FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Kentucky lawmakers finished their special session late Thursday night, ending a 3 day marathon session with several bills passed that will effectively end current statewide mask mandates and prevent others from following.
The governor vetoed parts of two bills, but the legislature quickly overrode those.
The outcome of the special session is that the governor and the Kentucky Department of Education cannot issue mask mandates in schools. It’s now up to local districts.
The legislature finished up just before midnight Thursday night in overriding vetoes.
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SB 1, which include the ban on the statewide mask mandate in schools, and SB 2 for everywhere else. This means that local school districts will now have to make decisions on masks.
We have already seen that beginning to take shape. Several school districts, such as Lincoln County, decided Thursday night to require masks. Jefferson County said their own mandate will stay in effect and Fayette County has a school board meeting Monday.
The bill states that the statewide mask mandate will be voided in five working days.
Senate President Robert Stivers talked to us about the legislature’s actions.
“We understood there was going to be disagreements on masks. But, you’re already hearing school systems that are instituting the masks at the local level. Which is what we thought would happen. We think it was a very successful session,” said Sen. Stivers, R-Senate President.
Friday morning, Gov. Andy Beshear tweeted that the statewide school mask mandate is ending the same week as the death of a 15-year-old student and a week after the death of a teacher’s aide. He went on to say we must prioritize the health and safety of our children, not politics.
Lawmakers also passed a bill that earmarks more than $69 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for various health care needs, prisons, and schools.