LOUISVILLE, Ky. (COURIER-JOURNAL) -- Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday afternoon there is no "war on Louisville" being waged by his administration despite warnings from local Democrats that a series of proposals and other steps are targeting the city.
"I'm from Louisville for crying out loud, I love this city, it's where I've lived since I moved to Kentucky nearly 20 years ago," Bevin told 84 WHAS radio host Terry Meiners. "There is no war, certainly not out of this office."
Among the proposals filed in the 2017 legislative session dealing with Louisville Metro is a bill that would give Bevin the power to appoint the mayor and Metro Council members in case of their death, removal or retirement. Mayor Greg Fischer has called that specific proposal, House Bill 202, "absurd" and council Democrats have slammed that provision as an attempt to rob them of local control.
Louisville Democratic Party Chair Russell Lloyd used stronger language, calling the proposed change and other measures a "war on Louisville" by the new GOP majority is waging against the liberal-leaning city.
Bevin said on the radio that he hadn't reviewed HB 202 but that it would put Louisville in line with other local governments that allow him to fill vacancies.
"I personally don't have a strong opinion on that one way or another," Bevin said. "I think with the Metro Council, the people are capable of representing themselves. I'm a big believer in local government to the very degree possible."
There are other pieces of legislation that could affect Louisville such as Senate Bill 88, which seeks to lift the ban on creating incorporated cities within Louisville Metro, and HB 246, which would eliminate all current environmental rules and regulations — including the city's plastic bag ban — unless reauthorized by a new waste management board and reaffirmed by the council.
Fischer's office has spoken out against both of those proposals as well.
Reporter Phillip M. Bailey can be reached at (502) 582-4475 or firstname.lastname@example.org