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Bevin Calls Special Session To Pass New Pension Bill

J. Tyler Franklin

Days after the Kentucky Supreme Court struck down legislation that would have overhauled the state’s pension system, Gov. Matt Bevin has called for lawmakers to return to Frankfort and pass a new version of the bill.

The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down the Republican pension measure last week saying that lawmakers violated the state constitution by not following proper procedures designed to give legislators and the public time to review legislation.

The special legislative session will start at 8 p.m. Monday, December 17. The next regular session is scheduled to start on January 8.

The timing of the session is important because the state constitution designates even-numbered years like 2018 as “budget-writing” years.

During budget-writing years it takes fewer votes to pass budget bills — only a majority of lawmakers elected to each chamber — 51 votes in the 100-member House or 20 votes in the 38-member Senate.

During non-budget years, it takes a three-fifths majority — 60 votes in the House, 23 votes in the Senate — a high bar for something as controversial as the pension bill.

The timing is also significant because Republicans will have two fewer seats in the state House of Representatives once the next regular session begins on January 8 — down to 61 instead of 63.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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