Bevin ‘outside of his authority’ on immediate 4.5 percent cuts

Editorial Board

After not getting what he wanted, when he wanted it, Gov. Matt Bevin decided to take drastic action.

Last Thursday, Bevin announced an executive order that would create an immediate 4.5 percent cut to eight universities and the entire Kentucky Community Technical College system. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear said the order was “outside of his authority,” and Beshear has threatened to sue the governor if he does not remove his claim before April 7. 

Regardless of the possible illegality of the order, allowing Bevin’s stunt to succeed would set a precedent for how his term will operate. By letting massive budget cuts happen without going through the proper channels, the door is opened for future reckless orders. It is the civic duty of Kentuckians to stop this injustice before more occur. 

One of the easiest actions for students to take is to contact their counties’ lawmakers to protest the cuts. Calling the governor’s office (502-564-2611) or lawmakers in Frankfort (502-564-8100) will show Frankfort that students are engaged and concerned about the cuts. 

Ultimately, there’s no way of knowing what will happen as the cuts take effect, and a court case within Frankfort could mean more delays. But if Bevin doesn’t back down before the required time, a lawsuit is just what Frankfort will get. 

Beshear isn’t the only person who can sue Bevin. Universities, like UK, also have that option. 

UK spokesman Jay Blanton told a Kentucky Kernel reporter that UK is not planning to sue. A statement said university officials anticipated the cuts, but, “it is too early to speculate on the specific measures we will take.” 

Blanton said he has no new updates on the mid-year cuts.

UK should consider doing something more aggressive than just acknowledging that the cuts are wrong. Despite what UK administrators have said about the cuts, legal action seems to be the only thing that will save university funding.  

Cuts to a university means a reduction in services, staff and success. Without money, great professors and revolutionary research cannot be completed. Losing money could even mean the closure of some state schools, like Kentucky State, which is already struggling and has expressed concerns. 

If Bevin does not repeal his executive order, UK and other state schools should consider suing him. The order is out of his legal authority, and letting it continue not only hurts the success of Kentucky schools and students, it also creates an environment of political discord. 

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