pension reform

Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s attorney general is promising public school teachers a clear contrast from the current administration if he’s elected governor. 

Democrat Andy Beshear brought his “Stop the Bullying” tour to Bowling Green on Tuesday.  Speaking at the local Kentucky Education Association office, Beshear accused Republican Governor Matt Bevin of bullying and degrading teachers who protested pension reform that would have impacted their benefits in this year's legislative session.


Bevin Writes to Lawmakers to Outline Changes to Pension Plan

Jun 6, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Looking to break the gridlock on his pension-relief proposal, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has reached out to lawmakers with several changes he's agreed to make in hopes of winning enough support to have the measure taken up in a special legislative session.

The proposal aims to provide relief for some state-funded agencies struggling with surging pension payments. Bevin has spent weeks trying to build support for his plan, which would replace a measure he vetoed in April after lawmakers ended this year's regular session.

"I ask every single member of the General Assembly to support this legislation so that we can prevent the completely avoidable loss of services, loss of jobs and loss of funding for our pension system," Bevin said in a letter dated Wednesday that was sent to lawmakers.

Speaker: Bevin Still Lacks House Votes for His Pension Bill

May 15, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration hasn't built enough "comfort level" among lawmakers to get his pension-relief proposal through the Republican-led House in a potential special legislative session, the House speaker said Wednesday.

Speaker David Osborne said discussions continue in an effort to "try to get those votes" for Bevin's plan, which aims to provide relief to some state-funded agencies struggling with surging retirement payments. The proposal would replace a pension measure vetoed by the governor in April after lawmakers had ended this year's regular legislative session.

"As of right now, I don't believe that there is a comfort level that the necessary votes are there to pass that particular proposal," Osborne told reporters.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin has vetoed a bill that would have provided some financial relief to regional universities and agencies like local health departments that are facing massive increases in the amount they have to pay in to the state pension system.

Bevin also said he intends to call a special legislative session to address the issue before July 1 of this year.

House Bill 358 would have allowed the agencies to exit the pension systems and create their own retirement plans, but would have increased the state’s unfunded pension liability, which is currently among the worst in the nation.

Lisa Autry

A new class of state lawmakers is headed to Frankfort for the 2019 Kentucky General Assembly. 

Democrat Patti Minter is among 36 freshmen legislators who will be sworn into office on January 8.  She expects the 30-day session to be dominated by pension reform after the state Supreme Court struck down a law that passed in this year’s legislature. 

Minter says she was shocked by Governor Matt Bevin calling a special session this month that didn’t produce a new pension law.

"The idea that the governor would spend $132,000 of the taxpyers' money just to try to shovel through a bill that had been declared unconstitutional, because he doesn't think he can pass it during the general session, that's just subversion of democracy," stated Minter.

Minter who won an election for the 20th District House seat that represents part of Warren County.  The seat belongs to retiring State Representative and former House Speaker Jody Richards.  In an interview with WKU Public Radio, Dr. Minter looked ahead to her new term.


Lisa Autry

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a law that made changes to one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.  The state’s Democratic attorney general called it a "landmark win for all our public servants" while the Republican governor warned the ruling would "destroy the financial condition of Kentucky." 

In a 7-0 decision, justices found that me manner in which the General Assembly passed pension reform legislation this year violated the state Constitution.

Pension Arguments to be Aired on Statewide Television

Sep 12, 2018
Public Domain

Arguments before the Kentucky Supreme Court about the future of the state's public pension system will be broadcast live on statewide television.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the Supreme Court is partnering with Kentucky Educational Television to broadcast the arguments on Sept. 20th. It will be the second time in the court's history its proceedings will be aired live on TV.

Kentucky Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Pension Case

Aug 10, 2018
Ryland Barton

The Kentucky Supreme Court has agreed to hear Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's appeal of an earlier ruling striking down changes to the state's struggling pension systems.

Kentucky's Republican-controlled legislature passed a law earlier this year that would move all new teacher hires into a hybrid plan and limit how teachers can use sick days to calculate their retirement benefits. In June, a state judge struck down the law because he said lawmakers violated the state constitution by not giving the bill three readings over three days.

Ryland Barton

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pension system, which were originally set to go into effect this weekend.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure.

Bevin had asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract” — a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired.

Chief Justice Won't Remove Judge in Pension Case

Jun 6, 2018
Public Domain

Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. has denied a request by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin to disqualify a judge from ruling on a lawsuit challenging the legality of a bill that overhauls the state's pension system.

Bevin signed a law earlier this year that would move all new teachers into a hybrid pension system. It would also change how current teachers use sick days to calculate their retirement benefits. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued to block the law, saying it was unconstitutional.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said his office has won another victory in the effort to have recent changes to the state’s pension plans declared unconstitutional.

A judge has issued a protective order related to the case. The order will prevent Governor Matt Bevin’s administration from taking sworn testimony from three organizations named in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the pension bill.

 

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled against Governor Bevin’s request to depose the office of the Attorney General, the Kentucky Education Association and the Kentucky State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police. In a video statement Beshear praised the judge’s decision granting the protective order.

Fate of Kentucky's New Pension Law to Be Decided by July

Apr 19, 2018
Ryland Barton

A Kentucky judge says he plans to decide by July 14 whether he will block a new law making changes to Kentucky's troubled pension plan from taking effect.

State lawmakers passed a law earlier this month making changes to the state's underfunded pension system. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued, saying it violates the state constitution and lawmakers broke the law when they passed it.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Teachers from across Kentucky are holding a rally in Frankfort on Wednesday, March 21 to protest proposed changes to the state pension system and support funding for education. 

It’s being called a ‘Day of Action’ and several school districts, mostly in eastern Kentucky, have canceled classes so teachers can participate. Some districts, like Owensboro, are holding regularly scheduled classes but sending delegations of teachers. The Owensboro Education Association is planning to send 21 teachers.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky's attorney general says a public pension overhaul proposed by Republican lawmakers would not withstand court challenges likely to follow if the measure becomes law.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear weighed in on one of the legislative session's defining issues shortly before a Senate committee was scheduled to review the pension bill.

In a letter to lawmakers, Beshear said Wednesday that the bill would break the inviolable contract between the state and its public employees.

Teachers across Kentucky are giving mixed reviews on a new plan to reform the state’s retirement systems for public sector workers. 

One Warren County teacher credits lawmakers for making compromises, but says the legislation still balances pension reform on the backs of public servants. 

Kim Coomer teaches high school students at the Warren County Area Technology Center.  She praises lawmakers for not forcing current teachers into defined contribution, or 401(k)-style plans.  Coomer says having a guaranteed benefit is important for teachers because they don’t get social security benefits to act as a buffer in retirement.

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