Special Session Begins Wednesday

Legislators will return to Frankfort on Wednesday for a special session addressing eastern Kentucky flood relief. Governor Andy Beshear issued a proclamation on Tuesday calling legislators back to the Capitol. Heavy rains and storms in July claimed 39 lives and left millions of dollars of damage in several cities.

President Joe Biden issued a federal disaster declaration for the impacted areas on July 29, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been assisting people in the flood-damaged areas. Legislators will address various forms of state aid.

The special session will convene at noon Wednesday, Aug. 24. The governor’s order states the sole purposes of the session include the following:

  • Establish, fund, and administer the Eastern Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (EKSAFE) fund;
  • Extend the Western Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (WKSAFE) fund through June 30, 2026; and
  • Provide relief to eastern Kentucky school districts impacted by the flood, including relaxing requirements for student attendance days and teacher leave. The order also asks legislators to revise attendance requirements in the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) formula for schools in both eastern Kentucky flood and western Kentucky tornado areas.

Beshear indicated a few weeks ago that the special session would include assistance for local governments. He said helping cities in flood-impacted areas was vital to residents.

Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said drafters began working on a flood aid bill earlier this month to ensure a brief and focused special session.