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Wednesday Is Last Day For Bevin To Veto Or Sign Budget

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Wednesday is the last day for Gov. Matt Bevin to veto all or part of bills that passed on the final day of the legislative session, including the state budget.

Bevin’s spokeswoman Jessica Ditto declined to comment on possible vetoes, saying “everything will be filed accordingly” on Wednesday.

Bevin has already vetoed seven bills, including portions of the Judicial Branch operating budget.

Lawmakers will not have an opportunity to override any potential vetoes since they pushed the legislative session up to its constitutionally-required deadline of April 15.

Lawmakers arrived at a budget compromise that cuts most state spending by 9 percent over the next two years and puts $1.2 billion into the state’s pension systems.

Kentucky governors are allowed to line-item veto parts of bills, meaning Bevin could eliminate parts of the budget while leaving the rest of the document intact.

After weeks of stop-and-start negotiations, legislators agreed to exempt state colleges and universities from 4.5 percent of the cuts and fund a $25 million free community college scholarship program.

The budget also includes a provision that would allow three private prisons in the state to reopen. County officials have requested that Bevin veto the language, saying that it would shift money away from local coffers.

Other legislation that passed on the last day includes a “revenue bill” that would let Lexington raise its hotel room tax from 6 percent to 8.5 percent to pay off bonds to expand its convention center.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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