Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester, left) sits with House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) at a press conference announcing the formation of a Public Pensions Working Group. (photo by LRC Public Information)

OK Repubs, you won. So what's your plan? Or do you have one?

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

As most of you know, the Supreme Court of Kentucky dropped the hammer on Governor Beshear's declaration of emergency and on his various mandates, saying that the laws the Republicans passed to limit the power of the governor could not be stayed by an injunction issued by Franklin Circuit Court.

In other words, at least for now, the Repubs have gotten their way. They now control what happens with COVID in our state.

So, President Stivers and Speaker Osborne, what's your plan? Are you going to go with the two Bechler bills, banning any sort of masking requirements? Are you going to let individual parents decide to send their child to school maskless, even if that child is showing symptoms? Are you going to tell businesses that they cannot require vaccinations or masks, even if that business is a restaurant or a hospital? How about nursing homes – are you cool with the person helping Grandma not having either a vaccination or a mask?

Or, let's go further – you've got members in your caucus who are supporters of Q and of conspiracy theories. Are you going to roll with the Q? Tell everyone that the virus is part of a government plot to turn everyone into Democrats? Push the idea that the vaccine makes it possible for the government to monitor you through the 5G network? Tell people to try treating themselves with horse dewormer?

You've spent over a year accusing the governor of "playing politics" and of "trying to be a dictator." You've passed laws to stop his efforts at dealing with a worldwide pandemic. You've spoken at rallies saying that your "freedom" was endangered because of a piece of cloth.

Well, Repubs, now it's on you. You got your way – you're in charge. So, what's your plan? Do you have one? Or are you like the dog that chased the car, and finally caught it? Now that you have this new-found power, what are you going to do with it?

You've certainly got models to follow, if you want them. You could do like DeSantis in Florida and cut the funding of any school that requires masks. You could do like the Republicans in neighboring Tennessee, who are threatening to call a special session specifically to punish the school systems of Nashville and Memphis. Or, you could do like Abbott in Texas, and fine anyone that opposes you $1,000.

All across the country, Republicans and other right-wingers are doing their damndest to harm people, including children. I never thought I would see any elected official take actions that they know will actually threaten or even kill our kids – but here we are.

So, Kentucky Repubs, what will YOU do?


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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)