Lawmakers will meet over the weekend to discuss bills limiting the governors executive powers

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Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:40 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky lawmakers are moving quickly on several bills aimed at limiting the governor’s power.

Several bills have already passed one chamber and are advancing through the others.

Lawmakers have agreed to adjust their calendar and will vote on legislation Saturday and three days next week. This breaking the tradition to only meet four days the first week of the odd-year session.

Senator Damon Thayer says the reasoning is they want to get it done as soon as possible, “We’re meeting tomorrow because it takes 5 days to pass a bill and we want to get these bills done.”

Among those are House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1, designed to limit, but not take away, the governor’s emergency or executive powers. House Bill 1 will give more freedom to schools and businesses to stay open if they follow CDC guidelines. Senate Bill 1 limits the dates of executive orders to 30 days unless the General Assembly approves.

Representative Mike Castlen says this gives Kentuckians a voice, “This gives the ability for all corners of Kentucky to be able to come to have a say so, in an emergency order that may dip into every corner of their life.”

Other Representatives, such as Patti Minter, believe this is not necessary, “We are lucky that we have some of the lowest numbers of any of the surrounding states. That is because Governor Beshear kept us safe.”

Many of these bills have an emergency clause, meaning once the Governor signs them or if the legislature overrides a gubernatorial veto they will become law immediately. Bills without that clause would not take effect until the start of the fiscal year in July.

The house and senate could take final votes on four COVID-19 related bills and at least one abortion related bill by Saturday.

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