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Sen. McConnell says he suggested the U.S. Senate vacancy changes to Ky. legislature

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Among the bills that the Kentucky legislature overrode Monday include Senate Bill 228 relating to the process of filling a U.S. Senate seat that might become vacant, a bill that has gained national attention.

MORE: Ky. bill to change process of filling vacancy of U.S. Senate seat gains national attention

Now with a Democratic governor in office, some have referred to the bill as the ‘Mitch McConnell-backed bill.’

“I’m not going anywhere, I just got elected to a six-year term,” expressed Senator McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell spoke with 13 News Tuesday about the bill and said he recommended that the state legislature take a look at changing the rules to align with other states.

“I have watched over my years in the Senate the way different states fill vacancies when they occur. And I thought the way we did it gave the governor whoever that may be, whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, too much power to put an interim appointment in there for the longest period of time,” said McConnell.

Senate Bill 228 states the new senator would be selected from a list of three individuals of the same political party as the senator who held the vacant seat.

“And then very quickly, it sets up an election so that people can choose who they want. I think it’s the best way to fill a vacancy if it occurs,” said McConnell.

Governor Beshear has called the bill ‘unconstitutional,’ so there is a chance he could take this override of his veto to court.

McConnell, 79, has held his Senate seat since 1985, winning his seventh term in November.

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