Matt Bevin

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has released the names of 10 people who will serve on the University of Louisville board of trustees.

The move comes after the legislature abolished the previous board earlier this month in an attempt to bring the school back into compliance with accreditation standards. The school’s accreditation was put on probation in December as a result of Bevin’s attempt to unilaterally overhaul the board over the summer.

In a video released along with the announcement, Bevin said the board had been used as a “political football by people who frankly do not have the university’s best interests at heart.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Gov. Matt Bevin says he’s working with incoming President Donald Trump’s administration to come up with a way to bring Kentucky into compliance with stricter ID and driver’s license standards known as REAL ID.

Kentucky is one of eight states out of compliance with federal identification standards passed by Congress in 2004. The legislature approved a REAL ID bill last spring but Bevin vetoed it, citing widespread misunderstanding of the issue.

The REAL ID legislation was opposed by Tea Party groups and the ACLU of Kentucky, citing privacy concerns.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has selected 10 people to serve on the newly reconstructed University of Louisville Board of Trustees after the legislature abolished the previous board and created a new one earlier this year.

The move comes after the school’s accreditation was put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a result of Bevin’s unilateral overhaul of the board last summer.

Bevin announced by video Friday evening that he had chosen 10 trustees to serve on the new board.

“There is going to be the ability to transition as properly as possible in the days and weeks ahead,” Bevin said.

Agency says U of L Probation Due to Governor's Actions

Jan 12, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

The accrediting body for the University of Louisville says it has placed the school on probation because Republican Gov. Matt Bevin interfered with the board of trustees' decisions and did not use a "fair process for the dismissal of board members."

But the letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is silent on a bill that Bevin signed into law last week. That law abolishes the school's governing board and replaces it with a new group appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

The letter noted any legislation impacting the university must protect the university's board from "undue political pressure."

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has released a report alleging “endemic” coercion of state employees to make campaign contributions under former Gov. Steve Beshear.

The investigation is based on interviews with 16 political appointees — who remained anonymous — claiming that officials pressured them into make contributions to Democratic political candidates, primarily to the campaigns of gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway and Attorney General Andy Beshear.

The probe, conducted by Indianapolis law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, construes that the practice was widespread across state government.

J. Tyler Franklin

The state Supreme Court has agreed to take up Gov. Matt Bevin’s appeal of a ruling that said he can’t overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.

The move comes two days after the state legislature voted to reorganize the board once again, despite worries that the moves might hurt the institution’s accreditation — which was put on probation last month.

Bevin dismissed the 17-member U of L board in June, later creating a 10-member board and appointing new members.

Kevin Probst / Wikimedia Commons

Community groups in counties across Kentucky are starting the new year with a Bible reading marathon, which Governor Matt Bevin marked in a proclamation earlier this month. In the proclamation, Bevin declared 2017 “The Year of the Bible.”

The Kentucky 120 United Bible Reading Marathon is a four-day event in which volunteers sign up for time slots to read the Bible from beginning to end. Hopkins County event coordinator Lynda Crick says it is a great way to bring the state together.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin has issued an executive order creating the Work Ready Scholarship Program, which will provide free tuition to eligible Kentucky students getting a two-year degree that could be used in “high-demand” industries like healthcare and manufacturing.

“[T]he Commonwealth of Kentucky is committed to increasing the currently low workforce participation rate by expanding the skilled, competitive workforce necessary to attract new businesses to the state,” Bevin wrote in the executive order.

Ryland Barton

After his first year in office, Gov. Matt Bevin says Kentucky is more united now than ever, pointing to Republicans’ recent dominance in elections across the state. “If you don’t think we’re uniting Kentucky, there’s never in the history of Kentucky been a Republican House, Senate and governor’s seat,” Bevin said.

Bevin Rules Out Transgender Bathroom Bill

Dec 9, 2016
Jaison Gardner

Kentucky's Republican governor says he will not use the state's new GOP majority to push through a bill restricting transgender bathroom use. Matt Bevin held a news conference Friday to discuss his first year in office and look ahead to the 2017 legislative session, where Republicans will hold super majorities in both chambers for the first time.

