BOONE COUNTY, Ky. — The 2021 legislative session is just five months away, but in the meantime, some Kentucky lawmakers are filing bills in advance.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky lawmakers pre-file bills ahead of 2021 legislative session

  • One bills concerns governor's use of emergency powers

  • Bill, filed by Rep. Savannah Maddox, would impose 14-day limit on emergency authority

  • Beshear addresses bill at news briefing

One bill in particular concerns the governor’s use of emergency powers, called Bill Request 130.

If passed, it would impact the power granted to the governor under states of emergency, imposing a 14-day limit on that emergency authority.

One of the bill's sponsors is Northern Kentucky State Rep. Savannah Maddox (R).

“What I decided to do there, was to, in the event that a governor’s executive order issued during a state of emergency, which is called an emergency order in the bill, in the event that surpasses a two-week time frame, he or she, the sitting governor, must call the General Assembly to come back in order to extend that order any further,” Maddox said.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) defended his stance during Thursday’s press conference.

“Listen, I hope we never have to face a crisis or an emergency this long, but wouldn't you worry if the time period that gave you the authority that you need was so short that we lost our will to do the right thing too early?” Beshear said.

Maddox said emergency orders must be narrowly tailored to meet the urgency of an emergency.

“One of the number one concerns that I have heard among my constituency is that they feel like they do not have adequate representation in Frankfort during a state of emergency, and they feel like the majority of these executive orders have been issued as unilateral decrees more or less,” Maddox said.

Should an emergency go beyond 14 days, BR 130 calls for an extension on orders provided by the General Assembly.

“Could you imagine if we had to call in the legislature that said no to the mask-mandate, where we’d be right now with that exponential climb,” Beshear said.

BR 130 also adds an amendment to the Cabinet of Health and Family Services. Any actions related to public health and contagious diseases would have a time limit of 21 days or less, and anything beyond would need approval from the General Assembly.

Multiple other bills in similar fashion have been filed.

The legislative session resumes again next year in January.