FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-KY Executive Director Michael Aldridge regarding the novel coronavirus and the Kentucky General Assembly:
“At this uncertain time, our top priority must be the health and safety of Kentuckians. The Commonwealth’s top government officials, following public health experts’ recommendations, have instituted emergency policies and procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Kentucky General Assembly must take an extraordinary – but necessary – step, and adjourn.
New safety measures announced Monday limit public access to the State Capitol and the committee hearing process, yet lawmakers plan to continue legislative business. These actions ignore the rights of Kentuckians to fully participate in the legislative process. Legislators have asked people to use email, the legislative message line, and written letters to participate in the lawmaking process. These suggested actions fall far short of what is required for Kentuckians to be fully engaged in decisions that will impact their communities and families.
Kentucky’s small businesses, hourly workers, parents, and others are making significant sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable among us and give our healthcare system the best chance at success. As we all think creatively about ways to keep moving forward and completing necessary work, we ask the Kentucky General Assembly to do the same. Lawmakers have the opportunity to pass a budget and work on other legislative matters at a later date. Continuing the legislative session behind closed doors exposes essential LRC employees to the novel coronavirus, endangers the safety of communities where legislators will return after working in close quarters at the Capitol, and violates Kentuckians’ right to participate in their Government.”
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