Bevin takes further executive action on workers’ compensation panel after judge blocks reorganization

Action in the courts over executive orders from Gov. Matt Bevin regarding the state’s workers’ compensation nominating panel will continue but be delayed after Bevin issued two more executive orders on the matter over the weekend.

The new executive actions come after a ruling from Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd blocking Bevin’s actions abolishing the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission at a time when there were six vacancies to fill and then recreated the Commission with all new members.

As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Bevin issued an executive order over the weekend to rescind all his previous changes to the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission and then filed another to abolish the commission, give it a new name and make changes to it.

Bevin renamed the panel the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Committee and retains members on the previous commission whose removal resulted in lawsuits against the actions by labor unions.

Shepherd kept his injunction in place and rescheduled the hearing to June 20 but called Bevin’s actions a “good faith effort” and encouraged common ground be found by the groups involved, according to the Herald-Leader story.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader story:

Bevin General Counsel Steve Pitt said the new nominating panel will consist of five members instead of seven, appointed by the governor.

The members, except those who were on the original commission, will not be compensated. They had been receiving $100 a meeting. He identified McCoy as one who would get paid.

Pitt also said the new setup would give Democrats two members and Republicans one member, because Democrats are the majority party in the state.

Two other members would be attorneys experienced in the practice of workers’ compensation.

Bevin’s appointments for the new nominating committee are McCoy and attorney Louis D. Kelly of Florence, to serve terms expiring June 13, 2018; Runan S. Pendergrast of Lexington, associate dean of financial aid at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, to serve terms expiring June 13, 2019; and attorneys Megan E. Mersch of Park Hills and Joshua W. Davis of Louisville, to serve terms expiring June 13, 2020.

Three people whom Bevin had appointed last month but not on the new order are attorney Mark Flores of Lexington, attorney Victoria E. Boggs of Louisville and Jordan Tong of Owensboro, president and owner of Frantz Building Services.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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