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Citing Sports, Beshear Allows Bars To Stay Open Until Midnight

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear poses for a photo after a media briefing at the State Capitol Building on July 14, 2020.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear poses for a photo after a media briefing at the State Capitol Building on July 14, 2020.

Gov. Andy Beshear has amended one of his coronavirus restrictions, allowing bars and restaurants to stay open until midnight instead of 11 p.m., effective immediately.

The change comes as Kentucky continues to record an elevated number of coronavirus cases, but the state’s positivity rate has ticked back down to 3.97%.

Beshear cited “sports coming back” in his rationale for allowing bars to stay open later. The NFL and college football resumed last weekend.

“That was a specific request by those in the restaurant industry. We thought it was reasonable,” Beshear said.

“But again lets make sure that whether you’re in that industry or in any other that has some rules and regulations that you’re trying to do it right and you’re not trying to get around it.”

Beshear's order allows bars to have last call at 11 p.m. and close at midnight, at the latest.

There were 745 new positive coronavirus cases in Kentucky on Tuesday, 95 of which were among children under 18 years old. There were nine new deaths, bringing the state’s total to 1,074.

During his daily press conference, Beshear addressed the recent $12 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit that Breonna Taylor’s family brought against the City of Louisville.

He said he hoped that Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is overseeing the criminal investigation into Taylor’s death, feels pressure to “get it right, pressure to explain any decision or process properly to the public.”

“Those are all things any attorney general ought to want to do. And here it is a very high-profile case and situation, people are watching it very carefully and so I think there ought to be a positive pressure to get it right,” Beshear said.

Cameron has been conducting the investigation since May.

Part of the settlement requires Louisville to implement reforms like having a commanding officer sign off on warrants before they are issued, random drug testing of officers and new protocols for money seized as evidence.

Beshear said that he is willing to talk about police reforms on the statewide level, and said that he’s willing to look at implementing a body camera policy for Kentucky State Police.

“I know that there have been different issues in the past that related to costs. But as we have that expectation more and more of law enforcement, we’ve got to look within too,” Beshear said.

State funding for police body cameras has repeatedly come up in the legislature but never gained traction.

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