- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Latest on Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s year-end news conference (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Kentucky’s Republican governor says he has more than a year to decide whether to run for re-election.

Gov. Matt Bevin held his annual year-end news conference on Thursday. Bevin has been in office since December 2015, and his term expires in 2019.

Asked if he will run for re-election, Bevin said “we’ll see.” He said he has “a year and some change” before he has to make that announcement.

Bevin has not created a fundraising account for the 2019 election. His most recent fundraising report shows he raised more than $718,000 for his 2015 election accounts, money that could pay off some of the more than $4 million Bevin loaned himself for that race.


1:25 p.m.

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear is one of the least competent attorneys in the state and says he cannot take anything he says seriously.

Bevin blasted Beshear during his annual year-end news conference on Thursday. Beshear issued an opinion Wednesday that said a key provision of Bevin’s proposal to overhaul the pension system was illegal. Bevin dismissed the opinion, saying it was worthless “like so many of his opinions.”

Beshear said all he has ever asked of Bevin is to follow the law. He said he had hoped four days before Christmas the governor could rise above name calling and personal attacks.

Beshear is a potential Democratic candidate for governor in 2019, when Bevin could run for re-election.


1:05 p.m.

Nearly 10,000 people in Kentucky have had felonies expunged from their records since a 2016 law went into effect.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said state judges have issued 9,771 expungement certificates since the law went into effect.

To be eligible, people must wait at least five years after completing their sentence and they cannot have multiple convictions or any pending charges.

The law applies to 61 of the more than 300 class D felonies in Kentucky. It allows for expungements of convictions for things like theft and possession of illegal drugs. Some lawmakers have expressed interest in expanding the number of felonies eligible to be expunged. The legislative session begins Jan. 2.

Bevin said the expungements are making a “transformative change” in people’s lives by making it easier for them to get jobs and a place to live.


11:19 a.m.

Kentucky’s GOP governor says the state’s first two-year spending plan crafted by Republicans in state history won’t be pretty.

The state legislature is scheduled to convene on Jan. 2. Lawmakers have until April to decide how to spend public money over the next two years, and for the first time in state history Republicans control the governor’s office and both chambers of the state legislature.

Gov. Matt Bevin told reporters during his annual year-end news conference the state will have to cut budgets, including areas that have traditionally been exempt from cuts. He did not say what those areas would be.

Bevin blamed Democrats for the budget crisis. Republicans have controlled the state Senate since 2000, but Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives until this year.

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