Lawmakers voice concerns, debate new safety measures at Kentucky Capitol

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Earlier this week, Governor Matt Bevin made an executive order restricting visitor access at the state Capitol in Frankfort. Part of the regulations prevented crowds from gathering outside of House and Senate chambers.

Lawmakers spent much of the first few days of the legislative session centered around the new safety regulations, sister station WKYT said.

Democratic members voiced their concerns, including that visitors will need access to the restricted underground tunnel during winter weather, while Republican members firmly said it is out of their control.

"That is something that needs looked at immediately," said Minority Leader Rep. Rocky Adkins. "We understand this is an executive branch decision."

"We don't care about the protests, that's what democracy is all about, but we've got honest to God safety issues," said Majority Whip Rep. Chad McCoy. "Let's take worse-case scenario guys, let's put a shooter in that tunnel. What are we going to do? So the fire marshal and state police have asked us to keep that tunnel clear."

Speaker David Osborne told people with concerns to contact state police and the fire marshal, who are the ones who made the guidelines.

"Not been contacted by one single person," said Osborne. "They aren't looking to make solutions, they are looking to gripe."

"Kentuckians can't be shut out, they cannot be silenced or sent away," said another lawmaker.

After a break, lawmakers will return February 5.

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