Matt Bevin

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday that companies have promised to invest $5.8 billion in Kentucky so far this year, breaking a previous yearly record of $5.1 billion.

The governor credited the state’s “right-to-work” law for the commitments. The policy makes union dues optional, and supporters say it makes the state more attractive to companies looking to move to or relocate in the state.

“The decisions made in the legislature matter,” Bevin said. “And the net result of this is a sense of enthusiasm in the business community for what’s happening in Kentucky like it has never happened before.”

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin is criticizing news coverage of his family’s move into a mansion in suburban Louisville earlier this year, saying questions over the home’s purchase are misplaced.

After an economic development announcement Friday afternoon, Bevin ranted for 12 minutes about several news outlets’ coverage of the transaction.

The Courier-Journal first reported that a home the Bevins moved into in March is owned by an organization called Anchorage Place LLC.

Complaint Raises Questions about Kentucky Governor, Mansion

May 26, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

The head of a Kentucky government watchdog group said Friday he's seeking an investigation into Gov. Matt Bevin's reported connection to a Louisville-area mansion that sold for nearly a million dollars below market value.

Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause Kentucky, said he filed a complaint with the state's Executive Branch Ethics Commission. It stems from questions regarding the mansion's sale and reports that the Republican governor's family has taken up residence there.

Beliles is asking whether that chain of events involving the governor and one of his backers amounts to improper gifts under the ethics code for state officials.

Creative Commons

Two union groups have filed a lawsuit to block Kentucky’s new “right-to-work” law.

That law prohibits unions from being able to collect what are known as “fair share fees”.

Those fees are imposed on non-union employees in exchange for the benefits of being in a unionized workplace.

In January, Kentucky became the 27th state to pass such a measure, which supporters say makes the state more competitive when trying to get companies to move to or expand in Kentucky.

Kentucky AFL-CIO president Bill Londrigan said the new law is part of a political strategy to stifle union voices.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin said the man he has appointed to oversee the state’s adoption and foster care system is being unfairly criticized.

Bevin tapped Dan Dumas, a senior vice president with Louisville Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, to be Kentucky’s adoption “czar” earlier this month.

Democrats have criticized the appointment for its high pay and Dumas’ lack of experience working in the adoption system.

During a Facebook live event on Friday, Bevin defended the move.

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear says he’s exploring whether his office has the authority to investigate if Gov. Matt Bevin improperly bought a house from a political appointee and got a discount.

Beshear said he’s asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to weigh in on whether his office should investigate.

“I have real serious concerns about what’s going on in the Bevin administration and whether we’re seeing one of the worst cases of unjust enrichment or personal enrichment by a governor that I can imagine,” Beshear said on Tuesday to Terry Meiners on WHAS.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin doesn’t want to share his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

After a press event Friday at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville, Bevin avoided answering questions related to national politics — including Comey’s firing and a recent directive from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to roll back some of his predecessors’ prosecution policies.

Bevin traveled to Louisville to make an announcement about a championship boxing match in Freedom Hall scheduled for later this year. He joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield for the announcement at the Ali Center.

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Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office has appealed a judge’s ruling that wiped decades-old convictions from a Kentuckian’s criminal record, arguing they aren’t eligible under the state’s new felony expungement law.

The case hinges on whether crimes committed over a series of days are considered to be part of the same “incident” and are thus all eligible for expungement.

The new law allows people to have certain class D felonies cleared if — after completing their sentences — they stay out of trouble for five years and pay a $500 fee.

J. Tyler Franklin

Jim Carroll started working for Kentucky’s state parks system in 1978 making $780 a month.

“So I knew the pay wasn’t good but I knew that it was a place where you could advance over time,” Carroll said. “It was stable, and retirement was part of that.”

Carroll later worked in the tourism cabinet and retired in 2009. Since then, he’s organized a group of concerned state pensioners called Kentucky Government Retirees.

Carroll draws a monthly pension from the retirement system for most of Kentucky’s state workers, Kentucky Retirement Systems. Depending how you measure it, KRS has one of the lowest funding levels in the nation.

Ashley Lopez

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has dropped its efforts to shut down Kentucky’s last abortion clinic pending the outcome of a federal lawsuit aimed at preventing its closure.

An agreement between lawyers for the Republican governor and the Louisville clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, has been submitted to U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers, who has not yet signed off on it.

As part of the agreement, Bevin’s administration agreed to renew EMW’s license until the federal suit is resolved.

J. Tyler Franklin

On the last day of the legislative session, Gov. Matt Bevin walked up to the state Senate and thanked lawmakers for their work — which was for the most part, in lock-step with his agenda.

“This has been a transformative session,” Bevin said. “Kentucky is better for it. We’ve put seeds in the ground that are going to germinate over time. And as we get older and our kids and grandkids grow up, we’ll be able to look back on the 2017 session and be amazed at the things you’ve set in motion.”

Lawmakers transformed the legal landscape of Kentucky during this year’s General Assembly.

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

The FBI is conducting an antitrust investigation into contractors working on road and construction projects with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

First reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the cabinet recently issued a notice for all contractors who work with the state to preserve contract data as a result of the investigation.

Cabinet employees are also required to preserve all data relating to state contracts dating back to 2010 — which means the scope of the investigation will include contracts made under Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, as well as former Gov. Steve Beshear’s, who left office in 2015.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

As the dust settles on the main part of the legislative session, the Republican-led General Assembly has passed most of its priorities.

A handful of bills approved in early January have already been signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin. Those include a “right-to-work” law, a repeal of the prevailing wage on public works projects, and anti-abortion legislation.

But a flood of bills — including the authorization of charter schools in Kentucky and REAL ID legislation — passed at the end of session still await the governor’s signature.

Bevin now has a 10-day period to review legislation and either veto bills, sign them into law or ignore them — another way to make them law. The legislature will return on March 29 and 30 for two final working days, during which they will likely give approval to even more bills that haven’t passed yet.

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office is actively defending a new abortion rule recently signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin. The law requires doctors to show women seeking an abortion pictures of an ultrasound, and describe the images to the patient.

Governor Bevin has accused Beshear of breaking his promise to defend the ultrasound law.

It's the latest incident in an ongoing feud between the Republican Governor and the Democratic Attorney General. Some of the other diasagreements have been about the reorganization of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, as well as certain cuts to higher education funding Bevin proposed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and the state’s only abortion provider are suing the state over the ultrasound regulations. Beshear said the parties in the lawsuit are not named properly.

Alix Mattingly

Gov. Matt Bevin said Monday despite praise for Kentucky’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act in recent years, the initiative has been an “abject failure” in the state.

“Kentucky, which has long been vaunted as an example of the opposite, I’m telling you as a matter of fact has been an unmitigated disaster,” Bevin said at a news conference after governors attended an event with President Trump.

Bevin has long opposed the Affordable Care Act, which made more people eligible for Medicaid in Kentucky and created a state exchange, Kynect, for people to purchase health insurance.

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