Greg Stumbo

Lisa Autry

The Democrat hoping to win another stint as attorney general in next week’s election says he will continue to hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable in court for contributing to Kentucky’s opioid crisis. 

Greg Stumbo told the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday that he wants to finish what he started.  As Kentucky’s former attorney general from 2004-2008, he brought a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma which his successor Jack Conway settled for $24 million. 

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers announced last month that he would file a resolution in the 2020 session seeking an investigation into the settlement.  Stivers thinks Kentucky didn't get as much money as it could have from the drug maker, but Stumbo says the settlement was a record at the time.

Public Domain

Kentucky’s attorney general is the state’s chief law enforcement officer. The position is in charge of defending the state in court, filing lawsuits on behalf of the state, and investigating and prosecuting potential criminal activity.

Kentucky is currently one of nine states where the governor and attorney general are not from the same party. The divergence has created conflict between the two offices — current Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has repeatedly sued Gov. Matt Bevin and the Republican-led legislature over executive actions and legislation.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky’s candidates for attorney general squared off in their first televised debate Monday night, arguing over each other’s experience and how the office should treat potentially unconstitutional laws passed by the legislature.

Republican candidate Daniel Cameron argued that his connections to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who he used to work for — and President Donald Trump — who has endorsed him — make him the best candidate for the job.

 


Daniel Cameron

A judge says that Republican attorney general candidate Daniel Cameron will appear on the November ballot, ruling against a lawsuit that claimed Cameron did not have the required years of experience for the office.

Louisville resident Joseph Jackson filed the lawsuit last month, arguing that the two years Cameron spent as a clerk for a federal judge should not count as years spent as a practicing attorney.


Daniel Cameron Wins Republican Attorney General Primary

May 22, 2019
Daniel Cameron

The former legal counsel for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has clinched the Republican nomination for attorney general after a barb-fueled primary race.

Daniel Cameron has said he will fight for pro-life policies, combat the state’s opioid epidemic and end the partisan divide between the Democratic attorney general’s office and the Republican-led Legislature.

He will face former Attorney General Greg Stumbo, the Democratic candidate for the office who ran unopposed for the nomination.

Ryland Barton

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has launched a panel to investigate “troubling allegations” that Gov. Matt Bevin tried to threaten legislators into switching political parties late last year.

Stumbo focused on allegations from Nicholasville Democratic Rep. Russ Meyer, who claims that Bevin paused a major road project in his district as retribution for not switching parties. Stumbo called the actions “potentially illegal” and said that the committee would have the power to subpoena witnesses.

“We’re not asking them to find anything except the truth,” Stumbo said of the five-member committee made up of three Democratic and two Republican legislators. “We’re asking them to review the facts, we’re asking them to look at the documents. We’re asking them to ask the tough questions as to why.”

In March, the Transportation Cabinet delayed an $11.2 million contract for a road project in Jessamine County, which includes Meyer’s district. Because of the delay in the project, the state was required to pay a contractor $625,000 in damages.

LRC Public Information

A national group of Republican state leaders has paid for a TV ad criticizing Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

The Republican State Leadership Committee is backing the commercial with a $50,000 ad buy. It will air on eastern Kentucky's broadcast TV stations for the next week. It criticizes Stumbo for his support of Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their energy policies that affect the state's coal industry.

The Republican Party of Kentucky has already targeted Stumbo with a similar radio ad. Stumbo called those claims "outrageous lies."

The Kentucky House is the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats. Republicans need to pick up four seats on Nov. 8 to win a majority for the first time since 1920.

Bevin, Democratic Leaders Argue Over Education Funding

Sep 29, 2016
Kentukcy LRC

Kentucky's Democratic leaders have blasted Republican Gov. Matt Bevin for withholding $4.6 million from public school districts — money Bevin says he will release if the districts ask for it.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo and others pointed Wednesday to a decision Bevin made earlier this year to not fix a funding shortfall for public schools. Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said the request was made under the previous budget, which gave the governor the discretion to deny the money. Stamper said if education officials ask for the money under the new budget, Bevin will honor it.

A Department of Education spokeswoman declined to comment.

In a Wednesday news conference, held just over a month from the November elections, Democrats said Bevin should not wait to release the money.

Kentukcy LRC

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is moving forward with awarding $100 million for workforce training projects despite a warning from the top House Democrat that the actions could be illegal.

Bevin wants to borrow $100 million and use it to aid programs that train Kentucky's workforce. Wednesday, a committee appointed by Bevin and legislative leaders reviewed 114 proposals and approved 91 of them to submit formal applications next month.

The state legislature passed a law detailing how that money would be spent, but Bevin vetoed it and is developing the criteria himself. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo sued, saying Bevin's veto was illegal. The case is pending.

