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End of statewide mask mandates near as special session winds down

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 8:00 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While both sides spoke of taking politics out of the debate, ideas on how to fight the coronavirus remained largely split down party lines Thursday in what is expected to be the final hours of a brief special session.

State Supreme Court ruled against Governor Andy Beshear’s use of executive orders to manage COVID-19, state republicans vowed no more shutdowns and no more statewide mask mandates.

The special session has produced no surprises in that regard.

“We voted to eliminate the statewide school mask mandate and let that decision be made by the local school board and superintendent,” Republican Senator Damon Thayer of Georgetown said. “What might work in Louisville might not work in Livingston County for example.”

As bills limiting the Governor’s power and turning masking authority over to district school boards continued on a path to becoming law, Democrats lacked the numbers to either amend or stop the republican agenda.

“They’re trying to move at such warp speed there’s still some politics being played,” democratic Senator Morgan McGarvey if Louisville said. “The focus isn’t squarely on public health. What is the right thing to be doing, how do we successfully Marshall all of the state’s resources to protect our people?”

Depending on what happens with the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant, contentious COVID issues could be revisited when the legislature goes back in session in January.

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