April 27, 1994
Hon. Vic Hellard, Jr.
Director, Legislative Research Commission
Capitol Building Room 300
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Re: Effective Date of Certain Legislation Enacted During the 1994 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
Dear Mr. Hellard:
By letter of April 14, 1994, you asked that this office provide an opinion concerning the "normal" effective date of legislation enacted during the 1994 Regular Session of Kentucky's General Assembly. Final adjournment of the 1994 Regular Session was on April 15, 1994. We understand the term "normal," as used in your letter, to refer to legislation other than a general appropriation measure, or an enactment containing an emergency provision or a delayed effective date.
In our view, the "normal" effective date of legislation enacted during the 1994 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly is Friday, July 15, 1994, final adjournment having been on April 15, 1994. Discussion follows.
The effective date of legislation is governed by Section 55 of the Constitution of Kentucky, which 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.
The language "ninety days after adjournment" (emphasis added), as used in Section 55 of Kentucky's Constitution (above), indicates that the day of adjournment (meaning day of final adjournment for the session, termed "adjournment sine die") is to be excluded in computing the 90 day period set forth in the above cited Constitutional provision, and that the 90th day shall be included in the period, in order that 90 full days shall pass after enactment of certain legislation, before the legislation becomes effective.
Applying the above indicated analysis to the actual final adjournment date of the 1994 Regular Session of the General Assembly (April 15, 1994), the first day of the 90 day period after adjournment is April 16, 1994, and the 90th of the period is July 14, 1994. Accordingly, the effective date of legislation passed during the 1994 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, in the case of legislation other than general appropriation bills, and enactments not containing an emergency provision or a delayed effective date, is Friday, July 15, 1994.
Opinion of the Attorney General (OAG) 94-17 is moot, since adjournment of the General Assembly did not occur on either of the dates mentioned in that opinion.
Gerard R. Gerhard
Assistant Attorney General