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Beshear Proudly Outlines Hard Work of AG’s Office for Gov. Bevin, Public

Kentucky Attorney General's Office

In his continuing effort to promote government transparency, Attorney General Andy Beshear is releasing information to the public on the hard work of his Office of Civil and Environmental Law in 2016.

Gov. Matt Bevin requested the information from the Attorney General’s Office Feb. 2 by two letters sent to Beshear’s office.

The request by the governor focused on the AG’s Office of Civil and Environmental Law, including its Open Meetings and Open Records branch.

The Office of Civil and Environmental Law is one of the 12 distinct units of the Office of the Attorney General.

Beshear is releasing the information to the public on the same day he provided it to the governor.

The information shows the Office of Civil and Environmental Law received just over $2 million of general fund dollars for operations, yet returned nearly $20 million directly to the Commonwealth, secured what could reach $85 million in restitution to Kentuckians, and ensured a $90 million payment from the Tobacco Settlement Fund, all in 2016, Beshear said. 

The dollars the office returned to the Commonwealth addressed some of the state’s most pressing problems. The office provided $4.5 million to the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab to prevent a future SAFE kit backlog; $1 million to help address the current backlog; $8 million to 15 drug treatment centers across the Commonwealth to battle the state’s addiction epidemic; and $2 million to fund the Commonwealth’s 30 Rocket Docket programs.

The office also worked on the Volkswagen settlement that may garner $100 million for the state and its citizens, including nearly $2.8 million provided to the general fund and awaiting appropriation.

The office works to ensure compliance with the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which in 2016 provided $90 million to Kentucky. The total to date from the settlement is $1.9 billion. The monies have funded numerous programs, including early childhood education.

“The governor’s request gives me the chance to honor the hard work of a division in my office,” Beshear said. “There are few units in government that use $2 million of tax dollars and return nearly $20 million to the Commonwealth and up to $85 million back to the taxpayers and another $90 million in tobacco settlement funds.”

In responding to the governor, Beshear outlined the success of his Office of Civil and Environmental Law.

·         In the first year of his administration, the office responded to a record 380 open records or open meetings appeals – a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

·         The office’s Uninsured Employers’ Fund attorneys are currently handling 232 active cases for the state involving employers who do not have workers’ compensation insurance.

·         The office’s Boards and Agencies attorneys represent 34 independent organizations, providing valuable, necessary and independent advice.

·         Its Administrative Hearings Branch trains all Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 13B hearing officers. The branch is currently presiding over 30 administrative actions before state agencies and boards, bringing an independent approach that ensures fair treatment and due process.

Beshear said his office continues to take a “workhorse mentality” to protect Kentuckians across the state with its four-part mission – to prevent child abuse, protect seniors, seek justice for victims of sexual assault and find workable solutions to our drug epidemic.

“I’m always appreciative when the governor takes an interest in the hard-working staff in my office,” Beshear said. “As their governor, I hope he will thank them for their hard work and success.”

(story provided by Kentucky's Office of the Attorney General)

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