FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would amend the state constitution and remove the governor’s ability to implement regulations.
Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer says the legislature should be able to review regulations like the Affordable Care Act and Common Core school standards—both implemented by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear through regulatory means.
“I don’t ever remember voting on Common Core standards here,” says Thayer, of Georgetown. “When we passed Senate Bill 1 in 2009, the main crux of it was eliminating the CATS tests and replacing it with standardized testing, and I believe that intent has been perverted somewhat with the implementation of these Common Core standards.”
The measure passed by a contentious 24-14 vote that fell along party lines in the Republican-controlled chamber. Republicans support the bill because they say it would give them the authority to create and repeal regulations. That power currently resides within the governor’s office.
Democrats call the measure unconstitutional, and say it would give too much power to the legislature.
State Sen. Julian Carroll, a Frankfort Democrat, is a former governor. He opposes the measure.
“If you don’t like something the executive branch does, then stop all this other time-consuming stuff that we’re gonna get involved with if we pass this, and go on and take him to the court system!” Carroll says.
The bill now heads to the House, which has a Democratic majority.