Gov. Bevin vetoes three bills brought by Republicans

04/11/2016 05:58 PM

Gov. Matt Bevin has vetoed three more bills passed by wide margins by the House and Senate for reasons including, “unnecessary government intrusion,” and additional costs on state agencies, according to veto messages.

With his latest batch of vetoes Bevin has struck down legislation aimed at revamping child support guidelines, establishing a ‘Books for Brains’ Program to encourage preschool children to develop an appreciation of books and a bill which would provide residents of assisted living facilities with educational information on influenza.

On Friday, Bevin struck down Senate Bill 22 , sponsored by Senator Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, which would require residents of assisted living facilities to be provided information about influenza and vaccinations to prevent the disease. The provision was added on to the bill, and passed without a dissenting vote in the House and Senate.

In a message accompanying the veto Bevin called the bill “an example of an unnecessary government intrusion into the private sector.”

“It instills little to no confidence that there will be any measurable health benefit resulting from this increased regulation of private assisted living facilities,” Bevin wrote in the veto message.

Alvarado, a Winchester physician, said his bill was essentially calling for the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care to be added to state statute, but in the House Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson, added the language about the influenza prevention which he and the Senate concurred with those changes.

Now, Alvarado says he will likely wait until next session to try and add the organization to state statute or add it on as an amendment to a House bill next year.

A veto order was also issued for Senate Bill 196 which would have established a ‘Books for Brains’ program for preschool children across the state. The legislation does include a fiscal impact of $50,000 according to a note attached to the bill, and for that reason Bevin said the state couldn’t afford the program.

In the veto message attached to the bill Bevin said it would essentially act as an unfunded mandate to the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. Bevin wrote that any action on preschool education should come from a “comprehensive analysis of P-12 education” and be based on collaborative efforts with the Kentucky Department of Education.

Sen. Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz, brought the bill and he said he also heard from the governor about the veto coming down, which he “appreciated.”

“I understand his situation … and I understand his dilemma, but on the other hand I’ve seen first-hand the benefit it plays in schools around my area,” Humphries said pointing to increases in readiness scores.

“While I’m disappointed I think some point in time it really needs to be looked at whether its part of an overall review, reform — whatever the case may be that really focuses more closely on preschool and readiness scores for children and I think this bill would have helped with that.”

Bevin also vetoed Senate Bill 153 which would establish new amounts in the child support guidelines table and delete the old amounts. The legislation also cleared both chambers of the General Assembly without a ‘no’ vote.

In his veto message, Bevin did agree there was a need to address individuals earning in excess of $15,000 per month he said other areas of the bill make it “untenable.”

“I understand the governor’s concerns he gave me the courtesy of a phone call before he made the final decision, and said he was having some trouble with it,” Westerfield said.

The Hopkinsville Republican said he doesn’t expect Senate leadership will call for the override of the veto, but said he thought there could be a compromise in the works in another legislative session.


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