On Saturday, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed he is calling lawmakers back to Frankfort and signed the proclamation to begin a special session starting Tuesday, September 7 at 10 am.
Rumors of a special session began following a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling stating that three new laws passed during the 2021 Kentucky General Assembly limiting the governor’s powers are valid, saying in the 34-page order that the Franklin Circuit Court abused its discretion in blocking the new laws from taking effect.
Beshear said the special session call will include asking the General Assembly to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency until January 15 when they are back in regular session in 2022, determining the governor’s ability to require masking as the state experiences surges, appropriating federal funds to help in different areas, and providing flexibility to Kentucky schools.
The laws passed in 2021 puts some of the power to make decisions about how to deal with COVID-19 into the hands of the General Assembly. Beshear stated he has been working with legislative leadership since the Supreme Court decision to determine next steps and find consensus and that the two branches of government have exchanged information and even draft legislation in the days leading up to the official call.
Beshear said he believes the legislature should be able to get through the items on the call within five days and while he doesn’t anticipate getting everything he wants from the special session, he believes there is good work already being done.
Other items on the call include extending the state of emergency for flooding emergency in some areas, as well as provide the Cabinet for Economic Development flexibility over projects over $2 billion and other items.
Stay tuned to The Bottom Line next week for more details from the special session.