Thursday, September 22, 2016

KY Supreme Court to Bevin: Stop Strip-Mining State Economy

Really, the best part of all of these court decisions stomping on Gov. Lying Coward's balls is how his propaganda shop responds exactly the way any democratically-elected five-year-old would.

Kentucky's highest court has ruled against a recent round of higher education budget cuts made by Gov. Matt Bevin, which touched off an increasingly hostile legal battle with Attorney General Andy Beshear.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Thursday to reverse a Franklin Circuit Court decision to uphold the cuts, which Beshear has repeatedly argued are illegal.

The Supreme Court's conclusion states that "the Governor's reduction of the allotments of the Universities in this case exceeded his statutory authority to revise allotments under KRS 48.620(1) and his authority to withhold allotments under KRS 45.253(4)."

"Whatever authority he might otherwise have to require a budget unit not to spend appropriated funds does not extend to the Universities, which the legislature has made independent bodies politic with control over their own expenditures," the ruling continued. "We therefore do not reach the question of whether his actions were constitutional, as the statutes do not give him the authority to act as he proposed. For these reasons, the Franklin Circuit Court's order upholding the Governor's actions is reversed, and this matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

Beshear released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court's ruling.

"Today, the Supreme Court enforced Kentucky law, reminding us that 'the governor, like everyone, is bound by the law.' Based on today’s ruling, I am calling on Gov. Bevin to immediately release the $18 million he wrongfully withheld from our public colleges and universities. As the court stated, it is my job as Attorney General 'to vindicate the public rights of the people of the Commonwealth, and I will continue to do so. I am also calling on the governor’s office to use today's ruling as a turning point. It is time for him to stop attacking, and to instead join me in building a better Kentucky. We live in a state where far too many of our children are abused. Our seniors face daily scams that seek to rob them of their hard-earned savings. Thousands of victims of sexual assault have been denied justice based on our rape kit backlog. And our communities face the most deadly drug epidemic imaginable. These are the problems Kentuckians expect us to address, and they are problems that all of us — Democrats, Republicans or independents — can address together. So I would hope that after today, the nasty press releases and name-calling stop, and the governor joins us for the real work that needs to be done to help Kentucky families."

In March, Bevin made an immediate 4.5 percent cut in state spending for colleges and universities in order to ease the burden of the state's $30 billion pension debt at the time.

In April, Bevin lowered the cuts to $18 million— about 2 percent — and restored funding to Kentucky State University. But although Bevin reduced the cuts, Beshear said they were still illegal.
From the trumpist toddler's press release:
"We are disappointed in the Court’s decision today and strongly disagree with its reasoning. The Attorney General clearly does not understand the severity of the pension problem which became the nation's worst funded plan under the watch of his father's administration. 
You already know every word of it is lies. 

Yes, Kentucky's state pension system is a mess.  It's a mess because for more than 20 years - including four years under repug governor Ernie Fletcher and more than a decade with a repug-run state senate - Kentucky has failed to properly fund the pension system as required by law.

The general assembly failed to fund the pension system because it was way easier to steal money from impoverished retirees than to address the Commonwealth's third-world tax system that strips workers of hard-earned income to let millionaires and billionaires - like Matt Bevin - skate.

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