Confirmed by AG: June 29 is date for 2017 legislation

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear

Last week’s mention that it appears June 29 is the official date for legislation passed during the 2017 Kentucky General Assembly was made official Monday by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.

That’s when the AG’s Office released its weekly report on opinions and decisions and the first one was AG 17-007.

Here’s the full text of that decision:

Opinion of the Attorney General

The following question, in substance, has been presented: What is the effective date of legislation, other than general appropriation bills and acts containing emergency or delayed effective date provisions, passed during the 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, the Assembly having finally adjourned on Thursday, March 30, 2017?

As discussed below, the effective date of legislation, other than general appropriation bills and acts containing emergency or delayed effective date provisions, passed during the 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, is the first moment of Thursday, June 29, 2017. 

Section 55 of the Constitution of Kentucky provides:

No act, except general appropriation bills, shall become a law until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was passed, except in cases of emergency, when, by the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, by a yea and nay vote entered upon their journals, an act may become a law when approved by the Governor, but the reasons for the emergency that justifies this action must be set out at length in the journal of each House.

“[U]ntil ninety days after the adjournment” (emphasis added), as used in Section 55 of Kentucky’s Constitution (above), indicates that the day of adjournment (meaning the day of final adjournment for the session, termed “adjournment sine die“) is to be excluded in computing the 90-day period. It follows that the 90th day shall be included in the period, in order that 90 full days shall expire after final adjournment, before certain legislation passed during the session becomes effective. See OAG 07-002.

Applying the analysis described above to the 2017 Regular Session, the General Assembly having adjourned sine die on March 30, 2017, we find the following, regarding legislation other than general appropriation bills or acts containing emergency or delayed effective date provisions: The first day of the 90-day period after the session is Friday, March 31, 2017, and the 90th day of that period is Wednesday, June 28, 2017. When the last moment of that 90th day has expired, ninety full days will have passed after the adjournment “sine die” of the 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly. It follows that legislation (except for general appropriation measures and those containing emergency or delayed effective date provisions) passed during the 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly will be effective on the first moment of Thursday, June 29, 2017.

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