September 20, 2021

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Kentucky governor calls special session to deal with COVID – WLWT Cincinnati

3 min read

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday that he’s calling the Republican-led legislature into a special session to shape pandemic policies as Kentucky struggles with a record surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.The return of lawmakers to the state Capitol, starting Tuesday, will mark a dramatic power shift in coronavirus-related policymaking following a recent court ruling.Key GOP lawmakers have signaled their preference for policies favoring local decision-making over statewide mandates in response to the virus escalation fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant.Beshear wielded sole authority to call lawmakers into a special session and to set the agenda. But GOP supermajorities in both chambers will decide what measures ultimately pass.Various emergency measures issued by Beshear are set to expire as a result of the landmark court decision. Lawmakers will decide whether to extend, alter or discontinue each emergency order, and they are expected to put their own stamp on the state’s response to COVID-19.Throughout the pandemic, Republican lawmakers watched from the sidelines as Beshear waged an aggressive response that included statewide mask mandates and strict limits on gatherings. Republicans criticized the governor for what they viewed as overly broad and stringent restrictions on Kentuckians. The governor lifted most of his virus-related restrictions in June.The state Supreme Court recently shifted those virus-related decisions to the legislature. The court cleared the way for new laws to limit the governor’s emergency powers, which he used to impose virus restrictions. The justices said a lower court wrongly blocked the GOP-backed measures.Since the ruling, Beshear has been negotiating with lawmakers in anticipation of calling them into special session.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday that he’s calling the Republican-led legislature into a special session to shape pandemic policies as Kentucky struggles with a record surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

The return of lawmakers to the state Capitol, starting Tuesday, will mark a dramatic power shift in coronavirus-related policymaking following a recent court ruling.

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Key GOP lawmakers have signaled their preference for policies favoring local decision-making over statewide mandates in response to the virus escalation fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant.

Beshear wielded sole authority to call lawmakers into a special session and to set the agenda. But GOP supermajorities in both chambers will decide what measures ultimately pass.

Various emergency measures issued by Beshear are set to expire as a result of the landmark court decision. Lawmakers will decide whether to extend, alter or discontinue each emergency order, and they are expected to put their own stamp on the state’s response to COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, Republican lawmakers watched from the sidelines as Beshear waged an aggressive response that included statewide mask mandates and strict limits on gatherings. Republicans criticized the governor for what they viewed as overly broad and stringent restrictions on Kentuckians. The governor lifted most of his virus-related restrictions in June.

The state Supreme Court recently shifted those virus-related decisions to the legislature. The court cleared the way for new laws to limit the governor’s emergency powers, which he used to impose virus restrictions. The justices said a lower court wrongly blocked the GOP-backed measures.

Since the ruling, Beshear has been negotiating with lawmakers in anticipation of calling them into special session.

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