Special session of Kentucky legislature begins Tuesday

Ky. lawmakers preparing for special session that begins this week
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The stage is set for Kentucky’s special session.

Starting Tuesday, the General Assembly will meet at the Capitol to discuss COVID-19 regulations. This comes after a state Supreme Court ruling that allows laws restricting the governor’s powers to take effect.

Inside the Capitol on Tuesday, COVID-19 will take center stage during this special session.

“He’s got to hold a special session in order to protect Kentuckians and move this state forward, so we don’t encounter the devastating impact that COVID, economically, that other states have faced,” Senator Reggie Thomas said.

House Speaker David Osborne said in a statement he agrees the governor’s call for a special session is in the best interest of the state.

Democratic Senator Thomas said he backs the governor’s mask mandate in schools.

“Otherwise, we keep this cycle of this COVID virus variant alive and infecting our schools and teachers and threatening school closures,” Thomas said. “We keep that alive for the whole year.”

Regarding vaccination mandates, he said he’s unsure.

“I just don’t think right now there’s an appetite in the state legislature to do that,” Thomas said.

The goal is to wrap up the special session in five days, but will lawmakers be able to collaborate in their decision-making?

“I’m going to remain optimistic,” Thomas said. “Surely, not all of them will agree but all we can do is reach the majority. I think the evidence, the science, facts is there. We know the masks work.”

In a Facebook message sent to WKYT, Representative Bill Wesley said he doesn’t believe in using face masks, writing in part that they “do not keep any virus away from us. They are useless!”

Other topics include funding for schools and the use of NTI days.

“I do like the idea of closing a school rather than an entire district. There was some creative talk about test and stay, I do think we’ve got to be innovative and creative in terms of how we keep schools open,” Thomas said.

Senator Thomas said he’s hoping political theatre won’t take over, and the special session will conclude with collaboration.

We reached out to more Republican lawmakers for comment. We have not yet heard back from their offices.

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