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2021 session of Kentucky General Assembly begins

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 10:19 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The 2021 session of the Kentucky General Assembly is underway.

Lawmakers have chosen their leaders, made assignments and set their agenda.

A lot is different this session because of the pandemic, and COVID-19 is driving a lot of the legislation.

Lawmakers told us last fall they would move quickly on the agenda and, Tuesday, the Senate filed their priority legislation including Senate Bill 1 to limit the governor’s emergency orders.

After the tradition and ceremonial start to the new session, both the House and Senate moved to file their priority bills.

In the Senate, Senate Bill 1 deals with the balance of power and would require the legislature to act if a governor’s state of emergency lasts longer than 30 days. Senate Bills 3 and 5 relate to reorganization and declaring an emergency. Most of the early filed bills are focused on keeping a governor from making too many decisions that might adversely impact people during an emergency.

“We talk about Team Kentucky. I have not felt more left out of the team than I have these past few months,” said Sen. Danny Carroll/R-Paducah. “Our people are hurting in this state. Our people deserve to have their representatives of solutions in this state.”

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville said, “So, when all the talks about what we are going to do to the governor’s office, I find it interesting that we are not talking about what we are going to do ourselves.”

Senate Bill 9 was also filed Tuesday which is the same bill dealing with infants born alive during botched abortions and the requirement that doctors save their lives. It was vetoed by the governor in the final days of the 2020 session and the General Assembly didn’t have time to override it.

The House also set their agenda with its priority House Bill 1, an economic recovery bill.

The General Assembly also has to pass a one-year budget and will meet Thursday morning to begin negotiations after hearing the governor’s proposal during his State of the Commonwealth Address Wednesday night.

Lawmakers must adjourn their session by March 30, and typically, in the odd year session, they break for three weeks following the first week. Most of the proceedings can be viewed live through KET.

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