Sunday, September 01, 2013

Criminalize Beshearism

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear seems to be determined to gain a legacy of law-breaking. Kentuckians must respond by criminalizing his illegal behavior so his shenanigans are not repeated.

Specifically, when Beshear violated KRS 12.028, he did so knowing there was no penalty for his actions. In fact, he clearly expected to get away with it. KRS 12.028 should be amended to penalize any governor who attempts to reorganize government as the statute provides without following the requirements of the statute. Specifically, when Beshear sought to create the Kentucky health benefit exchange via executive order he needed subsequent ratification of his temporary action by the legislature to make it permanent. He did not get such ratification. Though the law clearly states that the executive order then becomes null and void, Beshear has attempted to ignore that limitation on his power by continuing to develop the ObamaCare "exchange."

The statute contains no criminal penalties for violation of its provisions. It needs them. A member of the Kentucky General Assembly with courage should file a bill creating criminal penalties for a governor who ignores these legal limits.

Also, when Gov. Beshear sought to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare he claimed KRS 205.520(3) gave him the authority to do so. It does, but with the provision that such may be effectuated only "by regulation." Gov. Beshear has ignored that part of the statute and has, therefore, violated that statute. He has waited so long to initiate the administrative review process that it can not now be used to expand Medicaid under the provisions of PPACA -- ever. Case law in Kentucky provides for statutes that are abused like this can be found unconstitutional. Both statutes are being challenged in this manner in Franklin Circuit Court.

If the statutes are not found unconstitutional, they should be amended to include criminal penalties. Those bills should be pre-filed immediately.