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AG Beshear Sees No Justification For New Capitol Rules

Josh James

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says an emergency order placing new restrictions on Capitol visitors is illegal. The opinion comes after lawmakers raised concerns about public access to the building.

Implemented in reaction to increasing protests at the Capitol, the emergency order restricted some movement and added more security checkpoints in the building and an underground tunnel linking it to the nearby annex.

Officials say it's about security and safety, citing the case of emergency medical workers who had trouble reaching an ill lawmaker. But in an 8-page opinion, Beshear said "we find no imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare" that justifies the regulation.

Demonstrators with the Poor People's Campaign have been at the center of the debate over Capitol access. This week, the anti-poverty campaigners occupied Gov. Matt Bevin's office, requested, and received a brief meeting with executive.

Beshear is a Democrat who hopes to challenge Bevin in the fall. His statement can be cited in court, but is not considered law.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.