Democrats prefiling bills targeting governor's office ethics

Three house democrats are announcing bills that they say will strengthen Executive Branch...
Three house democrats are announcing bills that they say will strengthen Executive Branch ethics & election laws. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 7:38 PM EDT
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A news conference coming less than a month from election day for what has been a heated race for governor resulted in house democrats announcing three different bills pertaining to ethics for the Executive Branch and election laws.

"To put it bluntly, recent actions by Governor Bevin have shown that long standing practices are no longer enough," State Representative Derrick Graham said.

Minority Caucus Chair Graham, along with House Minority Whip Joni Jenkins and Representative Angie Hatton, announced plans for the 2020 session, each bill addressing a different concern.

Those include requiring all candidates for statewide constitutional office to release three years of tax returns, limit the time political contributions can be given to pay off a winning governors campaign loans, and it would increase reporting of state resources used for personal or political reasons. That includes the state taxpayer funded airplane, which Governor Bevin's use of has been under fire in recent weeks.

Rep. Hatton has led the effort on this particular bill. She says she is aware of the common question with this proposal of 'why file it now' as opposed to during prior administrations.

"First of all, I've only been a legislator when this governor has been our governor, but it is filed directly in response to this governor's assertion that his use of our plane, if it is for a private purpose, is none of our business and I disagree with that and I think the taxpayers disagree with that," Hatton said.

Governor Bevin's campaign manager is calling the move a last minute political stunt. He says if the democrats were truly interested in transparency, they would require Andy Beshear to disclose his profits from representing Purdue Pharma.