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Ky. Senate leader disagrees with League of Women Voter criticism of fast-tracking bills

People seated at desks and standing in Kentucky Senate
Stu Johnson
Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said the Kentucky Senate operates in a transparent manner.

The majority floor leader in the GOP-led Kentucky Senate doesn’t see the need to make significant changes to timing when it comes to floor consideration of legislation. The Kentucky League of Women Voters released a report last week expressing concern about fast-tracking bills.

Scott County Senator Damon Thayer said all bills in the General Assembly are legally passed under the State Constitution and Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure and Robert’s Rules of Order. He said the Senate operates in a transparent manner.

“And we will continue to operate under the way that works best to make good laws, that makes Kentucky a better place to live, and raise families, and retire in, and I don’t see any massive changes coming,” said Thayer.

The League of Women Voters’ recommendations include holding three required readings on three separate days when bills emerge from committee, making committee substitute bills available online at least one full day before committee consideration, and allow at least one day between free conference committee revisions and a floor vote.

Thayer noted passage of a two year state budget and the state road plan are priority issues in the 2024 General Assembly session. The veteran GOP leader added his party’s caucus is supportive of school parental choice through a constitutional amendment.

“Every time we pass a bill like this, it gets ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court so, we think it’s time to give the people of Kentucky the chance to have the final word on this and consider changing the Constitution to allow parent choice in our schools,” said Thayer.

Thayer said this would be related to prior scholarship tax credit legislation which provided public funding for low income students to attend private or parochial schools. The State Supreme Court struck that law down, saying the State Constitution doesn’t allow for such a diversion of funding.

On social issues, Thayer said the legislature will wrestle with the question of adding exceptions to the current abortion law. The floor leader said last week, he didn’t have an answer for that question right now.

Copyright 2023 WEKU. To see more, visit WEKU.

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