A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

House Speaker says governor not providing data to legislators, calls court’s decision a setback

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne said the appellate court’s decision to uphold Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to shut down privately run religious schools is a setback. But that wasn’t his only disappointment.

He said the governor needs to involve stakeholders and share data, if any exists, in the decisions that are being made during the coronavirus. Republican leadership has felt distanced from the Democrat governor since the start of the pandemic, saying he has made unilateral decisions despite their pleas to be involved in the conversation.

House Speaker David Osborne said the federal appeals court decision to uphold Gov. Andy Beshear’s order halting in-person classes for private religious schools was a setback to the Constitution. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

He called Sunday’s ruling by the 6th Circuit Court a “setback for those who believe that the Kentucky and United States Constitutions exist to protect the inalienable rights of people from government overreach.”

In a press release, Osborne, a Republican, said legislators have been asking the governor for data for more than a month in preparation for the 2021 General Assembly session that begins in January.

“To date, we have no evidence they have tested the efficacy of any step taken, and nine days into the latest shutdown order, positive testing numbers are still growing dramatically,” Osborne said in a statement.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, said they will work toward appealing the latest decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We’re disappointed with the Sixth Circuit’s ruling allowing the Governor to close religious schools, but we’re already hard at work to take this matter to the United States Supreme Court,” Cameron said on Twitter after the ruling.

Osborne said legislators simply need to be part of the process in helping keep Kentuckians safe through the pandemic.

“As the plaintiffs decide what the next step will be, we continue to urge the Governor to follow the appropriate process to accomplish the shared goal of helping Kentuckians remain healthy,” Osborne said. “Millions of dollars have been spent to trace the spread of the virus. Yet, the Governor has either chosen not to share the data gathered from contact tracing or he has no information to share.”

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