FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) – On the final day before a veto recess, lawmakers passed a controversial bill banning transgender-related healthcare for minors. However, the bill didn’t start out that way, and the loopholes lawmakers used to get it to the finish line raise questions.

The controversial bill does several things members of the LGBTQ community said target and harm transgender people. Supporters said the bill is about parents’ rights and protecting children. No matter which side of the debate people are on, how lawmakers passed this bill raises scrutiny over how much the public was part of the process.


Members of the House Education committee in near-unison shouted “motion on the bill” less than a second after Sen. Max Wise introduced Senate Bill 150 in a quickly-called meeting on Thursday. The committee tacked on changes, known as a committee substitute, that expanded the bill’s original provisions around parents’ rights in schools and legal protections for teachers to not refer to a student’s chosen pronoun to now include a condensed version of the transgender healthcare ban for minors that was originally proposed in HB 470. The night prior, HB 470 stalled in the Senate after that chamber voted to amend the bill limiting the restrictions it would impose. Instead of resurrecting the scaled-back bill, lawmakers took the original intent to a different bill, SB 150.

“You have waited till the last minute and there is no more room to debate to figure out what’s ethically right. This is being rushed through and children are going to die and I hear from them every single day,” Mason Chernosky pleaded to lawmakers on the committee.

The handful of advocates at the Capitol that day like Chernosky rushed to testify in the minutes before the committee meeting was called. The process that is normally intended to allow public input was rushed through by a GOP supermajority short on time.

“They used their procedural bag of tricks and made it work,” FOX 56 Political Analyst Jonathan Miller said.

Miller said this kind of governing isn’t new territory for either democrats or republicans. The party in power has a track record of bending the rules.

“They were under the gun, and they made a decision to kind of shift course and so waived the rules that normally protect the deliberation and public input,” he explained.

“We move legislation very quickly at this point in the session because we are at that point of being out of time. This bill is nine pages long,” Rep. David Meade (R-Stanford) said during a lengthy debate Thursday shortly following the committee meeting. The bill soon passed the chamber 75-22. When it was returned to the Senate, there was no opportunity for debate. That chamber voted 30-7.

To supporters like Meade, the bill protects children from making life-altering decisions early in life. But the concerns by LGBTQ advocates are that it will do more harm, expose transgender kids to more ridicule and push them to suicide.

Right now, the bill is waiting for action by Gov. Andy Beshear. While he hasn’t publicly said if he will veto the bill, he told reporters Monday he would not sign anything that he thinks would increase suicides and believes child health decisions should be made by parents not the government. Even if he vetoes the bill the GOP majority has the numbers and the time to overturn it.