Ky. Treasurer Allison Ball says some of Beshear’s orders violated Constitution

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 12:35 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball says Governor Andy Beshear violated the Constitution when he made some of his executive orders in the early days of the pandemic, specifically regarding church attendance.

Ball spent more than an hour Thursday morning testifying before state lawmakers in an interim panel.

The treasurer says her role is to be the watchdog of taxpayers' money and she questions the governor’s role in having state police and health departments monitor church attendance. She told lawmakers in the interim panel that what’s at issue are state expenditures and the unconstitutional orders that limited the free exercise of religions.

Ball spoke specifically of having state troopers write down license plate numbers of people during the Easter service at Maryville Baptist in Bullitt County. She said there were other examples of police being told to threaten people with possible misdemeanors that carry at least a year’s time in jail if they did not comply.

The treasurer also questioned why state police and health departments were not told to use the same level of enforcement regarding people gathering in protests. Ball said it showed her that the governor was following the constitution when he wanted to.

Several lawmakers did defend the governor’s actions, one said that major religious organizations, such as the Kentucky Council of Churches and the Kentucky Baptist Convention, agreed with the orders and that all of it was done to protect people in a time when there were a lot of unknowns about the virus.

Treasurer Ball said she was not able to give an exact figure on the amount of money spent by police or health departments in carrying out the executive orders.

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