Lawmakers sound off on Governor’s executive orders including mask mandate

Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton
Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton(WKYT)
Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 11:10 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Governor’s use of executive power during the Coronavirus pandemic has been called into question with some legal challenges.

”This is about public health and it shouldn’t be politicized. We are trying to keep people safe. We are trying to stay ahead of the curve here,” said Senator Morgan McGarvey of Louisville.

A Scott County Circuit judge ruled in favor of the agriculture commissioner and Evan’s Orchard after they sued, claiming the Governor’s orders were unfairly hurting agri-tourism. The judge issued the temporary restraining order but some lawmakers say that doesn’t mean the most recent mask mandate isn’t enforceable.

”The emergency regulation from the order has the force of law. It is still in effect, even though we are seeing this action wind through the court system,” said Representative Joni Jenkins of Louisville.

A spokesperson for Republican Senate President Robert Stivers says it’s not so much about the mask mandate, but it’s about communication.

He said some legislative leaders aren’t happy about Governor Andy Beshear making these “major unilateral” decisions without contacting the General Assembly first.

The spokesperson for Senator Stivers also says they have consistently offered a hand, but Governor Beshear wants to act on his own.

Democratic leaders say they don’t see it that way.

“No, the Governor has been reaching out to the legislature, we have a part time citizen legislature. We can’t even take a vote until next January. The Governor was given these powers under the Constitution and by the legislature,” said Senator McGarvey.

The issue could be discussed by lawmakers more Monday when it’s brought up in an interim legislative committee.

The Mask mandate was on the agenda for the 10 a.m. meeting of the Administrative Review Subcommittee.

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