“What’s going to happen?”  Fateful Friday is here, and this is the question.
Given the options, the House and Senate will likely override the Governor’s vetoes. In addition to the policy arguments, Democrats who originally voted No might now vote Yes. There’s a strong sense of “legislative independence” driven by the basic notion that the legislative branch sets the spending and tax policies and plans to be carried it by the Administration.
There’s more to this. With several unintended consequences of the tax proposal, HB 366, there could be a “fix” for 366, a new and improved measure passed as a separate clean-up bill. The legislature agrees with the Governor’s finding that revenue bill falls short of making the budget balance. There must be additional tax sources found and passed to make the 2-year budget work.
Teachers will show up in Frankfort in droves, thousands attending the final hours of the session. Several school systems are closed on Friday for this purpose.
Here is a brief summary of the events leading up to now:

THURSDAY MARCH 29 | A second shot at the pension fix appears in the afternoon. Much of SB1 is inserted into SB151 (wastewater sewage treatment). Many measures disliked by KEA are removed (i.e. cost of living adjustment decrease) but educators can no longer save sick days to boost retirement calculations.Teachers flood the Capitol in protest. Bill passes both chambers after many hours of intense debate. Across the state, districts cancel school Friday due to sick out – high volume of teachers calling in sick.

MONDAY APRIL 2 | With budget passage being the only constitutionally mandated role of KYGA18, HB200 passes House and Senate late in the final hours before the veto daybreak. To finance the expenditures and answer the “find funding first” rallying cry, members also pass a late-breaking revenue bill that created new taxes, including a list of 17 services that would receive a sales tax.

MONDAY APRIL 9 | In the Governor’s live press conference, he announces he will veto HB200 (budget) and HB366 (revenue) because the proposal “ignores fiscal reality and continues to kick the can of financial responsibility down the road”. You can read the full veto messages here and here

House and Senate leadership released a joint statement in response.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 10 | Governor signs pension bill into law. Earlier, he had vetoed the bill that would allow for a phase-in approach to delay dramatic cost increases, HB362, due to another provision. He agrees with the phase-in approach and has asked the legislature to keep this portion of the bill intact. Speaker pro-tem Osborne said they’ll consider changes, but they feel all provisions of the bill to be important.

Passing Additional Bills

The Legislature can still pass bills but forfeits the opportunity to override any vetoes by the Governor. Several bills are thought to have a chance, including HB227 “net metering”, SB20 restrictions on medical malpractice, and SB197 – originally a bill pertaining to water well drillers, but had language inserted last minute regarding taxing teacher pensions and health subsidies for retired teachers’ dependents. Read about these bills and others here.

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