Republican leaders from the Kentucky General Assembly say they'll require lawmakers to put on masks during this year's legislative session amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual session begins Tuesday which last until March 30.

On KET's Kentucky Tonight, House Speaker David Osborne said that lawmakers will be required to wear masks when they're around the House Floor and when they're in public places getting together with staff.

“Beyond that, if they are in a position to socially distance, if they are able to confine themselves to offices, then certainly we would relax those restrictions,” Osborne said.

When asked what the punishment could be for lawmakers who don't wear masks, Osborne said “we'll see.”

The requirement uses several cases of lawmakers not wearing masks during interim committee hearings last year.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the legislature received the coronavirus vaccine over recent weeks, climax still unclear once the rest of the 138-member General Assembly is going to be eligible.

Senate President Robert Stivers said it would be hard for leaders to punish lawmakers who don't wear masks because “we can't un-elect an individual.”

“We hope there is compliance, because both in chambers, both Republican and Democrat, we do have individuals who are in danger. And that we don't want them to get infected and have long-term complications,” Stivers said.

The Republican leaders have been upset with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the governor hasn't allowed them to weigh in on key conditions.

Stivers asserted he really wants to alter the “extent and duration” of the governor's powers throughout a state of emergency.

“Nobody argues with the fact that there will be times that the governor must act with no legislative process being involved,” Stivers said. “But what period of time and just what functions can the governor have authority over?”

Osborne said it is possible that lawmakers will come across around the first Saturday of the legislative session to think about fast-tracked bills.

House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins, a Democrat from Louisville, said she's not in opposition to considering the governor's emergency powers, but cautioned against going too far.

“I think we must be cautious that we are not reacting or overcorrecting, from exactly who may have seen as unpopular, however i think necessary choices that the governor made,” Jenkins said.

The legislative leaders also said that committee hearings will be limited to 1 hour, and become cleaned for another hour afterwards.

Stivers said he’s told legislators to anticipate fewer bills to maneuver during this year’s session.