Beshear and Bevin face off in court over governor's revamping of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Beshear and Bevin face off in court over governor's revamping of state education boards

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is round four of Beshear vs. Bevin in the courtroom. Attorney General Andy Beshear is challenging Gov. Matt Bevin's authority to reorganize several state education boards. It is the fourth time Beshear has taken Bevin to court.

In June, Bevin issued an executive order reorganizing six state education boards, including the Board of Education. He also created a new Charter Schools Advisory Board.

In court Wednesday, Bevin's attorney asked Judge Thomas Wingate to dismiss Beshear's lawsuit. Steve Pitt argued the law gives the governor power to make such changes when the legislature is not in session.

"To put those into effect, subject to review and approval or disapproval at the next session of the legislature,” said Pitt.

But Assistant Attorney General Laura Tipton said the law is not so clear.

“They start that argument as if it is fact that is accepted by everyone as true. But it's not,” she told Wingate.

The Kentucky Education Association has joined the Attorney General in opposing Bevin.

“We agree with everything that the Attorney General has argued in this matter,” said KEA Attorney Jeff Walther.

Pitt said governors have issued such orders more than 300 times in the past 25 years. He pointed to the Attorney General's own father, former Gov. Steve Beshear's order creating the health care exchange.

“In recent years, Gov. Beshear used the power to create Kynect out of whole cloth,” said Pitt.

Andy Beshear is seen as a possible challenger to Bevin in 2019. Following the hearing, Pitt was asked if the lawsuit's all about politics?

“I think a reasonable mind could reach that conclusion,” he said.

Judge Wingate did not issue a ruling, deciding to give both sides more time to prepare for another hearing later this year.

The Attorney General's office left the hearing without comment, but in the past Beshear has denied any political motivation for the lawsuits.

Bevin and Beshear meet again next week, when the Kentucky Supreme Court hears the case involving the governor's authority to abolish and replace the boards of trustees at public universities, in particular, the University of Louisville.

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