Kentucky legislature overrides governor's vetoes on school spending bills

House votes to override Bevin's veto on tax bill as he warns of shortfall

They wanted the vetoes to stand, forcing the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new budget.

They did it with nearly no help from Democrats while thousands of teachers once again descended upon the capitol to call for more money for education and protest changes to their pension system.

Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor's veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase.

Bevin vetoed both bills because he said the new taxes won't generate enough money to cover the new spending.

The votes exposed again the rift between Bevin and former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, and perhaps a growing rift with other Republican lawmakers.

FRANKFORT - As the House of Representatives took to the floor to debate a controversial tax overhaul that generates revenue in an effort to fund education and pension payments, Gov. Bevin threatened to call them back to Frankfort in a special session if the bills were not fiscally responsible.

Republican Rep. Jason Nemes said voting not to override the veto is a vote against public education. But 5-7 House Republicans united by Senate Republicans, voted to override.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, who spoke on the floor of the House saying that Bevin had promised to call a special session previous year, but never did.

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He went on to tweet the only reason he did not call a special session past year is because of Jeff Hoover was facing allegations of sexual harassment.

Actually, six Republicans voted to sustain that veto, but Hoover's point was clear enough. The Senate voted 20-18 and the House voted 57-40 Friday to override that veto.

The override vote on the budget wasn't close.

The Senate later voted 26 to 12 to override the funding veto. In all, 88 of the 90 Republicans in the General Assembly voted against the Republican governor on the budget.

Hoover, a Republican, criticized Bevin's remarks at press conference earlier in the week in which the governor said lawmakers don't understand fiscal policy.

Watson said the party respects and embraces people's right to demonstrate but said vandalism does nothing but diminish the cause they are fighting for.

Hoover also said Bevin can not be taken at his word because the governor failed to call a special session in 2017 over pension and tax issues, which Bevin said he would do. Democratic House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins said in a statement the budget was irresponsible and favored the wealthy and corporations over lower-income Kentuckians. Democratic lawmakers said they supported the school spending but protested the secretive way the tax plan was created and the way it raises additional revenue. "We're not running out of steam anytime soon", said Boyd County High School teacher Melissa Conley, who is president of the Boyd Education Association.

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