New GOP-Backed Executive Order Limit Temporarily Halted, Others Still Intact

Feb 3, 2021

A Republican-led effort to constrain the governor's emergency executive powers regarding school and business closures has been put on hold while a court determines whether it passes legal muster.

Credit Josh James / WUKY

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd sided with Gov. Andy Beshear in his request to temporarily halt House Bill 1, a measure tying school and business closures to CDC guidelines. In the Wednesday decision, Shepherd warned the bill could create chaos and undermine enforcement of public health standards.

But the ruling left two other pieces of legislation reining in the governor's authority intact, for now. Beshear is challenging a trio of bills, which he argues will hinder the state's efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement, the governor applauded the HB 1 ruling, adding that he doesn't use emergency powers because he wants to but because it is his "duty to preserve the lives of Kentuckians.” 

Lawmakers have argued Beshear has left the legislative branch out of the process when crafting his virus-related orders.