FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Kentucky started overriding the Democratic governor’s vetoes Wednesday as lawmakers worked through a packed agenda with two days left in this year’s session.
The House took the first step toward overriding Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a charter schools bill — one of the most contentious issues of the 2022 session. The measure aims to launch charter schools in the Bluegrass State and supply them with funding. In a pivotal showdown, the House narrowly overrode the veto on a 52-46 vote, sending the bill to the Senate for final action.
The measure has drawn strong pushback from many in public education, and opponents continued to warn that it would siphon money from traditional public schools if it becomes law.
The bill would set up a long-term funding method for charter schools. Public charters, like traditional public schools, would receive a mix of local and state tax support.
The proposal also would require that at least two charter schools be created under pilot projects — one in Louisville and one in northern Kentucky. Opponents said that would only be the start, warning that charters would spread.
“Colleagues, don’t think that this will stop at Louisville and northern Kentucky. Don’t think this won’t affect your area,” Democratic Rep. Rachel Roberts said.
Instead of joining in the debate, House supporters let their votes do the talking. Supporters have portrayed charter schools as a way to give parents more choices for their children’s schooling.
Lawmakers faced a long day taking votes to override a long list of Beshear vetoes. They’ll also decide the fate of a number of measures still awaiting final votes.