Bill Passes Senate that Would Limit Governor’s Pardon Power

In the wake of former Governor Matt Bevin’s questionable use of a Governor’s pardon power, a proposed constitutional amendment, known as Senate Bill 58, would certainly limit a Governor’s authority.    The proposed amendment would prohibit a governor from pardoning or commuting sentences beginning a month before a gubernatorial election and ending with the governor’s inauguration.

Supporters of the measure say the purpose is to prevent future Governors from “hiding in the darkness during the last minutes of an administration,” according to Senator Chris McDaniel of Northern Kentucky, the lead sponsor of the measure.

SB 58 passed by a 33-4 vote. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration. If it also clears that chamber, it would be placed on the November ballot for voters to decide.

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