Businesses challenge Beshear administration’s reopening requirements in court

Businesses have recently been suing Gov. Andy Beshear over the reopening requirements put out by his administration.

On Monday, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles filed a lawsuit alongside an agritourism business declaring several of the governor’s executive orders to be violations of the state constitution and Kentucky’s Administrative Practices Act.

“Every Kentuckian wants to do the right thing to flatten the curve and save lives, but these orders have significantly burdened small businesses – especially through their haphazard and selective enforcement. In this case, the agencies responsible for communicating and implementing have been slow to provide guidance to this business,” Commissioner Quarles said. “For agritourism businesses across the state, peak season is approaching in September and October. Our farm families need answers now.”

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture argues the business has been working to comply with orders for public-facing business and outdoor attractions but was told by a public health official they could not allow more than 10 individuals into their 96,000 square foot space. The department says the business has experienced significant financial loss as a result of the guidelines.

Also this week, a ruling in northern Kentucky was issued to allow the Florence Speedway to open at 50 percent capacity after being shut down since the beginning of the pandemic. Boone County Circuit Court Judge Rick Brueggemann said Wednesday he would also take similar action for a local daycare to lift restrictions put in place by the Beshear administration.

The office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, said Wednesday that Beshear’s restrictions were too broad and violated the state’s constitution.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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