Thursday, June 3, 2004

Fletcher wants suit suspended

Spending powers of governor challenged

By Charles Wolfe
The Associated Press

FRANKFORT - Gov. Ernie Fletcher's attorney Wednesday asked a judge to suspend a suit by the attorney general on whether the governor can spend state money without an enacted budget.

The suit, filed last week, was premature because the current executive branch budget does not expire until June 30, the administration claims in papers filed in Franklin County Circuit Court.

The General Assembly adjourned April 13 without passing a budget. Fletcher, a Republican, has been preparing an "executive spending plan" with which he would run state government in the interim.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, sued to ask the circuit court to determine the extent of Fletcher's spending powers.

Budget negotiations between the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House collapsed in April over Fletcher's request for a "revenue neutral" overhauling of the tax code - changes to raise some taxes and lower others to avoid any net increase.

The Senate incorporated Fletcher's tax plan in its version of the budget. The House refused to consider it.

Senate President David Williams said he agreed Stumbo's suit should be set aside because it is "completely hypothetical" at this point.

That may not be the case much longer. Fletcher has said he will not call the legislature back for a budget until the two sides have an agreement. Four weeks remained in the fiscal year Wednesday, and there was no sign either side had budged.

Franklin Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden scheduled a hearing June 9 on Fletcher's suspension motion.

Catholics try to reconcile faith and political choices
Catholics speak out on politics and religion
Pilarczyk deflects sacrament issue
Take 3: 'Cops' invited back to city
'Cops' cameras roll in Covington
Our spelling 'shuud be lojical,' protesters cry
Students inspired by war, service

Drake Center request gets divided reaction
Students learn de-stress method
News briefs
Reserves head back to Iraq
Neighbors briefs
State court widens liability for abuse
Close 2 centers for disabled, panel urges
Video gambling effort likely to fail
Pleasant Ridge mobilizes
Pot bust nets 164 pounds, two arrests
Public safety briefs
Morning music comes to Lebanon
Businesses pledge help if art school will move
Fernald cleanup fails powder test
Fees would pay for growth
Recreation center still perplexes West Chester
Brother gets four-year term in fatal shooting of sister

Good Things Happening
Bronson: Storm alert: Run for it! Enstupidation
Crowley: NKU tuition hike needs a perspective

Robert Dehan led company despite illness

Homes plan clears hurdle
Kentucky news briefs
Fletcher wants suit suspended
Nine abused kids needed her, nine times she took them in
Neighbors help to buy funeral for slain man
Plea averts trial
Talks proceed on diploma equivalent for dropouts