The Forward Five- Wednesday 3/17/21

11 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! Today, I’m going to do a brief explainer about the legislative schedule. If you know all of this, you can just skip to the Five Things section.

The Kentucky General Assembly meets every year, with even-numbered years getting sixty legislative days (days when the chambers meet in session), and odd-numbered years getting thirty legislative days. By law, they have a deadline for when they have to be finished, with this year’s deadline being March 30. At the end of that day, they will adjourn sine die, which means “without a day” – in other words, they are finished for that year.

If they pass a bill and the governor vetoes it, they can override that veto the next time they are in session. However, if they pass a bill and then adjourn sine die, the governor can veto the bill and they have no chance to override the veto.

So, the legislature likes to give itself two days right before sine die to override vetoes on what it has already passed. In order to hold onto those two days, they have to wrap up their work by midnight of the 28th day of the short session. After the 28th day, they go into “veto days,” where the governor can veto bills and they can come back to do any overrides.

That is where we are now. Last night was the end of the 28th day, with the chambers working right up until midnight, trying to finish passing bills. They did pass a bunch, but then they ran out of time to do any more.

And what happens to those bills that may have passed one chamber, and even passed a committee in the second chamber, but didn’t pass both chambers before veto days? They are dead for another year, unless leadership decides to vote on them during the two veto override days. But remember, if they do that, the governor can override those vetoes once they wrap up.

So, everyone take a breath, and watch to see what vetoes happen in the next ten days. Also, watch for more news about the budget. The transportation budget didn’t even get approved, and there are indications that the governor and the legislature are still talking about changes to the general fund budget.

There you go. You are now a legislative calendar expert. And, you have a new term you can impress your friends with: sine die.

Bruce Maples, publisher

Today’s Five Things to Know

Legislature passes flurry of bills in late-night session – but leave a bunch on the table.

The General Assembly was in session until midnight on Tuesday, trying to pass as many bills as possible before adjourning for “veto days.” Some of the bills that made it include election reforms, a constitutional amendment to give more days for the legislature to meet, the tax credits for educational “opportunity” scholarships, and a bill changing pensions for new teachers. One bill that wasn’t passed was the transportation budget, as the lawmakers just “ran out of time.”

We will sort through all the bills that passed or failed today and tomorrow, and post a list and/or series of stories once we do.

Remembering Breonna Taylor — a story in photos

A memorial and demonstration was held on March 13 in Louisville to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Louisville police. Del Ramey was there with his trusty camera, and gathered this story in pictures. (Forward Kentucky)

3/16 update — Outbreak of new strain of the coronavirus at nursing home shows risk of variants, but also the effectiveness of vaccines

An outbreak of COVID-19 in an Eastern Kentucky nursing home shows the risk of new variants of the virus, but also the power of vaccines to prevent serious illness and hospitalizations from the disease. Also, an update about the possibility of ebola in Kentucky. (Forward Kentucky)

Filibuster THIS!

The U.S. is again approaching a crucial point in our right to vote. The result will either be the biggest advance since the landmark Civil Rights Act, or the biggest setback since the start of Jim Crow in the 1870s. (Forward Kentucky)

Related: Biden supports filibuster reform

President Biden on Tuesday told ABC News he supports reforming the filibuster, calling on the chamber to readapt its old standard of requiring dissenting members to verbally speak on the floor to delay action on a bill.

“I don’t think that you have to eliminate the filibuster, you have to do it what it used to be when I first got to the Senate back in the old days,” Biden said in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “You had to stand up and command the floor, you had to keep talking.”

Filibustering is the controversial Senate practice designed to block action on a bill, first coming into existence as a means to preserve slavery in the United States. (NPR)

Dem Senator wants answers about “fake” FBI investigation of Kavanaugh

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has sent a letter to new AG Merrick Garland, asking him to help the Senate do a review of the FBI investigation in Brett Kavanaugh. Whitehouse believes the investigation, undertaken when Kavanaugh was under consideration for a Supreme Court seat, was “”politically-constrained and perhaps fake.” (CBS News)

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky

[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both

Watch out for Republicans trying to claim credit for American Rescue Plan’s state and local aid – Everyone, and especially the local media who will likely be getting those Republican press releases taking credit, needs to be clear: Democrats made this happen. (Commentary)

KY Senate panel advances bill supporting child sex-abuse victims – A bill that would extend the statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses involving minors from five to ten years after their eighteenth birthday is progressing through the Legislature. (News)

Why does McConnell win? It’s simple: politics without principles. – McConnell called Merrick Garland a “straight-shooter.” But when it comes to McConnell himself, being a straight-shooter is the LAST term you would use. And it’s been that way for decades. (Commentary)

Government has abandoned these four duties for too long – and the consequences are deadly – The functions of government are precisely those which are not the functions of business or the markets. Here are four areas where government must step up and lead. (Commentary)

Quick legislative update from MOKP – Robert Kahne and Jazmin Smith, hosts of My Old Kentucky Podcast, do a quick run-down of important bills in #KYGA21 and what is in them. Worth a read! (News)

[New] 🔥Give ’em hell, Tim! – I’d been hoping some Democrat would cut loose on Republican union-busters for claiming the GOP is the “working class” party. Rep. Tim Ryan just came through. (Commentary)

American Rescue Plan Is a lifeline for Kentuckians – One of the best things about this plan? it recognizes that the biggest risk is doing too little to get families and communities back on their feet, rather than too much. (Commentary)

Various states’ COVID responses are all over the map – According to year-long measurements, Kentucky was more successful than its seven surrounding states in keeping its rate of COVID deaths lower while also holding down its unemployment rate increase. (News)

🔥One dramatic chart shows the difference between Biden’s rescue plan and Trump’s tax scam – The chart shows the difference between Donald Trump’s “rescue plan,” which was really a giant tax scam for the wealthy, and the Biden American Rescue Plan, which actually helps everyday people. (Analysis)

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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