The Legal Brief
UPDATED - Kentucky Legislature Responds to COVID-19 with SB 150
March 27, 2020
By: Jay E. Ingle
Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 150 on March 30, 2020, which addresses COVID-19 effects on the Commonwealth, specifically to allow for quick response by the healthcare system and protect those responding to the emergency. The new law also addresses other issues directly affecting employers.
Codifies the acts undertaken by Executive Order to allow for the expansion of unemployment benefits
Permits the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to seek assistance from the federal government and use other resources to reimburse the unemployment insurance trust fund
Requires the Kentucky Department of Revenue to adhere to changes made by the IRS or U.S. Treasury Department
States that penalties and interest will not be imposed for extensions
Facilitating and Providing Protection for Expanded Healthcare Efforts
Establishes liability protections for health care providers who in good faith render care and treatment during the state of emergency, including those prescribing medication for off-label use, acting outside their normal scope of practice, or using supplies not typically used
Establishes liability protections for businesses that make or provide personal protective equipment or personal hygiene supplies that do not make these supplies in the normal course of their business operations
Allows for use of telehealth regardless of whether a pre-existing physician-patient relation has been established
Provides direction on compliance with CHFS guidelines for elective surgeries and medical procedures
Gives flexibility to the Medical Licensure Board and EMS Board to waive or modify certain laws to allow for quicker certification or recertification and broaden the base of healthcare workers who can assist in the provision of services
Additional detail on the measures affecting healthcare can be found in this article by Chacey Malhouitre.
Codifies the emergency order issued by the Public Protection Cabinet on March 19 relaxing package sales incident to the purchase of a meal
Court and Administrative proceedings
Provides that real-time video conferences are sufficient for complying with testimony, signature, or notarization requirements
Allows for live audio or live video teleconferences for court-ordered counseling and educational classes
Suspends deadlines for hearings and decisions by local planning and zoning bodies under KRS Chapter 100
Suspends deadlines for code enforcement proceedings or hearings
Open Meetings and Open Records
Extends the deadline for state agencies to respond to requests
Suspends open meeting laws to allow for live audio or live video teleconference meetings
Commercial Drivers Licenses
Suspends the requirement to obtain a temporary restricted CDL for farm-related services in certain circumstances
The Bill requires the Governor to declare, in writing, the date upon which the state of emergency in response to COVID-19 has ceased. This provision appears included to establish when many of the measures included in the Bill end.
A copy of the final bill with the specific language implementing these measures can be found here.