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Kentucky's state of emergency would end ASAP under resolution headed to the governor

LRC Public Information

The Kentucky General Assembly gave final passage Thursday to a resolution that would end the commonwealth's state of emergency immediately once enacted.

The House debate over Senate Joint Resolution 150 was unusually subdued — with several lawmakers appearing genuinely puzzled why the measure was necessary given that the pandemic emergency order is already set to expire in mid-April.

"I just want to know what practical purpose it would serve," Democrat Angie Hatton repeated in a round of questions directed with the resolution's presenter, Rep. Thomas Huff.

"I think it's long overdue. I think it's the right thing for Kentucky. I'm not really interested in continuing to draw federal funds if they're not deserved or needed."
Rep. Thomas Huff (R-Shepherdsville)

Critics seized on that question of extra federal dollars, and whether their constituents might still benefit from the aid.

One specific concern raised by Lexington Democrat Cherlynn Stevenson dealt with hospitals. She noted that, while healthcare facilities might not be facing the overwhelming influx they did just weeks ago, the nursing shortage continues to drive up costs.

"We have travel nurses that claim a lot of dollars per hour to be here and so I really worry what will happen when that gets taken away."
Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson (D-Lexington)

But lawmakers decided, on a 75-20 vote, to end the state of emergency as soon as possible. The resolution now goes to the governor.

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.