LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is challenging Gov. Matt Bevin's recent reorganization of state education boards.
Beshear announced Wednesday his demand that Bevin rescind an executive order from June 2 that dissolved and reorganized several state education boards.
Beshear says he is giving Bevin seven days to rescind the order before taking legal action. The Attorney General's Office calls Bevin's action "unlawful and unconstitutional."
"The governor does not have 'absolute authority' over state boards," Beshear said. "He cannot ignore laws passed by the General Assembly that create independent boards, lay out their structure and set mandatory terms for their members. Put simply, he cannot rewrite laws he does not like through executive orders."
But Bevin's office was quick to fire back, going so far as to suggest that Beshear is a "hypocrite," selectively applying the law. The following statement from Bevin's spokesperson Woody Maglinger was released Wednesday afternoon:
Gov. Bevin’s use of KRS 12.028 to reorganize the Board of Education and other education-related boards is legal and proper, and in line with the actions of prior governors. The statute has been used by Democratic and Republican governors to reorganize executive branch agencies 357 times since 1992, including 103 times by Gov. Steve Beshear. Attorney General Andy Beshear must think the law applies differently to Republicans and Democrats. He is wrong.
As an example of just two of these similar executive acts, does AG Beshear believe his father acted illegally by completely abolishing and recreating the Horse Racing Commission (Executive Order 2008-668) by executive order? What about Steve Beshear’s abolition and recreation of the State Fair Board (Executive Order 2014-834)? Or is AG Beshear just a hypocrite?
Last year, Beshear challenged Gov. Bevin's decision to withhold $18 million from Kentucky’s public colleges and universities.
Kentucky's Supreme Court ruled last September that the funds were unlawfully withheld, and stated in its decision that the attorney general's role is "to vindicate the public rights of the people of the Commonwealth."
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