Senate president talks vaccine incentives and improved communication with governor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky’s Senate President Robert Stivers said the legislature has had better communication with Governor Andy Beshear since Saturday’s Kentucky Supreme Court ruling.

The ruling cleared the way for laws limiting the governor’s emergency powers to take effect.

“We had a good discussion with the governor’s office,” Stivers said. “They sent us a list of things. We want to incorporate those, if we are agreeable with them, into what we already have in the works.”

Stivers said a special session to address some of the issues, like NTI days for schools and how to count average daily attendance, is possible.

Stivers also introduced new incentives to get more people in his hometown of Manchester vaccinated.

He said  he plans to call on local community leaders to get the word out about vaccinations.

“The judge, the superintendent, local pastors, local athletes that are 18 years old, coaches, cheerleading coaches – it has to be effective when you have that many influencers in a local community,” Stivers said.

His plan also includes prizes and competitions between schools. For example: free pizza, UK basketball tickets and $600 for school athletic equipment.

The Kentucky Democratic Party responded to the announcement:

KDP Statement on Stivers Press Conference

The following is a statement by Colmon Elridge, Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, in response to President Stivers’ press conference: 

“Senator Stivers and the Republican supermajority had 16 months to come up with a plan to keep Kentuckians safe and today we finally heard the first part of their proposal – free pizza. Governor Beshear has done the right thing and made the tough calls during the pandemic, and he’s saved lives because of it. It’s time for the GOP supermajority to stop playing politics and start working with Governor Beshear to defeat COVID.”

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