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— Publisher’s Note —
Good morning! The Republicans in Frankfort did exactly what we knew they would do: ignored pleas to not mess with our COVID work just when we appear to be getting it under control, and overrode all of Governor Beshear’s vetoes.
And, Beshear did exactly what he said HE would do: filed a lawsuit to block three of the bills from going into effect. (If I was a betting man, I would be he files a lawsuit over the other three as well.)
The Beshear lawsuit asks for an immediate injunction, so if that is granted, nothing will change until the whole mess is heard in court. We’ve got two stories on the site about all of this, including a detailed look at Beshear’s filing.
And meanwhile, the Cameron impeachment petition has made it to the ad hoc impeachment committee, which meets today at 4 PM. We’ve got lots of stories on those as well, including the latest response from the petitioners.
On top of all of this, the lege is meeting and working on bills good and bad. It looks like there is a good chance they will pass a ban on conversion therapy, but they are also looking at a bill to let people opt out of vaccinations. (!!!)
I noted yesterday that the Forward Five was going to get bigger, and it has. We’ve added a section listing upcoming action events so you can get involved in making a difference. And, we’ve got today’s KYGA21 calendar at the bottom.
And of course, there is the normal steady stream of news, policy, and commentary stories on the site.
Lots to read, lots to keep up with. We’ll do our best to keep you informed.
And what can YOU do? Stay informed, stay engaged, take action. (We’ll have a story tomorrow on contacting your leges about bills and issues.) AND, if you are not already a paying member, become one. It’s New Member Month, so now’s the time.
All for now. (Whew!) Take care of yourself, and protect yourself. We will get through the pandemic, and survive KYGA21, together.
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Today’s Five Things to Know
2/2/ update — Legislature overrides vetoes of three bills limiting governor’s emergency powers; Beshear files lawsuit to nullify those new laws
The Republican supermajority flexed its muscle and overrode Democratic Gov. Beshear’s vetoes of six bills, including three that limit emergency powers he says he needs to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. Beshear immediately filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of those three bills, which would otherwise go into effect immediately. (Forward Kentucky)
Governor files lawsuit to stop bills limiting his ability to deal with COVID
Here are the details of the governor’s lawsuit, section by section. (Forward Kentucky)
Petitioners file reply in support of Cameron impeachment
The petitioners requesting impeachment of Attorney General Daniel Cameron have filed a response to the charges in his latest response, answering his attacks on the petitioners, the grand jurors, and the lawyers who filed the petition. (Forward Kentucky)
Senate votes to push ahead toward Biden plan
President Joe Biden panned a Republican alternative to his $1.9 trillion COVID rescue plan as insufficient Tuesday as Senate Democrats pushed ahead, voting to launch a process that could approve his sweeping rescue package on their own, if Republicans refuse to support it.
Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joined the Democratic senators for a private virtual meeting, both declaring the Republicans’ $618 billion offer was too small. They urged big fast action to stem the pandemic crisis and economic fallout.
As the White House reaches for a bipartisan bill, Democrats marshaled their ever-slim Senate majority, voting 50-49, to start a lengthy process for approving Biden’s bill with or without GOP support. The goal is passage by March. (WHAS)
Coalition writes KY Senate with concerns about vaccine opt-out bill
A coalition of 40 organizations from across Kentucky, including a number of medical associations, sent a letter to KY senators opposing SB 8, a bill to make it easier to opt out of all vaccinations. The bill is actively being considered right now. (Forward Kentucky)
House Dems Women’s Caucus files bills to improve health outcomes for new mothers, infants
Saying it is a moral imperative for Kentucky to improve health outcomes for new mothers and newborns alike, members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus announced on Tuesday a multi-pronged legislative plan they’re calling the Kentucky Maternal and Infant Health Project. The details of the bills in the plan are in the story. (Forward Kentucky)
Upcoming Action Items
Taken from the ForwardKY event calendar
KFTC Phonebank for Economic Justice (info)
Thursday, 2/4 ● 5 to 8 PM ● Virtual
IUE/CWA Action Against Walmart (info)
Saturday, 2/6 ● Noon to 1 ● Walmart on Bardstown Road – 7101 Cedar Springs Blvd, Louisville, KY 40291
Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before
🔥indicates high # of reads, social media shares, or both
[New] New lawsuit seeks to force Kentucky public schools to reopen during the pandemic – Via the C-J: Several Kentucky parents filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to force public schools to halt any virtual instruction and reopen to in-person classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.(Brief)
