FRANKFORT, KY – Today, Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 43, the “Church is Essential Act,” sponsored by Rep. Shane Baker. HB 43 passed the Kentucky House and Senate with strong support, and supporters of The Family Foundation had been encouraging the Governor to sign the bill into law after its final passage in the General Assembly.
“The Church is Essential Act is a victory for religious freedom in our Commonwealth,” said David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation. “Thanks to HB 43, churches will rightfully be recognized as essential in Kentucky, and the Governor’s emergency powers will never again be abused to shutdown churches or discriminate against religious organizations.”
Churches in Kentucky were forced to file multiple lawsuits challenging Governor Andy Beshear’s COVID orders that prohibited in-person church services and threatened criminal penalties. Kentucky’s state police were even ordered by Beshear to document license plate numbers of church attendees and attach intimidating notices to their cars. HB 43 would ensure that never happens again.
HB 43 will also ensure that emergency powers are never again used to close the doors of the Commonwealth’s churches to people in need while secular business, including liquor stores and large retail stores, still remain open.
The Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that stands for Kentucky families and the biblical values that make them strong. Learn more at kentuckyfamily.org.