Attorney General Asks Courts to Step Into Budget Crisis

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced Thursday he is filing a lawsuit to seek judicial guidance in the state budget crisis.

Stumbo says he believes Governor Fletcher would be going against the state constitution by not providing funding for law-mandated programs in a limited spending plan.

"We do not view this proceeding as adversarial. And it's not an attempt to close down government or to play political volleyball," Stumbo said.

Instead, he says, his office is asking the court to define the legal boundaries of power for the Governor and General Assembly in case no budget is passed before the end of this fiscal year on June 30.

Stumbo left open the possibility of a partial-government shutdown, but said the General Assembly could avoid that by passing a budget, or amending the law to give the Governor the necessary legal authority.

Stumbo says he will not challenge the Governor's authority to fund emergency operations like police and fire protection.

The Franklin Circuit Court will hear the case first, but the state Supreme Court is expected to make the final determination.

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