FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lawmakers will spend an extra few days in Frankfort this month, hoping to push through a few bills limiting Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive power.
Republicans have been vocal against his coronavirus orders, but this is the first time they’ve gotten the chance to do anything.
“We shouldn’t reduce our flexibility to where we would have less ability to respond of just about any other state in the country,” Beshear said.
Republicans want limits to the governor’s power, claiming he hasn’t communicated with them or the public enough about his orders.
Beshear says that’s just not true, pointing to more than 40 appearances from state officials in committee hearings last year who spent more than 30 hours testifying.
“I think it’s important to know that while the word ‘consultation’ is being used, what’s really at issue is control,” Beshear said. “All the questions that have been asked have been answered right in front of a committee where some of the same people who are saying these things have been asking the questions and having the appearances.”
One bill in particular, House Bill 1, would allow businesses to stay open as long as they follow CDC guidelines.
Beshear says putting CDC rules into law makes no sense.
“This bill not only would bring in a set of often-times conflicting, sometimes vague, but in many times, very strict guidance that could be debilitating for things that we can do safely,” Beshear said. “But it also prevents us from providing clear advice and having the flexibility we need to address a virus that just mutated.”
And he says the CDC actually recommends tougher rules for the situation Kentucky is in right now, so that bill would backfire.
HB 1 is slated for a possible vote as early as Saturday morning in the Senate after it passed with a veto-proof majority in the House this week.
Senate Bill 1, which limits a governor’s emergency orders to 30 days without legislative approval, could be voted on as early as Saturday in the House after passing in the Senate this week with a veto-proof majority.