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Kentucky Republicans use super-majority to work on COVID-19, abortion bills

As the Kentucky General Assembly rolls on, multiple bills may soon be on Governor Beshear's desk in part to the Republican super-majority.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As Kentucky lawmakers are just as horrified as the rest of the country over what we watched at the US Capitol Wednesday, the General Assembly reconvened today as new bills are up for discussion. 

Through three days, it's going as expected with Republicans pushing through priorities they insist are what voters in November overwhelmingly sent them here to tackle. 

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats, to take an old line from ESPN's 'SportsCenter,' "can't stop them, they can only hope to contain them."

RELATED: Kentucky Republicans push bills targeting governor's emergency powers and protect businesses from COVID-19 shutdowns

Multiple bills of priority for the GOP have already made their way through to the state Senate and will soon be on Governor Andy Beshear's Desk. With not much debate thanks to the new "Super-Duper" Republican majorities. 

Here's a breakdown on each House Bill passed thus far:

  • HB1 is described as a "reopen the commonwealth" plan. If passed, it would allows businesses to reopen if they follow CDC guidelines and post information. The bill would also prevents the state from denying court ordered visits by non-custodial parents, and allows designated visitors to visit long-term care facility patients.
  • HB2 calls on the Attorney General to take on abortion fights including cases involving transfer agreements, late term abortions, informed consent, parental consent and ultrasounds requirements.
  • HB3 Creates a panel of three judges, chosen at random by the State Supreme Court Chief Justice, to handle lawsuits filed against the state government.
  • HB4 Allows the General Assembly to bank session days and use them beyond the now constitutionally mandated end date.
  • HB5 removes a governor's ability to reorganize or repeal boards without General Assembly consent.

"I think we are, I think we are, you know," said KY House Minority Leader Rep. Joni Jenkins when asked on how to weather the GOP's super-majority. "We all can count we know that we are in a super minority here, but certainly it is our responsibility as elected officials to make sure that the public knows what is going on here, that the public has their questions answered as well."

Now with each of the bills passed by the State House of Representatives, the bills will be headed to the State Senate which is holding hearings today. 

The Senate passed several of their priority bills today, too. Some of which include Senate Bill 1 which limits executive orders to 30 days without General Assembly Approval.

Both House and Senate Bills will all likely pass and be on the governor's desk by Saturday night depending on lawmakers working a fifth day this week.

►Contact reporter Chris Williams at cwilliams@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@chriswnews) and Facebook. 

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