Mountain Top News, CC BY 3.0
On Monday August 23, Governor Andy Beshear pulled his mask mandate for Kentucky schools and daycares. Schools such as Lexington Christian Academy have decided to make mask optional (although highly encouraged) for students and teachers. Brad Davidson said “This is the best decision LCA has ever made.” The governor was forced to repeal the mandates after the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned a stay on new legislation restricting his emergency powers. The Kentucky Department of Education has issued its own mask mandate for public schools.
Beshear has said that he is considering issuing a larger statewide mask mandate. The governor has said he is willing to make controversial calls to control the spread of the coronavirus. The Kentucky Supreme court ruling leaves in place new legislation that requires the governor to work with the state legislature on emergency issues. This decision comes after Covid cases began to rise again in the state. The governor insists a statewide mask mandate may be necessary, but the legislature seems to have no plans to enact a mandate. On the morning of August 26, Governor Beshear and Kentucky lawmakers started to negotiate on a new set of Covid 19 emergency orders. One of the new laws proposed by the legislature is to limit the power of the governor’ emergency orders to only 30 days. Senate President Robert Stivers stated that it would be very difficult to get the legislature to enact a statewide mask mandate. In order to discuss terms, the Kentucky governor has called a special session of the legislature to set the agenda. These special meetings can only be called by the governor of the state and cost the taxpayers $68,000 a day. Overall, the state of the mask mandate in the state of Kentucky seems to be in a tossup. With the new repeal of the mandate and the governor attempting to reinstate it, it could really go either way.