- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Latest on Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to cut state spending (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

A spokeswoman for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says Attorney General Andy Beshear’s criticism of the governor’s plan to cut spending is fiscally irresponsible and nonsensical.

Beshear said Tuesday Bevin’s plan is illegal because it would cut state spending by $350 million while the state faces a potential shortfall of $200 million. Beshear cited state law that says spending cuts cannot be more than a projected shortfall.

Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said the governor has authority to direct spending reductions for agencies in the executive branch that he controls. She also said Kentucky families and businesses understand they should not spend more than they make and not having money set aside for emergencies is dangerous.

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11:30 a.m.

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says the Republican governor’s plan to cut state spending by more than 17 percent is illegal.

Andy Beshear told reporters Tuesday that Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan would break the law because it would use budget cuts to replenish the state’s savings account. Beshear cited state law that says spending cuts cannot be more than a projected shortfall.

State economists have estimated Kentucky will have a $200 million shortfall next year. Bevin’s plan would cut spending by $350 million to cover the shortfall and to put $150 million into the state’s savings account.

Bevin has also asked Beshear to cut his budget. Beshear said he would participate in a “legal budget reduction.” A spokeswoman for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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