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State legislators gather in response to Gov. Beshear’s mask mandate

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - A state legislative panel heard from health leaders about the Governor’s mask mandate on Monday.

The meeting involved both House and Senate Legislators in the interim committee.

Lawmakers had a number of questions about the mandate.

Health Cabinet Secretary Eric Friedlander told lawmakers there is scientific evidence that masks will work and curb the spread of COVID-19; however, some lawmakers are questioning if it is unconstitutional to require Kentuckians to wear masks.

A lawyer for the health cabinet said that when Governor Beshear announced the mandate and the General Assembly was not contacted first.

Another lawyer pointed out that lawmakers were consulted about other various issues during the pandemic.

Senator Julie Racque Adams said she’s learning of various problems people are having in her district including a man who says he should be cleared from wearing a mask because of a hearing impairment but keeps getting turned away.

“Yet they have been denied two times when they were out this weekend from an establishment, two establishments. And the establishment said, ‘we don’t know if we will get in trouble because patrons over there don’t know if you are hearing impaired, we might get called on.”

Health leaders admit there needs to be more education and guidance. Dr. Steven Stack said the wearing of masks is the most important thing to reopening the economy.

The committee chairman said his number one recommendation is for there to be an immediate public hearing on the regulation.

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