The Kentucky Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday over a challenge to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s mid-year cuts to state colleges and universities.
In March of this year, Bevin issued an executive order reducing the amount allotted to higher education for the final quarter of this fiscal year by about 2 percent.
The reduction has been challenged by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and three Democratic state representatives, who argue that Bevin has thwarted the legislature’s power over budget decisions.
Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in favor of the governor in May and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the case.
Steve Pitt, general counsel for the governor, argued Thursday that in general, the governor can unilaterally make spending cuts to state universities and other agencies but the courts can step in if they think the cuts amount to an “abuse of discretion.”