FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers finished work Monday on a proposal giving them options to extend the time they meet in session if voters approve the constitutional change.
Republican House Speaker David Osborne, a leading advocate for the measure, said the proposed constitutional amendment would make the legislature more effective and responsive.
The proposal, which cleared the House on Monday, will go on the statewide ballot in 2022.
Lawmakers meet for 30 days in odd-numbered years and 60 days in even-numbered years. The goal in pushing for the constitutional change is to allow adjustments to the legislative calendar — with the approval of three-fifths of each chamber. In addition, sessions could be extended up to 12 days at the joint call of the House speaker and the Senate president.
The added scheduling flexibility would allow lawmakers to respond to emergencies, Osborne said, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as an example.
“If we’re going to be here, then let’s be as effective as we can possibly be," he said. "Let’s be as efficient as we can possibly be.”
While striving for scheduling flexibility, Osborne said: “We don’t want to fall into that trap of becoming a full-time legislature. We need to honor the intent of our service as a part-time legislature.”
The proposal would not change a governor’s ability to call special sessions.
The legislation is House Bill 4.