Matt Bevin

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Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear will be back in court soon as the Kentucky Supreme Court weighs in on whether the governor’s attempted overhaul of the University of Louisville trustee board last summer was legal.

A trial court ruled last year that Bevin didn’t have the authority to remove members or abolish state university boards. The governor appealed the decision and the legislature passed a law giving the governor broader powers to retool university boards.

Beshear has characterized Bevin’s actions as a “power grab.”

Bevin Is Blocking Critics On Social Media… And He’s Not The Only One

Jun 15, 2017
Jacob Ryan

Gov. Matt Bevin in recent months has turned to social media platforms to slam local media and share his political views directly with followers.

But as Bevin ramped up his criticism and online dispatches, he’s also blocked more than 500 Twitter users from following him, according to records released this week by ProPublica, a national investigative newsroom.

Bevin’s list of blocked social media users — obtained by ProPublica through a records request — includes many people who have shared their disdain for Bevin or President Donald Trump.

Ryland Barton

Attorney General Andy Beshear said he’ll wait to decide whether to file a lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin over a recent reorganization of several state education boards.

The governor’s office sent Beshear a letter late Wednesday saying Bevin planned to alter the executive order, which tweaked or replaced panels like the Board of Education and Council on Postsecondary Education.

Beshear argues the reorganizations go against the state’s laws and constitution, and said he would take legal action if Bevin didn’t alter the executive order by Friday.

Kentucky Attorney General Threatens to Sue Governor Again

Jun 7, 2017

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general has threatened to sue the state's Republican governor for a fourth time.

In a news conference Wednesday, Andy Beshear said Gov. Matt Bevin's executive order last week that dissolved and reorganized several state education boards was unconstitutional.

Friday, Bevin eliminated state boards that set curriculum standards and certify public school teachers. He then re-created the boards with new members.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Gov. Matt Bevin can’t repeal a 1 percent tax he said was one reason to dismantle the state health insurance exchange before he was elected in 2015. So he’s planning to work with the legislature next session to remove the tax, which funded the now-defunct Kynect.

The tax was created to initially fund Kentucky’s high risk insurance pool back in 2000. When former governor Steve Beshear decided to go on its own to create Kynect under the Affordable Care Act, the tax then went to pay for its creation and maintenance.

Gov. Bevin Faces Second Ethics Complaint Over Home

Jun 6, 2017
Jacob Ryan

A Kentucky lawmaker has filed an ethics complaint raising questions about the purchase of Gov. Matt Bevin’s personal home.

Democratic Rep. Darryl Owens filed the complaint against the Republican governor and Neil Ramsey, an investment manager and donor to Bevin’s political campaigns.

Bevin purchased the Louisville-area home and 10 acres in March for $1.6 million from Ramsey through a limited liability company. Bevin and Ramsey say it was a fair market price.

Flickr/Creative Commons/U.S. Department of Education

The Kentucky School Boards Association says it has some questions about an executive order by Governor Matt Bevin. 

The order creates a Charter Schools Advisory Council that will help implement charters for the first time in the commonwealth. 

“The historic charter school legislation passed during this year’s General Assembly session represents a truly momentous step forward in providing quality choices for Kentucky’s most vulnerable students,” said Gov. Bevin in a statement. “This advisory council will play a vital role in ensuring the success of this exciting new educational option. Public charter schools will create the promise of real opportunity for young people and their families where hope does not currently exist.”

Charter school legislation signed into law by Governor Bevin says local school boards and the mayors of Louisville and Lexington would be the primary authorizers of charter schools.

City Says Bevin's House Worth Less Than County Appraisal

Jun 4, 2017
Rob Canning

A Kentucky city says Gov. Matt Bevin's personal house is worth less than a county appraisal that was the basis of an ethics complaint against the governor.

The Courier-Journal reports Anchorage officials value the home and 19 acres of land at $2.2 million. The Jefferson County property valuation administrator has valued the property at $2.97 million. Bevin purchased the home and 10 acres of land for $1.6 million in March from Neil Ramsey, an investment manager who has donated to Bevin's political campaigns.

"I can't take a position on this, or any, particular property. But I can tell you that over the long term our view is that the City of Anchorage assessments tend to be closer to fair market at the time a property is sold than do the PVA assessments," Anchorage City Attorney John McGarvey said.

Jacob Ryan

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin believes prayer, coupled with community block walks, can help reduce violent crime in Louisville.

He pushed the importance of both during an event organized by his office Thursday at Western Middle School in Russell — a neighborhood that’s accounted for more shootings than any other this year.

“We’ve seen throughout history, biblical history and world history, the power of prayer,” he said.

The event came in response to a fatal shooting earlier this month, in which a 7-year-old boy was struck by a stray bullet while he sat inside his home.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s state agencies will cut 1 percent from their budgets to help avoid a $113 million shortfall. State Budget Director John Chilton ordered the cuts in a letter sent to state cabinet secretaries last week. The letter is in response to economists’ projection that the state will not collect enough money in taxes to cover its expenses by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Chilton said in the letter he was discussing with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin “about any official actions that should be taken to address the budget shortfall.”

Ryland Barton

Kentucky’s attorney general is continuing criticism of Gov. Matt Bevin’s purchase of a mansion in suburban Louisville.

The Courier-Journal first reported that Bevin and his family moved into an estate in Anchorage that was previously owned by a political donor appointed by the governor to the Kentucky Retirement Systems board.

The Bevins seemingly got a more than a $1 million discount on the home compared to the county’s official property estimate.

Attorney General Andy Beshear said during a news conference on Tuesday that there “continues to be a lot of smoke” stemming from the issue.

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.

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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.