The 2022 legislative session runs from January 4 through April 14. The time from March 31 through April 11 is known as the veto period.

Skip to our 2022 veto requests and letters.

What is the veto period?

Lawmakers have 60 working days this year and do not work during the veto period. The veto period is a 10-day stretch for the Governor to veto any bills passed by the General Assembly. Lawmakers will return for the final two days of the legislative session on April 13 and 14. During that time they will have one last chance to pass bills and the opportunity to override any of Governor Beshear's vetoes, enacting those bills into law over his objections.

Lawmakers will not have the chance to override any vetoes on bills passed during the final two days, so they typically pass their priority legislation before the veto period. Lawmakers generally pass bills that are unlikely to receive a veto during the final two days. The governor must sign or veto a bill within 10 working days of the General Assembly passing a bill. If they decline to act, the bill will become law without their signature. Lawmakers set the calendar for the legislative session which is why the veto period is strategically timed in the General Assembly's favor.

Overriding a veto is fairly easy in Kentucky. Lawmakers need a constitutional majority to override a veto and enact a bill into law. That means they only need 50% plus one vote of the total number of elected members in each chamber. The constitutional majorities are 51 votes in the 100-seat House of Representatives and 20 votes in the 38-seat Senate. (Putting vetoes aside, bills can pass out of the General Assembly with a simple majority of votes, meaning they need only more yes votes than no votes. For instance, a bill could pass the House of Representatives 47 to 23 if several members are absent or abstain from voting.)

Most new laws go into effect 90 days after the last day of the legislative session. The session ends on Thursday, April 14, 2022, so most new laws will go into effect on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Some bills have an emergency provision. These laws go into effect immediately upon the governor signing the bill into law or the Kentucky General Assembly voting to override a veto. Bills with emergency provisions include the phrase "declaring an emergency" in their title. 

We urged Governor Beshear to veto several pieces of legislation that will undermine your civil rights and liberties.

See our veto requests below and read our letters to Governor Beshear in the PDFs at the bottom of this page.

2022 Veto Requests

House Bill 3

Abortion Restrictions and 15-week Ban

House Bill 3 has imposed several new restrictions on abortion care:

  • severely restricts access to medication abortion care
  • increases barriers for young survivors of violence and trafficking seeking care
  • violates patient privacy
  • imposes regulations the state is not equipped to accommodate or enforce
  • bans all abortion care after 15 weeks of pregnancy

Governor Beshear vetoed House Bill 3 on Friday, April 8. Read our statement and the governor's letter explaining his veto here. The General Assembly overrode the veto the evening of Wednesday, March 13, 2022. It went into effect immediately because it has an emergency clause. We filed our lawsuit challening the law at 8:30AM ET, Thursday, March 14, 2022.

House Bill 43

Legal Immunity for Religious Organizations

House Bill 43 will give religious organizations legal immunity by effectively blocking enforcement of any laws during a state of emergency if religious organizations claim to be exercising their faith when engaging in unlawful conduct.

Governor Beshear signed House Bill 43 into law on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Read our statement on HB43 becoming law here.

House Bill 63

School Police

House Bill 63 will require all school campuses to have a police officer. When police enter schools, they do what they are trained to do: detain, handcuff, and arrest. Students of color and with disabilities are disproportionately arrested and funneled into the criminal legal system when police enter schools. Students need counselors, therapists, and after school programs – not more law enforcement.

Governor Beshear signed House Bill 63 into law on Friday, April 8, 2022. Read our statement on HB63 becoming law here.

House Bill 215

Enhanced Criminal Penalties for People with Substance Use Disorder

House Bill 215 will enhance criminal penalties for drug trafficking, but it includes broad language that would unfairly and severely punish people with substance use disorder who are not trafficking. These Kentuckians need access to community-based treatment, not incarceration.

Governor Beshear signed House Bill 215 into law on Friday, April 8, 2022. 

Senate Bill 1

Classroom Censorship

Senate Bill 1 will censor teachers and students by dictating how teachers discuss history and the content of those discussions. These censorship provisions were originally in Senate Bill 138, but were added to Senate Bill 1 just before the veto period. This law will also hold teachers criminally liable for any violations. Lawmakers claimed this was included by mistake, but proceeded to override the veto anyway.

Governor Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 1 on Wendesday, April 7, 2022. Read our statement and Governor Beshear's explanation for his veto here. The General Assembly overrode the veto on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. SB1 went into effect immediately because it has an emergency clause.

Senate Bill 83

Ban on Trans Girls in Girls' Sports

Senate Bill 83 will ban trans girls from girls' sports for students from sixth grade through college. This is an attack on our children, a solution in search of a non-existent problem, and unconstitutional. SB83 would violate Title IX of the Civil Rights Act by imposing a wholesale ban on students based on their gender identity and students' constitutional rights to equal protection and privacy. It could also jeopardize Kentucky colleges' and universities' participation in organizations like the NCAA because SB83 could force schools to violate NCAA policies.

Governor Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 83 on Wendesday, April 7, 2022. Read our statement and Governor Beshear's explanation for his veto here. The General Assembly overrode the veto on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. 

Senate Bill 205

Attack on Businesses' Rights to Free Speech and Association

Senate Bill 205 will punish private businesses that choose not to engage with other businesses based on their environmental practices and beliefs. This is a clear attempt by lawmakers who disagree with environmental activists using their state power to quash dissent.

Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 205 into law on Friday, April 8, 2022.