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State Capitol

Kentucky Senate Passes Liability Protection Bill For Businesses

Stu Johnson

A bill providing more liability coverage for businesses during a declared emergency, was approved by the Kentucky Senate Monday. 

Owensboro Senator Matt Castlen voted for the bill.  He said senate Bill five recognizes health risks that workers took on to make sure needed products and services were available during the current pandemic. “Those decisions weren’t easy and I appreciate the senator from Clay and many other ones who are trying to provide just a little bit of protection for the people who took the risk to provide for our communities during these troubling times,” said Castlen

A Key sponsor for the legislation was Senate President Robert Stivers. 

Despite Stivers sponsorship, a number of senators took to the floor to oppose the bill, saying customers of these same businesses could be harmed through limited recourse.   Pike County Senator Phillip Wheeler also said businesses could have a false sense of security. 

Louisville Senator David Yates voted no, saying his research showed three such suits had been filed so far.  He worries citizens, not businesses, will face more hardship.   “But here, what we did, is we made sure that our constituents, they’re hurt because of negligence of someone else, will shoulder that burden,” explained Yates. 

Northern Kentucky Senator Chris McDaniel talked about making difficult decisions about protecting employees during the current pandemic.  He said actions were taken in good faith and added, quote, “now we just need a little bit of protection for that which we did.” The bill goes on to the House. 

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