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Legislature overrides two of Gov. Andy Beshear’s vetoes

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 3:27 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - The Kentucky legislature was busy Monday in overriding gubernatorial vetoes.

Two bills that came as the result of the pandemic and were vetoed by Governor Andy Beshear have become law through the legislature’s veto override power.

Governor Beshear vetoed both House Bill 4 and Senate Joint Resolution 150 and the Republican majority of both House and Senate had enough votes to override both.

The COVID-19 state of emergency ended under Senate Joint Resolution 150, which Governor Beshear issued over two years ago at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That state of emergency was set to end next month anyway. Some say ending the state of emergency could impact the $50 million Kentucky receives in extra SNAP benefits for the poor. The USDA issued more money because of the pandemic.

The legislature also voted to override the gubernatorial veto of House Bill 4. Some argue it is going to make it much harder for people laid off to find a job with equivalent compensation. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce supports the bill because of the numerous employers who have struggled to find workers in the past year.

“We have a pretty serious workforce participation issue in Kentucky. We have around 160,000 jobs open in Kentucky right now. We are down 20,000 workers from when the pandemic hit and we lost significant workers from our workforce,” said Kate Shanks, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

In vetoing House Bill 4, Governor Beshear said it cut unemployment benefits to half the time span they’re in effect now and it would force people to take any job whether it’s a good one or not. However, chamber officials say a person can get extra weeks of unemployment if they are enrolled in an education or certification program.

Senate leaders have said that the Governor’s state of emergency is not the only way to fund an expansion of SNAP benefits.

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