Local/Regional News
9:21 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Beshear Uses Veto Pen On Legislation

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has exercised his power to veto legislation from the Kentucky General Assembly.

Beshear vetoed a bill that would ban the use of tolls to pay for a northern Kentucky bridge.

HB 407 would allow local governments to partner with private entities to pay for expensive projects. Beshear had hoped to use the law to help pay for the $2.6 billion Brent Spence Bridge project that connects Covington and Cincinnati.

But some northern Kentucky lawmakers are adamant the bridge should not be paid for with tolls. Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, amended the bill to ban the use of tolls to pay for the bridge.

Beshear said in his veto message it was a bad idea to eliminate any financing options for a vital project. Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson says he will ask lawmakers to override the veto.

Meanwhile, Beshear says he has vetoed language in the state budget bill that would have blocked construction projects at some community and technical college campuses.

Beshear said Friday his action will guarantee capital projects at all 16 colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

The governor's office says the budget passed by state lawmakers would have prevented nine of the 16 building projects from proceeding.

Beshear says the two-year colleges play key roles in preparing Kentuckians for the work force, and says the colleges are overdue for expansions and upgrades.

Beshear used his line-item veto power on other pieces of the $20.3 billion, two-year state budget that takes effect in July.

Lawmakers can consider overriding vetoes during their two-day wrap up session that starts Monday.