Friday, April 01, 2016

Baby Beshear can't read

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear missed the mark in a failed political attack on Gov. Matt Bevin today in which Beshear attempted to redefine what a state appropriation is.

In a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal, General Beshear got smart alecky in threatening a lawsuit against Gov. Bevin for ordering current year cuts in the state's higher education budget. "In fact, the governor's position would mean the General Assembly merely suggests how the governor might spend money if he so chooses," Beshear told the Courier's Tom Loftus. "A budget passed by the General Assembly is a mandate, not a recommendation."

But Beshear is wrong.

KRS 48.010 defines "appropriation" as "an authorization by the General Assembly to expend a sum of money not in excess of the sum specified." That means spending in excess of projected revenue is prohibited. Spending less is not. He should ask his dad, former Gov. Steve Beshear, who was forced to file an unprecedented six General Fund Reduction Executive Orders and an additional five Road Fund Reduction Executive Orders for overspending available revenues, mostly on Medicaid.

Actually, Baby Beshear, a budget is indeed a recommendation unless you are an overspender.

KRS 48.605(1)(a) gives Gov. Bevin all the authorization he needs to cut spending in the current fiscal year. If his father had ever tried voluntarily restraining his urge to expand government, maybe he would understand.