AG Beshear cites legal problems with Bevin's budget reduction proposal

Updated: Sep. 12, 2017 at 6:31 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Attorney General Andy Beshear believes Governor Bevin's recent proposed budget reduction action could have some serious legal problems.

According to Beshear, there are only two ways a budget reduction can be taken - if there is an actual shortfall or if there is a projected shortfall.

"If the $200 million shortfall is not final, budget reductions cannot start," Beshear said on Tuesday. "We do not have an official shortfall, as required under Kentucky law. If it is finalized, $200 Million is the maximum reduction that is allowed. Regardless, we know that the rainy day fund cannot be included in a plan that relies on budget reductions."

Beshear said with Kentucky State law, to qualify as a projected revenue estimate, there must be an official revenue estimate from the Consensus Forecasting Group.

As of right now, the group's prediction is not set to be finalized until sometime in December.

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Governor Matt Bevin released the following statement following Beshear's press conference:

"Kentucky families and businesses know they should not spend more than they make and having zero dollars in the bank to plan for emergencies is dangerous. Director Chilton's letter merely asked state agencies to draft a similar spending plan before any final decisions are made later in the year. Kentucky law clearly allows the Governor to ask any agency to reduce its spending, and the Kentucky Supreme Court said just last year that the Governor can direct spending reductions for agencies under his control. Thus, AG Beshear's grandstanding is not only fiscally irresponsible and nonsensical, but it is also contrary to the law. AG Beshear's latest threat to file yet another lawsuit against the Governor is premature and entirely political."

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