Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! It’s the beginning of another week of social distancing and coronavirus news. Various sources are projecting how many confirmed cases we will have as a state and a nation, but that really depends on how seriously all of us take it. So, be sure you are doing all you can to keep from either getting it or giving it to someone else.
We continue to post the summaries of the governor’s daily updates, so check them out as a good way to keep up. We’re also helping to run some of the public service announcements others have created, so watch for those on social media and share them.
And of course, the lege is still meeting and still passing bills, most of which have nothing to do with the current crisis. We have a story up that lists the 35 bills the Gov signed last week, along with the two he vetoed.
Fortunately, the weather is getting nicer, so take advantage of it. My wife and I started the spring gardening over the weekend, and took numerous walks; it was good. Get outside, practice good social distancing, and take care of yourselves. As Gov. Beshear says, we’re going to get through this.
Bruce Maples, publisher
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‘Let the whole world sue me’: Beshear unfazed on closures as COVID-19 cases rise
Governor Andy Beshear is sounding unruffled by proposed legislation that would enable businesses to sue the state over coronavirus-related closures, saying he would rather err on the side of being overly cautious.
“I’m trying to save people’s lives and if somebody doesn’t understand that… or care, I don’t really have a reaction for them,” the Democrat told media during his Sunday briefing. “People can put an amendment and let the whole world sue me. I used to be a lawyer. I can handle that. But I’m going to continue to do the right thing no matter what.” (WUKY)
Summaries of Beshear’s updates posted on site
Here are links to the summaries of Gov. Beshear’s updates posted on Forward Kentucky. They include bullet points of the press conferences, prepared by the staff at Kentucky Health News, as well as the complete videos of the updates.
Beshear vetoes two bills, signs 35 – here’s the list
Since the legislature continues to pass bills, Governor Beshear took time out from dealing with the coronavirus to sign or veto over thirty bills. Here’s the list. (Forward Kentucky)
Kentucky attorney general wants abortions stopped during coronavirus pandemic
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron wants Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration to end abortion procedures in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Cameron called on acting Cabinet for Health and Family Services Eric Friedlander to certify that Kentucky’s abortion providers are violating the governor’s emergency ban on elective medical procedures by continuing to perform abortions.
He said Friedlander’s certification “will immediately trigger action by our office to stop elective procedures during the pandemic.” (Herald-Leader)
To prevent spread of virus behind bars, 28% of county inmates in Kentucky have been freed
In a dramatic response to pleas to prevent the spread of the coronavirus behind bars, prosecutors, public defenders and judges have reduced the number of county inmates in jails by 28%.
The number of pretrial detainees and offenders serving misdemeanor sentences declined from 11,624 to 8,415 in two weeks as of Thursday. That’s 3,209 fewer inmates.
Citing a potential disaster, Chief Justice John Minton Jr. had called on jailers and local officials to safely release as many inmates as possible, saying defendants who can await the outcome of their cases at home should do so. (Courier-Journal)
Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
[new] Yarmuth and Barr lead effort to make it easier for distilleries to produce hand sanitizer – Two congressmen from Kentucky, one a Democrat and one a Republican, are leading an effort to allow distilleries to use their current supplies to make hand sanitizer. (read)
[new] KY coronavirus bill includes changes to transparency laws – The coronavirus bill passed last week includes new guidance on open records and open meetings, in an attempt to provide flexibility while at the same time guaranteeing transparency. (read)
[new] House approves $2 trillion COVID-19 aid package despite objections from KY congressman – The U.S. House passed the coronavirus relief package on Friday, even as KY representative Thomas Massie tried to force a roll-call vote. (read)
[new] KYGA passes coronavirus relief bill; House Dems issue statement praising the work – In its only session this week, the Kentucky General Assembly unanimously passed its own coronavirus relief bill and sent it on to Governor Beshear for his signature. (read)
KFTC plans statewide virtual meeting – In order to continue connecting and planning while at the same time keeping people safe, KFTC is trying something different: a statewide virtual meeting. (read)
🔥 Bill would limit gov’s powers during health emergency – Rep. Maddox’s floor amendment to HB 322 would restrict executive orders, and would allow persons affected by an order to sue the state. (read)
[new] In COVID-19 crisis, Kentucky newspapers step up – Kentucky’s community newspapers, large and small, in digital and in print, are taking action to keep our communities informed on everything from the latest news about the virus itself to the importance of social distancing. Now more than ever, Kentucky’s newspapers will be here to help our communities when they need us most. (read)
[new] 🔥 Being ‘too crazy’ for today’s GOP is truly a feat, but Massie manages – “Thomas Massie has proven himself so unreliable and bats*** crazy that the national GOP has begun looking for primary challengers to him.” (read)
Virtual meetings vs open meetings – bad, good, or perfect? – As public agencies move from in-person to virtual meetings, how will they deal with the open meetings laws? And can virtual be as good as in-person? (read)
🔥 Andy’s rockin’ — Matt’s chuggin’ (Maalox?) – Other states are making offers for our gov, while our former gov is getting ratioed on Twitter. Berry Craig does the comparison and includes the offers. 😊 (read)
[new] 🔥 A short message from Andy Beshear – All across the state, and across partisan lines, people are increasingly appreciative of Governor Beshear’s leadership during this crisis. And, other states are taking notice as well. Aaron Smith captured the Gov reminding us of a few things. (view)
[new video] SOS Michael Adams, Rep. Charles Booker on the ‘State of Kentucky’ – On this week’s “State of Kentucky” show, we are joined by Secretary of State Michael Adams to discuss his ideas and plans around vote by mail, and by Rep. Charles Booker, candidate for U.S. Senate, talking about his campaign and how they’re working given the coronavirus crisis. We are honored to have both of them with us, and hope you’ll watch! (watch)
[podcast] Andy Beshear and COVID, legislative updates, and Senate budget, plus Corey Nichols interview – Beshear’s response to COVID and people’s response to it; the budget and other bills; and Corey Nichols, running for state House in Lexington. (listen)
The Coronavirus Explained – Here’s a short video that does a great job explaining the COVID-19 virus: what it is, how it spreads, how it attacks the body, and how to deal with it. (watch)
Please ignore Trump’s advice on this – No matter how you may feel about the Trump presidency, this is one time when the response to his instruction is clear: Ignore him. (read)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Kentucky vs. Tennessee on coronavirus may be the best example of ‘elections matter’ in decades (4,000+ shares)
- Here’s what made the Trump admin take the coronavirus seriously (3,000+ shares)
- Massie blasts coronavirus precautions; opponents blast Massie for comments (2,000+ shares)
- Bill would limit gov’s powers during health emergency (1,000+ shares)
- Massie plans to vote ‘no,’ threatens to hold up coronavirus stimulus bill (1,000+ shares)
The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.
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