[New] A scholar of American anti-Semitism explains the hate symbols present during the US Capitol riot – Some persons in the terrorist attack on the Capitol used anti-Semitic symbols, showing they hoped to trigger what is known as the “Great Revolution,” – a race war that would exterminate Jews. (Analysis)
[New] Activists call on new EPA to regulate Ohio River pollution – The Sierra Club is petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create nutrient pollution standards for the Ohio River, on which five million residents rely for drinking water. (News)
[New] Sen. Mitch McConnell blasts GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her ‘loony lies’ – Via the C-J: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a sharp rebuke of Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, calling her views a “cancer for the Republican Party” (Brief)
PSA – Volunteers needed to lobby on behalf of Breonna’s Law – Marine vet Sherman Neal is looking for a few good men or women. (Action)
Lawsuit: Court changed eviction hearings without telling tenants, then ruled against them – Via the C-J: District court changed the login for a virtual eviction meeting, then didn’t tell the defendants. Now the court is being sued. (Brief)
🔥 The GOP has lost its mind – and its soul – Part of the Republican party has become disconnected from reality. Another part has given up on the rule of law. And the rest of the party refuses to call them out on it. (Commentary)
Will the GOP finally outlaw conversion torture in Kentucky? Will Christendom? – Will the GOP legislature finally outlaw the barbaric and widely-discredited practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation? How about Christians across the state? (Commentary)
From Know-Nothings to QAnon – A major American political party embraces conspiracy theories and gains power, even though the theories are demonstrably false. Has it happened before? And what happened to that party? (Commentary)
🔥 Other states impeaching their govs – but KY’s looks further along – Governors in at least four other states have had impeachment petitions filed against them. And yet, none of those seem to have gotten as far as Kentucky’s. (Analysis)
Dear legislators — We need voting districts that make sense. – We need better voting maps. If one looks at the current map for Congress, for example, it would not be beyond the pale to question what kind of idiocy prevailed that produced it. (Commentary)
PSA — Take the internet speed test. It’s important. – The folks in Frankfort want you to go take an internet speed test on their site. Why? So they can map which parts of the state need better internet, and begin working on it. Read this to learn more AND to go take it. (Public Service Announcement)
Waiting for the New Normal … or for Godot? – Do we really want to get back to normal? The actual normal we had? Or, are we waiting for some “new” normal, without taking action to make it happen? (Commentary)
Desecration in Washington and Frankfort – Our Kentucky politics, just like our national, has now distilled itself down to just two kinds of people and two political parties that attract them. One is selfish, the other is compassionate. Which side are you on? (Commentary)
🔥 Voucher bill would take millions in resources from our public schools – Once again, there’s a voucher bill up for consideration in the legislature … and once again, over time it will blow a gigantic hole in our public school budgets. (Policy)
KYGA21 Calendar for 2/3
8:00 am, Annex Room 154
• 21RS HB 24 – AN ACT relating to welding safety.
• 21RS HB 38 – AN ACT relating to the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact.
• 21RS HB 79 – AN ACT relating to massage therapy.
• 21RS HB 179 – AN ACT relating to regulatory licensing fees.
• 21RS HB 220 – AN ACT relating to the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.
8:30 am, Annex Room 149
10:00 am, Annex Room 131
• 21RS SB 8 – AN ACT relating to exceptions to mandatory immunization requirements and declaring an emergency.
• 21RS SB 12 – AN ACT relating to the procurement of human tissue.
• 21RS SB 16 – AN ACT relating to colon cancer screening and prevention and making an appropriation therefor.
• 21RS SB 74 – AN ACT related to dementia services.
• Consideration of Referred Administrative Regulations
10:00 am, Annex Room 154
• 21RS HB 50 – AN ACT relating to mental health parity.
• 21RS HB 73 – AN ACT relating to life insurance for members of the Kentucky National Guard.
• 21RS HB 196 – AN ACT relating to the prohibition of patriot penalties in insurance.
10:30 am, Annex Room 169
• Private Child Caring and Child Placing Agencies
11:30 am, Annex Room 154
12:00 Noon, Annex Room 149
• 21RS HB 7 – AN ACT relating to the Advisory Council for Recovery Ready Communities.
• 21RS HB 44 – AN ACT relating to mental health and making an appropriation therefor.
• 21RS HB 158 – AN ACT relating to local air boards.
12:00 Noon, Annex Room 169
• 21RS HB 89 – AN ACT relating to intimidation of a sports official.
• 21RS HB 126 – AN ACT relating to crimes and punishments.
• 21RS HB 229 – AN ACT relating to the protection of livestock.
• 21RS HB 273 – AN ACT relating to public records and declaring an emergency.
2:00 pm, House Chambers
2:00 pm, Senate Chambers
4:00 pm, Annex Room 125
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