Legislative business postponed as leaders evaluate how to proceed in light of coronavirus

Coronavirus virus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D render

Leaders of both parties from the House and Senate released a statement Thursday evening announcing the General Assembly will not convene on Friday, March 13 or Monday, March 16 to evaluate how to proceed in light of COVID-19.

While at this time, there have been no reports of anyone at the Capitol or in Frankfort testing positive for coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear has announced precautionary measures including removing half of the chairs in committee rooms and closing down tables in the annex cafeteria to prevent large groups congregating and potentially accelerating the spread of the virus. Beshear also launched a website earlier this week to keep Kentuckians up-to-date with the virus in the Commonwealth: kycovid19.ky.gov.

Lawmakers have cautioned those in the building to continue taking steps recommended by the CDC for personal wellbeing and will now decide what the rest of the 2020 session will look like as schools across the state have closed and more social isolation is being encouraged.

The decision for the legislature to not convene on Friday and Monday does not change the number of legislative days.

The statement from Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker David Osborne, Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, and House Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins:

“The General Assembly continues to support the efforts of Governor Beshear and Kentucky’s public health community to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 virus. After much careful consideration, we have decided to exercise an abundance of caution and postpone legislative business on Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16. This will not affect the number of legislative days left in this session. However, it will provide an opportunity to evaluate safety procedures as we move through the remainder of session. We anticipate resuming normal legislative business on Tuesday, March 17.”

Find business resources about the coronavirus on the Kentucky Chamber website here.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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