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Kentucky governor vetoes bills shifting executive powers

Governor Andy Beshear
Posted at 12:53 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 12:53:16-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s Democratic governor has vetoed Republican-backed bills seeking to shift authority away from his office.

Gov. Andy Beshear summed it up Monday as a partisan attempt at “playing switcheroo with executive powers” held by governors. House Speaker David Osborne responded that Kentuckians elected Republican supermajorities to serve as a check on the governor’s authority.

Two vetoed bills would shift authority to Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and another would give more power over state money to Treasurer Alison Ball. Quarles and Ball are Republicans.

One ag-related bill vetoed would shift the power to appoint state agriculture board members from Beshear to Quarles. Another vetoed bill would replace the governor on the State Investment Commission.

Another vetoed bill would allow the state fish and wildlife board to appoint its own commissioner and set the salary.

Beshear said the bills would weaken checks and balances in government.

Lawmakers can consider overriding the vetoes when they reconvene later this month.