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Today, Gov. Andy Beshear called lawmakers to Frankfort next week to extend the pandemic state of emergency.
Following a recent Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, the Governor worked with the General Assembly to assess a call for a special session, which will begin in Frankfort at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.
“This is one of the most dangerous times we’ve experienced this entire pandemic, with the delta variant burning through Kentucky and taking more of our loved ones and neighbors. It’s also overwhelming more and more of our hospitals and shutting down our schools,” the Governor said. “We need as many tools as possible to fight this deadly surge in order to save lives, keep our children in school and keep our economy churning.”
The Governor is asking lawmakers to consider legislation to address several topics including: extending the state of emergency until Jan. 15, 2022; setting forth the criteria regarding the Governor’s authority to require facial coverings in indoor settings in certain circumstances; providing additional flexibility for school districts; and making an appropriation from the American Rescue Plan Act to support mitigation and prevention activities, such as testing and vaccine distribution.
While in Frankfort, the Governor also is asking lawmakers to extend by an additional 30 days a state of emergency declared by the Governor, in response to the flash flooding in Nicholas County and the City of Carlisle, on Aug. 3, 2021. The action is necessary to ensure any emergency services that may be required are provided to residents and businesses, as the commonwealth’s request for federal assistance submitted to President Joe Biden through the Federal Emergency Management Agency remains under review.
The Governor also is asking for additional flexibility for the manner in which incentives can be provided to economic development projects with more than $2 billion in investment, which would constitute the largest in Kentucky’s history. The Cabinet for Economic Development currently is pursuing at least five projects of this size, and the changes would allow Kentucky to be competitive with other states.