Prior to the 1992 amendment of Section 83 of the Constitution of Kentucky the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky was the Senate's presiding officer, but was rarely present. The President pro tempore of the Kentucky Senate – called the Senate President Pro Tem for short – acted as the de facto presiding officer. The President Pro Tem usually presided over the body and was the most influential member of that body.
The President Pro Tem was almost always chosen by the majority party from among their members, then elected on a party line vote.
After the 1992 amendment, the Lieutenant Governor was stripped of all duties relating to the Senate. A new office, President of the Kentucky Senate, was created under amended Sections 84, 85, 86 and 87 of the Constitution of Kentucky; the President of the Kentucky Senate was given power to preside over the Senate.
The office of President pro tempore continued in existence as, nominally, the second highest ranking position in the body, though as a practical matter the Majority Leader usually wielded more influence and power in the chamber. Before and after the creation of the office of President of the Kentucky Senate, the Senate President pro tempore served as a member of the Legislative Research Commission.