Kenneth Hayden

Some state cultural leaders are concerned that a Kentucky arts agency restructured by Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday will prioritize commercial over creative value in the arts, diminishing their overall impact in the commonwealth.

The Kentucky Arts Council is designed to generate value for, participation in and benefit from the arts. Funding for the agency — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year — is provided by the General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As the state partner of the NEA, the council receives matching funds from the organization to distribute within Kentucky. This year, arts groups such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Orchestra and Stage One received funding from the council. It also distributes funds to individual artists.

On Friday, Bevin dismissed all but four of its members and reduced the size of the council from 16 to 15 people. He also accepted the resignation of executive director Lori Meadows, although sources say she was pushed out.

In a news release, Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Don Parkinson wrote: “The new arts council will focus on ensuring that Kentucky artisans have the skills and knowledge to develop and successfully sell their products.”

Thinkstock

A judge says Gov. Matt Bevin can appoint six administrative law judges to help deal with a backlog of workers’ compensation cases while a lawsuit over whether the governor can reorganize the board that nominates new judges continues.

The same judge has ruled against Bevin in several decisions, drawing the ire from the governor.

Bevin reorganized the Worker’s Compensation Nominating Commission in May, dismissing seven members appointed by former Gov. Steve Beshear before their terms ended. He later replaced it with a five-person board that he named the Worker’s Compensation Nominating Committee.

A group of labor unions, injured workers and a former commissioner sued Bevin for the move.

And over the summer, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd temporarily blocked the move, calling it a “wholesale firing of duly appointed state officials” and putting the old version of the board back in place.

J. Tyler Franklin

After Gov. Matt Bevin appealed a ruling that blocked his overhaul of the University of Louisville board of trustees, Attorney General Andy Beshear has requested that the case be fast-tracked to the state’s highest court.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled in October that Bevin’s reorganization of the U of L board was illegal, saying that the governor didn’t have the authority to unilaterally dismantle a public university board and remove all of its members in the process.

Bevin’s appeal would send the case to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, but Beshear asked that the case go straight to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In his motion, Beshear said the case needs to be resolved because Bevin has refused to fill vacancies on the board while the case is on appeal. He also cited concerns that U of L could lose its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for “undue political influence.”

With New Majority, Bevin Vows Tax Reform in 2017

Nov 9, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said Kentucky's new Republican legislature would overhaul the state's tax code in 2017, but it would most likely have to happen in a special session.

Bevin told WHAS radio host Leland Conway that tax reform "will happen" in 2017, but said it is unrealistic to think the legislature can get it done in a 30-day session that begins in January. Bevin did not say what the new tax code would look like, but said he is open to eliminating the income tax.

Republicans won a majority in the state House of Representatives on Tuesday for the first time since 1920. Bevin vowed the new majority would pass a right-to-work law, reform the court system, pass school choice, repeal the prevailing wage and get rid of the Common Core educational standards.

J. Tyler Franklin

A future state representative is taking issue with Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent comparison of sexually aggressive comments made by Donald Trump to rap music, video games and movies.

Attica Scott, a former Louisville Metro councilwoman, said Bevin’s comments were out of line for the governor’s office. Scott said for the governor to compare Trump’s remarks bragging about sexually harassing and groping women to anything “is inappropriate.”

“What does this say for me as a woman going to serve in Frankfort when our governor is willing to make excuses for a candidate for president and the way in which this candidate feels comfortable violating women’s bodies, bodies like my own,” she said.

On the Terry Meiners show on WHAS Tuesday, Bevin said that Trump’s comments bragging about groping and sexually harassing women were offensive, but then said critics of Trump’s language were hypocritical because they consume “the very same type of trash in movies and music and video games.”

Bevin specifically highlighted those who listen to rap music, read “Fifty Shades of Gray” and play the video game “Grand Theft Auto.”

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