NewsCovering Kentucky


Judge temporarily blocks new laws weakening Kentucky governor's power

Posted at 2:39 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 14:39:25-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge on Monday blocked Republican-backed measures that would weaken the Democratic governor's contracting authority and prevent him from challenging laws in court.

The two new laws were temporarily blocked by Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate after the GOP-dominated legislature passed them last week over Gov. Andy Beshear's vetoes.

One of the laws being challenged would designate Kentucky's attorney general as the only statewide constitutional officer allowed to spend taxpayer funds on litigation challenging a bill's constitutionality. The other contested measure would shift decision-making authority over executive branch contracts to a legislative committee. Both laws took effect immediately.

In his order, Wingate said the plaintiffs, including the governor, had “more than sufficiently demonstrated that their rights are being or will be violated."

”Of particular concern to the court is that plaintiffs have alleged that under HB248 their access to the courts has essentially been blocked," the judge wrote.

The governor claims that both measures violate Kentucky's Constitution.

The latest lawsuit continues the long-running legal fight between Beshear and Republican lawmakers over measures seeking to rein in his executive authority.

Wingate will hear arguments in the latest case on May 31.