Matt Bevin

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This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin’s special legislative session on pensions is finally taking place and Democrats think he’s tied the legislature’s hands.

Bevin and Democratic rival Andy Beshear clashed during a debate at the Kentucky Farm Bureau, and Kentucky lawmakers responded to President Trump’s inflammatory tweets.

Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has another edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled. 

 


J. Tyler Frankin

Gov. Matt Bevin is again the most unpopular governor in America and is getting less popular according to a new poll.

Bevin was first elected in 2015 and is seeking reelection this year, trying to become the first Republican governor in state history to serve two terms.

 


Ryland Barton

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear clashed over education, health care and pensions at a forum hosted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau on Wednesday.

The rivals in Kentucky’s race for governor touted their rural roots and played up stark differences in their personalities and policy proposals.

 

Beshear attacked Bevin for supporting charter schools, saying that the institutions would run traditional public schools “out of town.”

It's Official: Bevin Calls Special Session for Pension Relief

Jul 15, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

A long-anticipated special legislative session will convene later this week in an effort to deliver relief for regional universities and quasi-governmental agencies strapped by surging pension costs, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced Monday.

Lawmakers will meet starting at 8 a.m. Friday at the state Capitol in Frankfort, the Republican governor's office said. An official proclamation listing the special session's agenda will be issued later this week, Bevin's office said in a news release.

It takes at least five working days for lawmakers to get a bill through the General Assembly. Lawmakers are expected to meet this Saturday and Monday through Wednesday of next week before wrapping up the session, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

This week in Kentucky politics, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath announced she'll  challenge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year’s race for U.S. Senate. But the launch had a rocky start.

Also, Gov. Matt Bevin might be a little closer to calling a special legislative session on pensions this summer.

Jean West from member station WFPL talked to Ryland Barton for this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.


J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin made his re-election pitch to the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce without any opposition on Friday after Democratic rival Andy Beshear declined to show up.

In a room of the state’s business leaders, Bevin touted the state’s historically low unemployment rate and record amount of investments promised by businesses moving to or expanding in Kentucky.

“Who do you want working on your behalf? If one of you had to leave your business for a period of time, a year, take a sabbatical. Would you want to leave your business to me or Andy Beshear to run in your absence?” Bevin said.

 


Liz Schlemmer

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear took another jab at Governor Matt Bevin Friday, one day after scoring a win in their on-going battle over whether the state will discipline teachers for participating in “sickouts” that closed Jefferson County Public Schools six days this spring.

Beshear’s challenge is the latest highlight in his campaign to unseat Bevin as governor.

In a campaign appearance Friday, Beshear said Bevin should “do something right” and fire his Labor Secretary David Dickerson for pursuing an investigation into teachers who called in sick to protest education bills at the Capitol. 

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin will return to the Fancy Farm picnic stage this summer after a two year absence from Kentucky’s premier political event.

Bevin has criticized the rowdy festival, which encourages politicians to trade insults on statewide television in front of a crowd of hecklers, and hasn’t attended the event since his first year in office.

But the governor is running for re-election this year and will share the stage with his opponent in the general election, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Judge: Kentucky Must Pay Fees, Costs in Pension Plan Case

Jun 25, 2019
Ryland Barton

A Kentucky judge has ordered the state to pay more than $72,000 in attorneys' fees and costs in a lawsuit over the release of an economic analysis of Gov. Matt Bevin's administration's analysis of the 2017 pension reform plan.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Monday the Bevin administration intentionally violated the Kentucky Open Records Act in refusing to release a copy of the analysis. The Courier Journal reports Shepherd ordered the analysis be released and directed the state to pay fees and costs to the person requesting it.

J. Tyler Franklin

With Kentucky’s regional universities and other agencies facing a massive spike in pension costs starting July 1, Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says he won’t call a special legislative session to address the issue until later in July or August.

The delay means that the agencies will rack up larger-than-hoped-for pension costs, which will be due at the end of July, and which stakeholders say could lead to cuts in services or even closures.

Fired Hampton Aide Appeals Dismissal to Personnel Board

Jun 21, 2019
Jenean Hampton

A fired aide to Kentucky's lieutenant governor asked the state's personnel board on Friday to reverse her dismissal, which deepened an election-year rift between Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Gov. Matt Bevin's administration over Hampton's depleted staff.

In her appeal, Adrienne Southworth is seeking reinstatement as Hampton's deputy chief of staff with back pay and benefits.

Southworth's appeal claims that Bevin's staff lacked legal authority to fire an aide to the lieutenant governor. The reasons given for her dismissal were "factually inaccurate," she said.

Neither Hampton nor Bevin's office immediately responded to emails seeking comment.

J. Tyler Franklin

The drama between Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Gov. Matt Bevin continues following the firing of one of her staffers at the hands of the Bevin administration.

Hampton issued a statement on Tuesday saying Bevin’s chief of staff Blake Brickman “clearly overstepped his boundaries” when he fired her deputy chief of staff last month.

“Every Kentuckian should be concerned that an unelected bureaucrat appears to have power over the office of the Lieutenant Governor,” Hampton wrote in the statement. “I am perplexed by the vacuous decision to deprive an active, productive Lieutenant Governor of her staff.”

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s chief of staff says he authorized the firing of a key aide to Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton.

Blake Brickman said in a statement on Saturday to The Courier Journal that he authorized the firing of Adrienne Southworth, saying she repeatedly demonstrated poor judgment.

The firing last month prompted Hampton to send out a tweet praising Southworth’s work as “stellar” and asking for prayers in her fight against “dark forces.”

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Kentucky’s only abortion provider is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling in favor of the state’s new ultrasound abortion requirement earlier this year.

On behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic, the American Civil Liberties Union has been suing to try and block Kentucky’s law that requires doctors to show patients an ultrasound before performing an abortion.

The ACLU argues that the 2017 measure violates doctors’ free speech rights by requiring them to describe the ultrasound even if patients demand them not to. The law has been defended by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration.

J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Gov. Matt Bevin didn’t do anything wrong in 2017 when he overhauled several state boards that deal with public education.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued Bevin over the actions, arguing that the governor had circumvented the legislature’s lawmaking authority by appointing non-voting charter school advisers to the Kentucky Board of Education and totally replacing boards that deal with certifying teachers and establishing curriculum standards, among other changes.

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