What passed, what didn’t: last day for Kentucky Legislature

Lawmakers focused on several bills, but there was as much talk about what wasn't passed as what was

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – In the final hours of Kentucky’s 2022 60-day Regular Legislative Session, lawmakers focused on several bills, but there was as much talk about what wasn’t passed as what was.

Wednesday, the Republican supermajority in both House and Senate secured the passage of several bills in a slew of overrides. The bills ha

d been vetoed by Governor Beshear during the veto period.

Earlier Thursday, Governor Beshear expressed frustration that lawmakers didn’t legalize sports betting, putting some of the blame on Republican Senator Damon Thayer.

“If Damon Thayer wanted to get sports betting passed, he’d get it passed. It’s time,” said Gov. Beshear.

House Bill 136, which would legalize medical marijuana, was also snuffed out in the Senate.

“If they won’t pass medical marijuana, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to see what type of executive authority we have and what path to begin moving forward,” said Gov. Beshear.

However, House Bill 604, which would create a cannabis research center at the University of Kentucky, passed the House 85 to 7.

In an unusual maneuver, a controversial bill vetoed by Governor Beshear that the House failed to override Wednesday was revived on Thursday. This time, there were enough votes to override the veto, allowing local politicians to take control of public libraries in Kentucky.

House Bill 222, or the “ANTI-SLAPP” bill, passed. The bill relates to lawsuits against community leaders, journalists, and others, and restricts the exercise of some constitutional rights.

House Bill 206, which prohibits anyone convicted of misdemeanors from being a peace officer, passed unanimously.

“It really is a huge improvement on the two bills that were mentioned that this body passed last year and I encourage members to vote ‘I,'” said Sen. Denise Harper-Angel (D) Louisville.

Senate Bill 90 also passed.

“Senate Bill 90 creates the pilot program to provide behavioral health interventions for people who are in pre-trial status, they haven’t been convicted of anything yet,” said the one of bill’s sponsors, Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R) Crofton.

The House also gave final passage to legislation ensuring post-partum Medicaid coverage for low-income mothers for up to a year in order to help reduce the state mortality rate.

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