No-Knock Warrants, COVID-19 Liability Bills Among Final Legislative Push
The Kentucky General Assembly worked into the late hours on the last night of the 2021 regular legislative session, addressing a number of priorities laid out early in the year.
The jam-packed final hours of the regular session saw agreement on Senate President Robert Stivers' COVID-19 liability protections for employers, though the originally yearlong protections are now set to expire along with the emergency declaration. Lawmakers also approved controversial limits on open records releases, applying to personal information about police and judicial officials.
All eyes were also on a bill restricting the use of no-knock warrants in the wake of the killing of Breonna Taylor. A more comprehensive police reform bill known as Breonna's Law did not pass, but its sponsor, Rep. Attica Scott, delivered these words through Democratic leader Joni Jenkins.
"While this body will never truly address racial justice, I voted yes because daughters like mine deserve to live without wondering if they will be next," the minority floor leader read.
Legislators also approved an amendment declaring no "right" to an abortion in the state constitution. Voters will be asked to consider the amendment on the ballot in 2022.
Lawmakers did decide how to spend more than $1 billion of the state's new federal coronavirus relief, but more debate could be on the way during a possible special session if the governor calls them back to Frankfort.