The Bevin administration is mostly following the criteria that lawmakers approved. One difference is Bevin is not requiring the money to be distributed evenly among  Kentucky's six congressional districts.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Gov. Matt Bevin should be investigated for allegedly halting a road project as political punishment for a state representative who refused to switch political parties.

Rep. Russ Meyer, a Democrat from Nicholasville, released audio of a voicemail he received from the governor in December in which he says Bevin threatened retribution for not switching political parties.

“I want to make sure you understand where things are in my mind and the decisions that I’m going to make in the days ahead, the weeks ahead, months ahead,” Bevin says in the voicemail. “I want you to be very aware of what the impact of those decisions will be as it relates to you, your seat, your district, etcetera, just so that we have all the cards on the table.”

According to a story by CNHI News reporter Ronnie Ellis, Meyer said the voicemail was left on Dec. 17, 2015, shortly after he told the governor’s chief of staff, Blake Brickman, that he wouldn’t be switching parties.

LRC Public Information

Republican members of the Kentucky House are planning to boycott a meeting on the state’s under-funded pension system.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo has called lawmakers to return to Frankfort Tuesday, but the GOP is calling it a trick. 

Representative Jim Decesare says it’s no coincidence that a Democratic caucus fundraiser is being held the same evening.  The Warren County Republican says Stumbo is essentially asking taxpayers to foot the bill for Democratic members to travel to Frankfort for a political event.

"Thirty thousand dollars is our best estimate of what it will cost the taxpayers of Kentucky to have a meeting where really no action can take place and not involve the governor or the Senate," DeCesare told WKU Public Radio.  "It just seems like bad government."

Representative Decesare says the House could have acted last session and blamed Democratic House leadership for killing legislation that would have brought more transparency to the pension system. 

Stumbo says he called the meeting after receiving more bad news about the state-managed retirements funds, including a 1.3 percent loss on returns into the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System.

Kentucky LRC

House Speaker Greg Stumbo has called for an impromptu meeting of the state House of Representatives Tuesday to discuss the state’s troubled pensions systems.

The summoning came days after lawmakers received more bad news about the state-managed retirement funds — a 1.3 percent loss on returns into the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System and a 0.5 percent loss on investments in the Kentucky Retirement Systems.

In an emailed statement, Stumbo said Friday he called the meeting because of the poor returns and because the pension agencies are paying what he called “exorbitant placement fees” for investment managers.

“Several members have asked about this issue, and many have gotten questions from their constituents, so I thought this would be the best way to answer their questions and therefore invited the full chamber,” Stumbo wrote.

Stumbo Calls Meeting of House to Discuss Pension System

Aug 26, 2016
Kentukcy LRC

Kentucky's Speaker of the House has called a meeting of all state representatives to discuss the beleaguered public pension system.

An email to legislative assistants obtained by The Associated Press shows Speaker Greg Stumbo said all House members "are invited and encouraged to attend" a meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in the House chambers. The email says members will "discuss several complex issues" and is signed by Stumbo.

Stumbo spokesman Brian Wilkerson confirmed the meeting and said the main focus will be to discuss the state retirement system in light of recent low investment returns. Public pension systems for teachers and state workers have an estimated combined debt of more than $30 billion, making it one of the worst funded pension systems in the country.

Ryland Barton

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo is suing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, saying the governor didn’t properly deliver vetoes to the Secretary of State at the end of this year’s legislative session.

At stake in the lawsuit is Bevin’s line-item vetoes to the state budget, which could be reversed if Stumbo is successful.

Bevin’s office says the vetoes were delivered to House Clerk Jean Burgin’s office, who Bevin’s attorney says promised to properly deliver the documents to the Secretary of State’s office, as required by law.

The documents never wound up in the Secretary of State’s office, though copies of them were delivered — a move that Bevin’s office says was necessary because Burgin’s office was locked at the end of the day on April 27, the last day vetoes could be filed.

Steve Pitt, Bevin’s general counsel, accused Stumbo of obstructing the proper delivery of the vetoes, saying he had “unclean hands.”

Ryland Barton

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is suing Gov. Matt Bevin, saying that he improperly vetoed several bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

Stumbo, a Democrat from Prestonsburg, questioned the validity of vetoes to six bills, including line-item vetoes to the state budget, which he says were improperly delivered and signed.

He also says Bevin violated the constitution by not including “veto messages” that explain the rationale for several line-item vetoes to the state budget.

“The constitution clearly states that the message shall be accompanied with the veto so that people understand why or what his reasoning was when vetoing that particular part or parts of the appropriation bill,” he said.

If Stumbo’s suit is successful, Bevin’s line-item vetoes to the state budget would be reversed, meaning free preschool would be expanded from 160 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and $840,000 would be set aside for the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation and $7.5 million for indigent care in Jefferson County.

Pages