Legislation to re-open a portion of Capital Avenue moves to the full Kentucky Senate

Republished from WEKU.


A northern Kentucky GOP senator is renewing his attempt at re-opening a portion of roadway between the State Capitol and Capitol Annex. Citing security concerns, Governor Beshear ordered the section of Capital Avenue closed in 2021. Union Senator John Schickel said he takes threat assessments very seriously, but adds this closure goes too far and prevents visitors from enjoying Capitol aesthetics by vehicle.

“If there’s a reason to close that road, my bill provides for that and it can be done very quickly. But, I ask you to pass this bill out onto the Senate floor and I’m hoping this year maybe the House will take a look at it,” said Schickel.

Other Republican committee members said Capitol renovations the next few years could increase traffic flow and safety issues if the roadway remains closed.

Testifying against the bill was Kentucky State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett Junior. He told members the closure reduces accessibility for someone with ill intent. Burnett said it also increases protections for areas of public protest as well as state government employees and visitors in the Capitol and Annex buildings.

“If you have that roadway open and their gathered and then that makes the opportunity of someone with ill intent to use a vehicle as an assault weapon,” said Burnett.

Following discussion, the bill passed out of committee by an eight-two vote. The bill has previously passed out of the Senate but not made it through the House.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.