Kentucky bills on transgender athletes, charter schools take effect Thursday
Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the transgender athlete bill in April 2022.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Kentucky S.B. 83, an act that will ban transgender women from participating in KHSAA sports, will go into effect on Thursday.
The bill mandates that all schools that “participate in interscholastic athletics to designate all athletic teams, activities, and sports based upon the biological sex of the students eligible to participate,” prohibiting all “male students” from partaking in teams and sports designated as “girls.”
While the bill was introduced in the Kentucky Senate on Jan. 11, 2022 and vetoed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 6, the veto was over-ridden by the General Assembly on April 13 with a 29-8 vote in the Senate and a 72-23 vote in the House.
In the governor’s veto message, Beshear stated:
“The General Assembly calls Senate Bill 83 the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.’ If it were truly the intention of the General Assembly to prevent unfair advantage in women’s sports, it needed to look no further than the policies of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Importantly, the KHSAA ‘recognizes and promotes the ability of transgender student-athletes to participate in the privilege of interscholastic sports and sports-activities free from unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation.’”
Gov. Beshear went on in his statement to say that KHSAA policies act as a guide for schools to create an environment “free from discrimination and provide an equal opportunity.”
According to KHSAA policies, sex reassignment may be proven through a student-athlete’s birth certificate, driver’s license, passport or any other medical documentation verified by a school member. In addition, the student-athlete who has undergone sex reassignment through hormonal therapy or surgical anatomical changes, may participate in their reassigned gender’s sport.
S.B. 83 was sponsored by Kentucky Senators Robby Mills (R-Henderson), Max Wise (R-Campbellsville), Danny Carroll (R-Benton), Rick Girdler (R-Somerset), Phillip Wheeler (R-Pikeville) and Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green).
In addition to S.B. 83, two other bills will be going into effect on Thursday as well:
- H.B. 215: An act that will enhance the penalty for importing or trafficking fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives from a minimum of 50% of the sentenced served to 85%. The bill was signed by Beshear on April 8, 2022.
- H.B. 9: An act to fund charter schools in Kentucky using federal, state and local finances. Gov. Beshear vetoed this bill for multiple reasons, including the notion that the “underfunded public schools” will become even more underfunded by “diverting taxpayer funds to for-profit entities.”
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