Attorney General Cameron Protects Fish and Wildlife Agency from Beshear Administration

FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 25, 2023) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today issued an Opinion declaring unlawful certain restrictions placed on the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) by the Beshear Administration.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet (Finance Cabinet) negotiates master agreements to provide certain goods and services to state agencies at a set price. Recently, the Finance Cabinet began requiring state agencies to obtain quotes from three approved vendors before the Finance Cabinet will permit agencies to purchase from the master agreements. The General Assembly empowered DFWR to work around these bureaucratic hurdles, but the Finance Cabinet continued to impose the three-quote requirement on DFWR.

“Andy Beshear doesn’t like the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, so he instructed his Finance Cabinet to ignore the law to cripple the Department,” said Attorney General Cameron. “This latest example of Beshear’s Big Government overreach won’t be tolerated.”

The Opinion concludes that the Finance Cabinet violated state law by attempting to subject DFWR to the three-quote requirement. “In short, the [Finance] Cabinet may not do indirectly what the law specifically prohibits the Cabinet from doing."

Another point of contention concerned price caps for DFWR, Finance Cabinet, and the Transportation Cabinet. Under Kentucky law, the agencies can contract certain work to a firm so long as that firm is not awarded contracts totaling more than $300,000 per fiscal year. DFWR asked whether that price cap applies to each agency individually, or in the aggregate as the Finance Cabinet contends.

Attorney General Cameron determined that the legislature’s intent was that the cap not be aggregated. "Rather, each department may award price contracts for small projects totaling $300,000 per contractor per fiscal year[.]”

To read a copy of today’s Opinion, click here.