Attorney General

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

During a contentious committee hearing late Wednesday night, Republican lawmakers advanced a bill that would limit the powers of the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, called the proposal “silly and unfortunate legislation” and accused lawmakers of trying to give Gov. Matt Bevin more power at the expense of his office.

“This comes at a very high price, simply for a power grab,” Beshear said.

Under the legislation, the attorney general would no longer be able to file an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief on behalf of the state.

In a ruling today based on a Powell County drug case, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that the state Attorney General's office has limited powers to initiate investigations. In addition, the Court threw out an eastern Kentucky drug conviction, saying the Attorney General's office overstepped its bounds.