Judge Clears Way for Bevin to Appoint Workers’ Comp Judges

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A Kentucky judge has cleared the way for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to appoint six administrative law judges to help ease the backlog of workers’ compensation cases.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled Tuesday that the Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission Bevin appointed can send nominations to the governor. In June, Bevin abolished the seven-member commission and replaced it with a five-member committee. Labor unions sued, and Shepherd ordered the commission not to make any nominations until the lawsuit was settled.

Since then, four of the seven commission members have resigned. Tuesday, Shepherd ruled Bevin’s five-member committee could submit nominations to Bevin. He did not rule on whether Bevin’s actions were legal.

Kentucky AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan said his attorneys are reviewing the decision.

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