Kentucky Republicans are pressing forward with another effort to strip Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear of his powers—moves they never so much as contemplated when Beshear's Republican predecessor was in office.
Most notably, the GOP would all but shred Beshear's ability to issue executive orders by giving legislative committees—which would feature Republican majorities—the power to reject them. The same bill would also delay new orders from taking effect by at least 35 days; currently, they go into effect immediately. In addition, any "administrative body" established by an executive order would be disbanded 90 days after the end of a governor's term.
This attack on the governor's authority comes after Beshear's issuance of a number of important executive orders, the two most significant of which ensured 95,000 Kentuckians kept their Medicaid coverage and restored the voting rights of more than 150,000 citizens who have served out felony sentences. Beshear has been undeterred on this front, though, and recently launched a new website to help those with felony records learn whether they are eligible to regain their voting rights.
Meanwhile, another bill would require Beshear to obtain approval from the state Senate before appointing commissioners to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which regulates one of the state's best-known industries, or the Kentucky Horse Park, a popular theme park owned by the state. That's similar to the GOP's first attempt to shrink Beshear's powers by effectively eliminating his control over the state's Department of Transportation. With Republicans in firm control of the legislature and only a simple majority needed to override any Beshear vetoes, the GOP can and almost certainly will keep finding new ways to undermine the results of last year's election.