Lawmakers want the Capitol annex to reopen – Winchester Sun
The mask’s mandate has been lifted for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but legislative leaders are seeking advice from Governor Andy Beshear before they can reopen the Capitol Annex to the public and allow them to attend committee meetings .
Senate Speaker Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said lawmakers were ready to open things up to the public. “Yes, they’re going to be live-Zoom-ed, but to be here and be able to be participatory, it should happen now.”
Stivers says he and Speaker of the House David Osborne, R-Prospect, sent a letter to the governor several weeks ago saying they wanted to reopen the annex to the public. However, in Stivers’ words, “The problem is, the governor doesn’t want this to happen. Because he controls the operations of the building and the security guards and ordered them not to open unless you are on the list.
The list, which is posted on every door of the Capitol and Annex, limits admission to government officials and employees, accredited press attending events, citizens with confirmed appointments, delivery men and government contractors.
Osborne agreed with Stivers. “I think when it reopens it will be under some modified protocols but, yes, the sooner we can reopen it and the better.”
Since Beshear set June 11 as the date by which virtually all restrictions in Kentucky will be lifted, Osborne has been asked if that date is under discussion. “I haven’t had any communication with them about it, no.”
Stivers noted, “We lifted most of the restrictions during the session. The governor sued us for it and said we didn’t have the capacity to do it. So we’ll see what the Supreme Court says about implicit powers versus legislative mandates. “
This case is expected to be argued in the High Court on June 10.
“We think we were on a solid footing when we passed these laws, and I saw nothing that could change that opinion,” Osborne said. “But, of course, I’m not going to predict what the court is going to do with anything.”
Stivers, himself a lawyer, added that the Supreme Court has for years ruled that “governors have implicit powers, until laws are passed and then they take a back seat to statutory authority. . So if the Supreme Court holds on with years of precedent and tradition, then what we did in the session essentially declared the end of a lot of those terms. “