislation is now enacted law.”
• SB 349, establishes the Energy Planning and Inventory Commission (EPIC), tasked with formulating a comprehensive energy strategy for Kentucky and ensuring reliable energy service through stringent plant retirement approval processes.

• SB 259 which grants autonomy to the West End Opportunity Partnership Board by giving them the authority to set its own procedures to determine its successors.

This legislation will now become state law with the signature of Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams.
For a comprehensive list of vetoes overridden by the 2024 Kentucky General Assembly, please visit

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