At his daily press briefing Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he sees major issues with many of the bills passed by the General Assembly in the first week of the 2021 session and plans to veto any bill that limits his administration’s ability to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beshear read a letter from CDC Director Robert Redfield addressing Kentucky’s House Bill 1, which states Kentucky’s businesses and organizations can continue to operate as long as they meet or exceed the CDC guidelines.
Redfield’s letter states that the CDC’s guidelines should be seen as recommendations, not regulations and should not be written into law, according to Beshear. The governor pointed to many CDC statements and areas of research about the spread of the virus in places like restaurants and gyms that he feels support the regulations he has implemented thus far.
When asked if he plans to veto House Bill 1 and many other bills passed by the General Assembly last week, Beshear indicated he will likely be issuing vetoes on many of the pieces of legislation and court cases will likely follow after the legislature overrides his vetoes. He noted while going to court sounds dramatic, it is how the branches of government settle disagreements.
Beshear said last week was the highest number of COVID-19 cases the state has ever seen with more than 26,000 cases and a positivity rate of more than 11 percent. He said much of this higher rate is likely contributed to people having holiday gatherings in recent weeks.
When asked if he plans to issue more restrictions in response to the increase in cases, Beshear said he does not have concrete plans to move forward on new restrictions just yet.