After two years of being under a seemingly endless state of emergency, members of leadership within the Kentucky State Senate have decided that it’s finally time to end the COVID “state of emergency” on March 7th, 2022 through Senate Joint Resolution 150.
The vast majority of Kentuckians, even the ones who willingly complied with the mandates, restrictions, and all manner of COVID tyranny for the duration, will be glad to see the state of emergency lifted. However one must ask, why did it take so long? Why did the General Assembly vote to extend the state of emergency not once- but three times?
Back in April of 2021, I was presented with the opportunity to vote for House Joint Resolution 77, which was a resolution to end all of Andy Beshear’s COVID restriction mandates (including the statewide mask mandate) but to leave the state of emergency in effect for 60 days to allow Kentucky to continue receiving federal relief aid. I jumped at the opportunity to end the mandates, despite the fact that I fundamentally disagreed with the continuation of the state of emergency.
The issue arose once more during the Special Session of September 2021, when the state of emergency was extended again through House Joint Resolution 1. I voted NO, and also voted NO on SB 25 in January 2022, which extended the state of emergency until April of this year.
Every time the state of emergency has been extended, the rationale has been to maintain the flow of federal dollars. Many legislators had the best of intentions when they argued that the federal relief aid was needed to offset the damage that was done to our economy as a result of the mandates and shutdowns. It is true that Kentucky’s economy, and its people, were severely damaged by Andy Beshear’s tyrannical mandates- but I remain consistent in saying that this all could have been avoided by not shutting down the economy to begin with!
Back in March of 2020- less than two weeks after Governor Beshear declared a state of emergency- I filed an amendment which would have restricted the governor’s ability to shutdown and destroy our economy. I did it because I understood that it is not the appropriate role of the government to shut down businesses or churches, or to remove a citizen’s ability to earn a wage, or to restrict our individual liberties and freedoms. In all fairness, even if this amendment would have passed, the same lengthy battle we experienced with the liberal Kentucky Supreme Court over emergency powers would have likely ensued. Perhaps it would have been settled a year earlier, and we would have withstood less economic damage.
Hindsight is decidedly 20/20, and I am glad that the state of emergency is being lifted. In fact, ending it on March 7th is better than ending it in April as the State Senate had originally intended. Nevertheless, multiple research studies have shown that NO action taken by the state government in terms of mandates and shutdowns did anything to curtail the severity or spread of the Coronavirus.
If one good thing can come from this prolonged streak of nanny statism, it is that We the People’s eyes have been opened to the reality of government overreach. Few citizens were aware of the overly broad emergency powers that existed in KRS 39A; Few citizens were aware that local health departments had the statutory authority to terrorize small businesses by holding their licenses and permits hostage. We must remain ever vigilant in redefining the appropriate role of government in our lives, to ensure that Kentuckians never again suffer to endure a two-year long “state of emergency”.