Matt Bevin

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The lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law will be heard by the Supreme Court of Kentucky on Thursday, pitting Kentucky’s two preeminent political rivals against each other and putting retirement benefits for thousands of teachers and state workers in the balance.

The pension changes were passed during this year’s legislative session amid massive protests and were blocked by a lower court, which ruled that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage during a matter of hours.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin says former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is blaming everyone but himself for recent scandals at the university that led to his firing last year.

In a book published this week, Pitino railed against Bevin for unilaterally replacing all the members of U of L’s Board of Trustees in 2016, suggesting that the move was done at the behest of University of Kentucky boosters and ultimately led to his ouster.

In an interview on The Greg Dunker Show on WKYX in Paducah, Bevin said the book sounded “sad.”

Facing Shortfall, Kentucky Mulls Ending Medicaid Expansion

Aug 30, 2018
Flickr/Creative Commons/401(K) 2012

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration could eliminate Kentucky's expanded Medicaid program to avoid a $300 million shortfall.

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear expanded Kentucky's Medicaid program in 2014 under former President Barack Obama's health care law. The expanded program now covers more than 400,000 people.

Bevin opposed the expansion because he said it cost too much money and did not make people healthier. In January, the federal government gave Kentucky permission to impose work requirements on some Medicaid recipients. But a federal judge blocked the program.

Creative Commons

Kentucky officials on Monday heard from the public on proposed state regulations that would go into effect if the federal government approves controversial Medicaid changes, also known as Kentucky HEALTH.

Those changes were blocked in June when a federal judge struck down the Trump administration’s approval of the Medicaid overhaul, after an advocacy group filed suit against the federal government. In July, the federal government re-filed the Medicaid waiver and opened a new comment period for those changes. That comment period just ended, and it’s likely changes will be re-approved at some point in the future.

Bevin Says He's Running for Second Term as Governor in 2019

Aug 27, 2018
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he will run for re-election in 2019, ending months of speculation as he has faced growing protests from public workers and teachers about his rhetoric and policies.

Bevin announced his campaign Saturday in a speech to the Republican Party of Kentucky's annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Lexington with characteristic bravado, saying simply: "You bet I'm running again."

"The reality is there is a lot of work yet to do. And to not continue keeping the foot on the gas would be, frankly, the wrong thing for the state, it would be the wrong thing for all those who had worked so hard, the wrong thing for our existing legislature," Bevin told reporters after his speech.

Ryland Barton

Tariffs took center stage at the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast on Thursday as about 1,500 farmers and politicos gathered to hear speeches and watch a prize country ham get auctioned off for $2.8 million.

The annual event is an opportunity for Kentucky politicians to weigh in on issues specific to agriculture and also raises money for charity (the winning bid for this year’s ham broke the previous record of $2 million, set in 2014).

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles didn’t specifically mention tariffs, but hinted at them, saying he wanted to work to “increase market access.”

Bevin Criticized for Comparing Critics to Drowning Victims

Aug 15, 2018
J. Tyler Frankin

Facing a groundswell of opposition from public workers for his proposed pension changes, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin compared them to drowning victims on Tuesday in that "you just need to knock them out and drag them to shore."

Bevin's comments came during a live interview with Brian Thomas on WKRC in Cincinnati. He said the state must make changes to the pension system or it will collapse, risking the retirements of hundreds of thousands of people and their loved ones.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's Governor is meeting Monday night with the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.

Matt Bevin and Cui Tiankai will discuss economic development at the meeting in the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.

The meeting comes at a time of increasingly strained relationships between Washington and Beijing.

President Donald Trump has pursued an aggressive trade policy against China, slapping billions of dollars in tariffs on imported Chinese products, such as solar panels, washing machines, flat-panel televisions, and medical devices.

Ryland Barton

Teachers got a lot of love from speakers during the Fancy Farm political speaking event.

U.S. Congressman James Comer made a point to thank teachers who showed up to Fancy Farm, saying that they “deserve the respect of our highest elected officials.”

The comment is a dig at Gov. Bevin, who has made several inflammatory statements about teachers, including a claim that teachers left their students vulnerable to sexual assault and drug abuse by protesting in Frankfort earlier this year.

J. Tyler Franklin

The annual Fancy Farm political speaking event takes place this weekend, signaling the unofficial kickoff of the fall election season in Kentucky.

The festival is a fundraiser for St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in the Graves County town of Fancy Farm in far-western Kentucky.

For more than a century the event has attracted Kentucky politicians trying to sway voters and in recent decades has evolved into a raucous affair where speakers insult and tease opponents while the crowd heckles and chants.

J. Tyler Franklin

Amid a shortage of skilled workers, Gov. Matt Bevin says that the state and country need to focus on training young people to fill jobs in high-demand industries like manufacturing, health care and transportation.

“Everything that is being done with taxpayer money in this state should be focused on delivering what the purpose of an education is,” Bevin said. “It’s not to have a piece of paper. Because a piece of paper with no skill behind it is of no value.”

Bevin made the comments after a roundtable discussion in Shelbyville Thursday with the head of the federal Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, Rand Paul was one of the few politicians to defend Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration restored vision and dental benefits to almost 400,000 people on Medicaid after taking them away earlier this month. And Kentucky’s bourbon industry ramped up its warnings about how a trade war would impact the state’s signature industry. 


J. Tyler Franklin

The cost of Governor Bevin’s ongoing investigation of former Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has doubled to $1 million, with Kentucky taxpayers footing the bill.

Bevin initially approved a two-year, $500,000 contract for an Indianapolis law firm in 2016 to search for corruption in the Beshear administration.

The Herald-Leader reports the Bevin administration has now approved a two-year, $500,000 extension of the contract.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is trying to capitalize on Gov. Matt Bevin’s unpopularity with school teachers. He’s focusing his run for governor on public education and has selected a rural high school administrator as his running mate.

Beshear, a Democrat, announced that he would run for governor on Monday after months of speculation that he would challenge Republican Gov. Bevin, who he has sued eight times since taking office in 2016.

“As your governor, I will listen especially to those who disagree with me and together we will move forward and these days of bullying, name calling and ‘my way or the highway’ will be in the past,” Beshear said in his announcement.

AndyBeshear.com

Attorney General Andy Beshear will launch a run for Kentucky governor this week and his running mate will be Jacqueline Coleman, an assistant high school principal and political recruiter.

Beshear, a Democrat, sent out a press release on Sunday promoting a series of speaking events across the state on Monday and Tuesday in order to make an “announcement concerning the future of Kentucky.”

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