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Frankfort Local News

Outside of Budget Line Items, Beshear Doesn’t Expect to Veto Other Bills

Kentucky lawmakers have one more legislative day in their calendar this year, but they likely won’t spend it overriding vetoed bills.

Governor Steve Beshear spent most of Wednesday signing bills into law. And outside of the almost mandatory line item vetoes every governor has in budget bills, Beshear says he doesn’t expect to use his veto pen.

“As far as I know I don’t anticipate any vetoes of any other legislation,” Beshear says

That means dozens of bills lawmakers passed this session will become law. This includes bills allowing new districts of innovation for local school districts, the elimination of confederate pensions and new restrictions on pseudoephedrine purchases.

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Frankfort Local News

Future of Coal County Scholarship Program Uncertain

A bill to create a scholarship fund to help students from coal mining counties in Kentucky finish their education is once again in limbo.

House Bill 260 would create a fund to give scholarships to college juniors and seniors who finish their degrees at schools in coal-producing counties.

The program was originally meant only for students from eastern Kentucky, but it was expanded to apply to students from all 38 mining counties in the state.

The updated bill didn’t pass before lawmakers adjourned for a veto recess last week, leaving only one day for both chambers to approve the measure. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he’s not sure why the Senate didn’t vote on the bill.

“Well some of us would like to see House Bill 260 come on down, you know as far as I know that one is an agreed to bill. I don’t know if they’re holding it because they think they can use it for leverage for something up here,” he says.

Senator Robert Stivers says his chamber didn’t intentionally ignore the bill. It simply got lost in the last-minute shuffle to pass a budget last week. 

When we return on the 12th, we will take that up,” he says, referring to the final legislative day this year, when lawmakers meet to override gubernatorial vetoes. 

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Local News

Veto Recess Begins In Frankfort

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The 2009 session of the Kentucky General Assembly is in a two-week recess to give Governor Steve Beshear time to consider possible vetoes.

Lawmakers return on March 26, and the session ends on the 27th. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo is already predicting a special session may be necessary in June to address budget concerns. If so, he hopes lawmakers will pass his video slots bill, which he says could raise hundreds of millions of new tax dollars for the state.

But even if there is a special session, Senate President David Williams doubts Stumbo’s bill will fly.

“We have at least one additional vote in the Senate now, on the Democratic side that’s not going to vote for any expansion of gaming. And that makes the numbers, as small as our membership is – one or two or three votes make a difference,” Williams said.

Only Governor Beshear can call a special session, if he and lawmakers agree one is needed.