Quarles, Georgetown business sue governor over ‘process’

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Posted by Commissioner Ryan Quarles on Monday, June 29, 2020

Watch the entire press conference above

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A second lawsuit is being filed against Gov. Andy Beshear, claiming he has violated state law by not allowing input from the public and the General Assembly in developing rules related to trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and the owners of Evans Orchard and Cider Mill in Georgetown announced the lawsuit in Scott County Circuit Court during a press conference Monday morning.

A similar lawsuit has been filed in Boone County Circuit Court n behalf of a barber shop. racetrack, coffee shop and day care center.

“These executive orders, while well-intentioned, have negatively impacted” business, Quarles said in announcing the lawsuit.

He said Jenny Evans, whose family owns the what Quarles said is one of 548 agritourism outlets in the state, has worked for weeks to try to get advice and guidance from state health leaders and the governor’s office in an effort to open a 96,000-square-foot play area — the size of two football fields — to more than 10 people only to be told no or ignored, Quarles and Evans said.

“Quite frankly we can do better…everyone should have a voice to make public policy better,” Quarles said, noting grocery stores, “big box stores,” and large restaurants all can have more people under what he called the “mayhem” of state rules.

Evans, noting they are just looking for “common sense,” says she is losing thousands of dollars because of the lack of business, canceled events such as weddings, and the additional staff she hired to meet guidelines she thought would allow her to open.

“I can’t sit by and watch it wither away,” she said of the business which they opened after tobacco began to disappear as a major crop.