House Speaker Stumbo files suit against Gov. Bevin
The Democratic speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker Stumbo says a lawsuit has been filed against Gov. Matt Bevin over "mishandling" of his veto of several bills.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Another legal battle is brewing for Governor Matt Bevin.
Kentucky Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo is asking a judge to throw out Republican Bevin's vetoes of the state's $68 billion operating budget.
It's all about what Stumbo calls the "mishandling" of several vetoes issued by Gov. Bevin. Stumbo says Bevin improperly filed the vetoes with the House clerk last month. He said the state constitution requires the governor to deliver legislative vetoes to the Secretary of State's office when the legislature is not in session.
Stumbo also says several of the governor's line item vetoes did not include the required message explaining why he vetoed them.
If successful, Bevin's vetoes of portions of the state budget would be overturned, including a Stumbo-sponsored bill that would provide $9.4 million to some high school graduates for community college tuition in the fall.
Stumbo insists this is not about attacking the Republican governor.
"Well, if they're hard-line, far-right Republicans, they're probably not going to believe whatever I say. But if you're an average Kentuckian, you'll understand that I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I put my hand on my Bible, and I swore to my god that would do that. If a governor or anyone else is seen being violative of that constitution, I have a responsibility to take action, plain and simple," said Stumbo.
The Governor’s Communications Director, Jessica Ditto, released a statement in response to the suit:
"One month to the day since Attorney General Beshear filed his lawsuit, the Governor’s Office has been served with another petty political lawsuit. While we're working to fix the financial foundation of the Commonwealth, they are intent on thwarting progress by filing frivolous lawsuits. The Governor’s vetoes are valid and were filed in accordance with the Constitution. This charade is an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Bevin is already facing a lawsuit from Kentucky's Democratic Attorney General over his decision to cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature. That case is still pending.
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