Matt Bevin

J. Tyler Franklin

Allegations that House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other Republican lawmakers sexually harassed a female staffer have rocked the state capitol in recent days, pitting political allies against each other and unearthing deep divisions within Kentucky’s GOP.

Hoover resigned from his position as speaker, admitting to exchanging “inappropriate text messages” with an employee.

But he denied committing sexual harassment and claimed he was the target of a political conspiracy to bring him down.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for the immediate resignation of all elected officials and staff who have been involved in settling or hiding sexual harassment allegations.

The announcement came in a quickly-organized news conference Saturday afternoon amid allegations that House Speaker Jeff Hoover and several Republican leaders in the chamber had secretly settled sexual harassment claims.

Bevin called for the immediate resignation of  “every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case” and state employees “party to trying to hide this type of behavior.”

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is suing a Louisville law firm it says unlawfully received $4.2 million as part of a state settlement with Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma.

 

The firm Dolt Thompson Shepherd & Kinney had a contract to work on the case, but it expired in June 2015. Former Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway settled the case in December 2015. In February 2016, new Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear issued the firm a retroactive contract to pay for its work. Months later, Conway joined the firm as a partner.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin is taking his proposed pension changes on the road this week, pitching business groups across the state about his bill that would — among other things — move most future and some current state workers onto 401(k) style plans.

The plan has drawn fire from state employees who worry that future hires and current workers affected by the changes would receive less-generous benefits from the state.

J. Tyler Frankin

Gov. Matt Bevin Monday defended his proposal to change the state’s pension systems before a group of business leaders in Lexington.

Late last week, Bevin released a much-anticipated draft of a bill that would move most future and some current retirees onto less-generous 401(k)-style plans.

The proposal would also tweak benefits to current employees and retirees, drawing fire from state employee groups that say the changes would be illegal.

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Gov. Matt Bevin has released a much-anticipated draft of a bill that would make massive changes to the state’s pension systems, which are facing critical financial problems. The 505-page proposal was crafted with Republican leaders of the state legislature and aligns with a summary of recommended changes Bevin presented a little more than a week ago.

If implemented, over the coming decades the plan would mostly phase out the state’s use of a pension system that guarantees benefits to state retirees for life.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s state budget director said Gov. Matt Bevin will soon enact mid-year budget cuts to help avoid a projected revenue shortfall at the end of the fiscal year.

Earlier this month, a panel of economists tasked with predicting how much money the state will bring in projected the state would be about $155 million short of its initial estimates.

That move cleared the way for Bevin to make an official budget reduction plan — spending cuts to state agencies that don’t have to go through the conventional budgeting process.

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Representatives of state employees, teachers and police officers aren’t happy with Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to offer less-generous retirement plans and tinker with state worker benefits in an effort to save the state’s ailing pension systems.

David Smith, executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees, said the organization will hold a “torches and pitchforks” rally at the state capitol if Bevin calls a special legislative session for lawmakers to vote on the proposal.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin and the Republican leaders of the state legislature will unveil a proposal to fix Kentucky’s ailing pension systems Wednesday morning.

In a press release issued late Tuesday the governor’s office said that Bevin, House Speaker Jeff Hoover and Senate President Robert Stivers will present “a comprehensive plan to save Kentucky’s ailing public pension systems” in the State Capitol at 9 a.m.

“There have been hours and hours and hours of discussion among legislators and our administration in dialing this in. We are getting close,” Bevin said in a recorded statement.

ky.gov

Kentucky regulators say they’ll go to court to keep from handing over documents related to the state’s plan to reconfigure its Medicaid insurance program. But legal experts say Kentucky’s argument — that it doesn’t have to turn over emails and other communications because they are preliminary and about negotiations — doesn’t hold up.

Since they were first proposed in August 2016, Gov. Matt Bevin’s planned changes to Medicaid have been controversial. Medicaid is the federal program for disabled and low-income people — a program which Kentucky expanded under the Affordable Care Act and previous Gov. Steve Beshear.

J. Tyler Franklin

After Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, Gov. Matt Bevin lashed out at gun control advocates on Twitter Monday morning, saying that regulations aren’t the answer to gun violence.

“To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs…You can’t regulate evil,” he wrote.

Police say more than 50 people died and more than 500 people were injured in the shooting that took place when a 64-year-old man opened fire on a crowded concert from a 32nd story hotel window.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Supreme Court of Kentucky has ruled in favor of Gov. Matt Bevin in a legal challenge over whether he had the authority to overhaul the University of Louisville’s board of trustees last year.

The high court said the issue was moot because the state legislature approved legislation effectively codifying Bevin’s restructuring of the board earlier this year.

“It is for this reason — a deliberate action by the General Assembly intervening to provide greater clarity of law — that the case today is moot,” the court said in an order dismissing the case.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear were back in court on Wednesday, this time over a challenge to the governor’s reorganization of several education boards this summer.

Beshear argues that the governor illegally suspended laws passed by the legislature when he issued an executive order adding four non-voting advisors to the Kentucky Board of Education and replacing boards that deal with certifying teachers and establishing curriculum standards.

J. Tyler Franklin

In a video played for business leaders, Gov. Matt Bevin called for a variety of changes to the state tax code, including lowering corporate income tax and the eventual elimination of the individual income tax.

The governor said the changes would make the state more attractive to people and companies looking to relocate.

“I’m more confident in your ability to take the leftover dollar and turn it into a ‘dollar plus’ than if you send it to Frankfort and just give us the ability to dispense of it,” Bevin said in a 20-minute long video played before a Kentucky Chamber of Commerce gathering Thursday.

Bevin Floats Prospect of Appointing Attorney General

Sep 14, 2017
Alix Mattingly

Facing lawsuits from the state's top lawyer and adverse rulings from some of its judges, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday that lawmakers should consider a change that could give the governor more control over deciding the people assigned with enforcing and interpreting the state's laws.

Bevin has been sued four times by the Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. Only one of those cases has been decided, with the state Supreme Court telling Bevin he broke the law when he ordered spending cuts at the state's public colleges and universities without asking the legislature for permission. The other cases are still pending, but Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd has ruled against Bevin in some cases, prompting the governor to call him a "political hack."

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