House Speaker Greg Stumbo files lawsuit over Gov. Bevin's vetoes

05/11/2016 04:48 PM

FRANKFORT – Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Franklin Circuit Court looking to the court for clarity on whether Gov. Matt Bevin’s recent vetoes, and another bill he signed into law, were done properly.

The lawsuit focuses on the vetoes of House bills approved on April 15, including the state’s upcoming two-year budget, and the passage of Senate Bill 296, which the governor signed into law even though it had not been properly delivered to him, Stumbo said.

At an afternoon press conference, Stumbo said that he believes Bevin’s staff did not follow the proper constitutional procedure in filing the bills – delivering the veto and original bill to the House clerk rather than the Secretary of State’s office.

Respondents in the lawsuit include, Bevin, Secertary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, State Treasurer Alison Ball, and Secretary of the Kentucky Fiance and Administrative Cabinet William M. Landrum.

Stumbo explained at a press conference that the House appropriation bill vetoes are two fold.

“The constitution specifically requires a message to accompany the veto,” Stumbo said. “The bigger issue is the fact that the delivery of the bills were not done in accordance to the constitution during the requisite time to the Secretary of State’s office.”

Stumbo also has specific concerns about the governor’s veto of House Bill 626, maintaining the $100 million worth of bonds in the budget for workforce-development projects.

“The fact that the bonds would be spread out proportionately across the state, by vetoing that, the governor superseded the appropriated intent of the General Assembly,” Stumbo said. “That is a de facto appropriation.”

Stumbo concluded by saying that if the court rules that the vetoes are not valid, all of the bills in question would become law.

“The bills become law without the governors signature if he doesn’t veto them and deliver them back,” Stumbo said. “So, by virtue of a finding by the court that there was ineffectual veto, it would mean that these bills would be an enactment of law.”

Bevin’s Communications Director Jessica Ditto called the suit frivolous in a statement sent Wednesday.

“One month to the day since Attorney General Beshear filed his lawsuit, the Governor’s Office has been served with another petty political lawsuit,” Ditto said. “While we’re working to fix the financial foundation of the Commonwealth, they are intent on thwarting progress by filing frivolous lawsuits.”

“The Governor’s vetoes are valid and were filed in accordance with the Constitution. This charade is an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars.”


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