Gov. Beshear calls special session to address Eastern Kentucky flood relief
Governor Andy Beshear announced this afternoon that he and Kentucky legislative leaders had reached an agreement to call for a special session to address relief for Eastern Kentucky flood victims.
Beshear explained that the session will be used to create a relief fund, similar to the one that was created after the 2021 tornadoes in Western Kentucky, and to provide to assistance to school systems in the region that may be delayed in starting the school year due to flood damage.
“To the people of Eastern Kentucky – we are with you now, we’ll be with you tomorrow, next week, next month and next year, as long as it takes to rebuild,” Beshear said.
Beshear said the decision to convene the special session was a nonpartisan one and entirely about “how we help these communities and ensure our counties and cities don’t go bankrupt.”
Under Kentucky law, a special session can only be called by the Governor and only the Governor can determine the topic or topics to be considered. The Legislature determines the length of a special session, which could be as short or as long as is necessary to complete business. Legislative leaders have indicated that they expect that this special session should be completed in no more than three days.
The proclamation calling for the special session states that the purpose of the session is to consider legislation that:
- Establishes, appropriates funding to, and provides for the administration of the Eastern Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (EKSAFE) fund;
- Amends the statute relating to the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (WKSAFE) fund, in particular by extending the date of the fund through June 30, 2026; and
- Provides relief to Eastern Kentucky school districts impacted by the flooding emergency, in particular by relaxing requirements relating to the number of student attendance days, leave for teachers, and remote instruction, and provides relief to Western and Eastern Kentucky school districts impacted by the tornado and flooding emergencies by setting forth new requirements to average daily attendance for SEEK funding.
See the full proclamation here: https://web.sos.ky.gov/execjournalimages/2022-PROC-282737.pdf