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Explainer: Rule Change in KY Senate

Written by Senator Adrienne Southworth, copied from Facebook

January 2, 2023

A lot of people have asked me this week if what is floating around about the new proposed senate rules is true that allows a member to be kicked out of their caucus. Plainly, YES. However, what many may not realize is it will also allow what I would call Trans-partyism, where senators can be swapped out of caucuses.

Here is a breakdown of how it works: According to the Constitution, Senators have to follow a few key requirements, but largely make their own rules. A longstanding senate rule has been that whatever party you are registered with is what caucus you belong to. The new rule would allow caucuses to vote members out and vote others in who may be registered differently.

What does all this mean? For the kick out portion of the rule, it will basically be used by party leadership to persuade or force the caucus membership to kick out any member of the caucus for any reason. The caucus provides vital information, staff, and networking to pass legislation. This rule could be a new tool to put caucus members over a barrel for votes. Engaging in the deliberative process independently needs to happen more, not less.