Kentucky attorney general sues governor over higher education cuts

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Monday afternoon that he’s filed suit against the state’s governor, Matt Bevin.

Beshear says he’s challenging Bevin’s authority regarding the governor’s ordered 4.5 percent cuts to the state’s public colleges and universities in the current fiscal year.

Those cuts were part of Bevin’s proposed $650 million in cuts over the next two years in his plan to start paying off Kentucky’s pension debt. State legislators rejected that plan, but Bevin ordered the mid-year cuts to all state colleges and universities anyway. 

The attorney General says he’s seeking an expedited schedule for the lawsuit.

In a news released sent out while Beshear was announcing the suit, his office says: "The lawsuit outlines how Gov. Bevin’s March 31 letter unilaterally cutting Kentucky’s post-secondary institutions is illegal – violating Kentucky’s constitutional provision of the separation of powers, as well as the governor’s constitutional duty to ‘faithfully execute’ the law. The action by the governor further violates numerous Kentucky statutes that govern budget reductions and specifically violates the 2014-2016 Biennium Budget law, according to the lawsuit."

Shortly after Beshear’s news conference, the governor’s office released the following statement: “As best we can make sense of his rambling press conference, we strongly disagree with the Attorney General and will respond as necessary in court. Given the amount of alleged corruption and personnel problems in the Office of Attorney General and his father’s administration it is clear that he is attempting to deflect attention away from his own challenges.”

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