Parking spaces

Beshear vetoes parking bill

We now have the first Beshear veto of the post-session period. And what is it? Parking spaces.

Governor Beshear vetoed HB 291, an “ACT relating to transactions between the Legislative Research Commission and the Executive Branch.” His veto message is short and not too sweet:

I, Andy Beshear, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, pursuant to authority granted under Section 88 of the Kentucky Constitution, hereby veto the following:

House Bill 291 of the 2022 regular session of the General Assembly in its entirety.

I veto Bill 291 because the role of the General Assembly is not to determine who gets which parking spaces on Capitol Hill by statute. Moreover, in House Bill 291, the General Assembly attempts to give itself more favorable terms of lease and service than those enjoyed by the executive branch.

Now, before you assume this is just a minor pissing contest between Republicans and the government, the bill is actually worse than Beshear’s ratings. At the very end of the bill, it says that the Legislative Research Commission (headed by the Republic leadership) will assume control of the entire Capitol Annex, and then there’s this:

The Cabinet allocates to the General Assembly and the Legislative Research Committee all parking spaces in the Capitol campus parking lot, all parking spaces in the east, south and west parking lots of the new Capitol Annex State and all parking spaces to the west. New State Capitol parking lot, except for spaces in the New State Capitol West parking lot allocated, effective January 1, 2022, to the Kentucky Supreme Court, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. Any additional allocation of parking spaces allocated under this paragraph shall be at the sole discretion of the Legislative Research Commission or its delegate.

Have you ever heard the term “land grabbing”? Now we have a “parking spot grab”. And of course what it really is is a power play.

It is a good thing that someone reads the bill to the end. And kudos to Governor Beshear for vetoing.


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Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins