Ky. Supreme Court rules Bevin can't cut budgets of public colleges, universities
Kentucky's highest court says the state's Republican governor cannot cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature.
The 5-2 ruling by the state Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling that said Gov. Matt Bevin had the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear appealed, arguing Bevin's order was illegal. A majority of the court agreed on Thursday, saying Bevin does not have that authority.
Bevin's Press Secretary Amanda Stamper said:
The ruling is a victory for Beshear, who has sued Bevin three times so far questioning the extent of the governor's power. Just last month, Bevin boasted on a Louisville radio show that Beshear "will lose every one of these cases."
Beshear said this ruling was a win for everyone in the Commonwealth. He went on to say that the ruling proved two things; he's doing his job and that no one is above the law.
Beshear said that the $18 million Governor Bevin was withholding for the universities is in a special account, ready to be released. He is hoping that Governor Bevin will release the money to the universities immediately.
According to the attorney general, the Franklin Circuit Court will present an order to the governor's office. Gov. Bevin will have 20 days to release the money.
According to Beshear, the following amounts are due to Kentucky's universities:
- Eastern Kentucky University - $1,360,700
- Morehead State University - $866,800
- Murray State University - $960,500
- Northern Kentucky University - $970,800
- University of Kentucky - $5,812,200
- University of Louisville - $2,781,500
- Western Kentucky University - $1,493,000
- KCTCS - $3,383,200
The University of Kentucky's Executive Vice President released the following statement: