There is chilling news in Frankfort as a close friend and colleague, Senator Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, was diagnosed with COVID-19. He admitted himself to the hospital after experiencing mild symptoms, and his prognosis is good. Sen. Neal is a champion and fighter for his community in the state legislature. I fully expect Sen. Neal to overcome this and return to the legislature and continue fighting for the constituents of District 33 and the entire commonwealth. My thoughts and prayers are with Sen. Neal and his family during this time. Get well soon, senator.
In a meeting of the Legislative Research Commission, comprised of those in Senate and House Leadership, the media pressed leaders on with questions of a potential special session. Majority leaders amplified their calls for one. However, they neglected to offer an in-depth, substantive rundown on which policies they would propose. A legislative plan of action needs to be in place and agreed upon before legislators are called to Frankfort. A special session is financed on the taxpayers’ dime, and it's pivotal we be good stewards of those dollars.
In other news, Governor Andy Beshear announced the launch of the #HealthyatHome Eviction Relief Fund website. The application comes on the heels of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds of $15 million to assist tenants and landlords affected by COVID-19. The application will prevent evictions of Kentucky tenants and keep them housed, allow landlords to get substantial payments for back rent, and reduce the volume of eviction cases in Kentucky courts. Kentuckians can now visit and apply for assistance at, teamkyhherf.ky.gov.
We are now less than a month from the deadline to request an absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election. If you are concerned with voting in person due to COVID-19, you can now request your ballot at GoVoteKY.com. The final day to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Oct. 9. If you do not plan on voting by mail, you can also vote in person at your County Clerk's office by scheduling an appointment. All others will still have the option to vote in person on Election Day at voting supercenters in the county, which I presume will be announced soon.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the American lives that were lost 19 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001. It was a day that shook the foundation of our country. May God bless the families of the first responders and those who lost their lives on that fateful day, and may God bless America. We will never forget.
As we progress toward Election Day and through the Interim Session, I will do my best to keep you informed on the happenings in Frankfort. Stay engaged, remain vigilant, and remember to mask up, Kentucky! We are all in this together. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, I remain accessible by email at, JohnnyRay.Turner@LRC.KY.GOV.