Judge orders that disputed funds be dispersed to Kentucky colleg - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge orders that disputed funds be dispersed to Kentucky colleges and universities within three days

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Franklin County Circuit Court judge has signed an order setting a deadline for the release of over $17.8 million worth of disputed funds to Kentucky colleges and universities.

According to the order, those funds must be released within three days of today, Oct. 17.

The move is the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute between Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear over the budgets of Kentucky colleges and universities. 

Earlier this year, Bevin initiated the budget cuts via executive order, arguing that the move was necessary because badly underfunded public employee pension systems were the state's most immediate need.

But Beshear sued Gov. Bevin, arguing that he ordered the cuts without approval from the General Assembly -- something Beshear says Bevin didn't have the authority to do unless there is a budget shortfall.

The funds in question -- totaling $17,828,700 -- have been held in a separate account pending the outcome of the litigation.

In September, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Bevin did, in fact, exceed his authority, and argued that universities are, "independent bodies politic with control over their own expenditures."

Bevin opted not to appeal the ruling.

Today's order effectively requires that the disputed funds be distributed from the separate account back to the colleges and universities within three days. 

The funds, broken down by universities, are as follows:

Eastern Kentucky University: $1,360,700
Kentucky State University: $0
Morehead State University: $866,800
Murray State University: $960,500
Northern Kentucky University: $970,800
University of Kentucky: $5,592,200
University of Louisville: $2,781,500
Western Kentucky University: $1,493,000
Kentucky Community and Technical College System: $3,803,200

A copy of the order is below:

Stay with WDRB News. We'll update this story as it develops.

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