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Gov. Beshear: "Don't play politics with the lives of people" in response to AG Cameron

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 18:23:53-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — During his Thursday press conference, Gov. Andy Beshear addressed Attorney General Daniel Cameron's request to a Boone County judge to block his executive orders. AG Cameron's motion, which was filed in Boone County Circuit Court on Thursday, states that the Gov. Beshear's actions are “arbitrary,” exceed his authority under the law and violate the state constitution.

"He (AG Cameron) is asking for every single order that we have put in place to protect people, every single one, to be overturned and to not allow my office or me to put any orders in in the future that would protect you and everyone else," Gov. Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear said it would be like "The wild west" without his executive orders such as the mask mandate that currently requires all Kentuckians to wear a mask in public, as well as the limiting of occupancy of businesses.

"This would remove the authority that virtually every other governor is using to battle this virus and it would result in a spike. There's no question," Gov. Beshear said. "If there are no rules, you don't have to socially distance, you don't have to sanitize your hands, the virus spreads. We all know that. It is basic scientific fact."

Gov. Beshear also noted that the motion filed by AG Cameron would also eliminate expanding worker's compensation eligibility for workers that have to quarantine as a result of exposure.

"This means our first responders, our active military, our grocery store workers wouldn't get worker's compensation when they come down with the virus that they got from protecting us," Gov. Beshear said. "It would leave them out in the cold."

Gov. Beshear also noted that Cameron's motion looks to eliminate the waiver of co-pay, deductibles and cost sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance.

"It would charge people for taking these (COVID-19) tests," Gov. Beshear said. "That is pretty important."

Gov. Beshear served as attorney general before being elected governor in 2019 and noted that he had "some disputes" with former Gov. Matt Bevin during his tenure as AG.

"After being attorney general and being involved with the governor in some disputes, it is something I never wanted," Gov. Beshear said. "I don't want to go back and forth with my own AG. But I will fight every day for the lives of Kentuckians and even if it creates drama that I don't want, even if it takes away time, and it does, I'm going to do what it takes to protect the people of Kentucky. But folks, this is wrong. This is really really wrong. Don't play politics with the lives of people."