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Ky. lawmakers get to work after mostly ceremonial first day of 2021 session

Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The first day of the 2021 session of the Kentucky General Assembly was all about opening ceremonies and filing bills.

In the House, committee members passed House Bill 1. It allows schools, organizations, businesses, and churches to remain open if CDC guidelines are met.

“They spent a bunch of money and countless man hours implementing them only to have the governor to shut them down on tow separate occasions,” Rep. Bart Rowland said.

The bill also allows visitation at long term care facilities. It permits non-custodial parents to see their children. Opponents to the bill questioned its constitutionality.

“The governor was elected by all of the people across this commonwealth. He’s been given the charge of protecting the health and welfare of all people across Kentucky. I believe this bill is unconstitutional,” said Rep. Derrick Graham.

The House committee also passed House Bill 5, which prevents the governor from replacing and reorganizing boards and commissions without approval form the general assembly.

In the Senate, committee members passed Senate Bill 1, which requires the legislature to act if a governor’s executive orders last longer than 30 days.

Opponents pushed back, saying the governor has to put the executive orders in place to promote safety.

“We have not been in session since the pandemic. We haven’t lost any legislative power. We didn’t have any legislative during that time,” said Sen. Morgan McGarvey.

Senate members also passed Senate Bill 2 which provides oversight for legislative committees.

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