Bevin signs pension reform bill into law; Beshear, Dems respond


Some are anxious it will be hard to attract new teachers to Kentucky under the new law.

With a controversial pension reform bill now signed into law and Gov. Matt Bevin's decision Monday to veto the legislature's state budget and a tax overhaul bill to generate revenue for it, public educators are again gearing up to make their voices heard in the state Capitol.

Conversely, Beshear claims the bill will cause irreparable damage by leading to "early retirements of thousands of capable teachers and other public servants who would prefer to remain working", he says in a request for temporary and permanent injunction accompanying the complaint. Bevin did not indicate Monday that he would veto the pension bill, according to the Courier Journal.

New teachers hired after July 1 must be part of a 401K style, cash-hybrid balance plan.

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Bevin signed the bill into law on Tuesday but Beshear previously said he would challenge it in court should Bevin sign the measure passed by the Republican-controlled legislature. New teachers will need to contribute 9 percent of their salaries toward the plan, with an additional 6 percent of payroll coming from the state and 2 percent from the local school district.

Last week, teachers and other school workers filled the Capitol in Frankfort in a mass rally.

The statewide teachers union had called on Bevin to spare the budget and revenue bills, which include no pay raises for teachers but substantially increase education funding. We also urge the Governor to veto Senate Bill 151, the sewage/pension bill.

The bills provide funding for the systems like pensions, healthcare, and transportation, Cheser said. On Friday, the KEA asked teachers to continue to advocate for education from home by calling legislators. Cheser says that deadline is too late for school districts, cities, and counties to make decisions about staffing and other budget issues for the upcoming school year. "These tax and budget bills suggest that we have not". "They're looking out for the best interest of themselves". They also urged Bevin to veto the changes to the teachers' retirement system.

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Meanwhile, Owensboro Public School Superintendent Nick Brake says they're studying the bill's effects, and impact on bringing in new teachers.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association also called for lawmakers to override the vetoes, but went a step further in asking its members to protest in Frankfort on Friday. If they have the votes (an absolute majority or one more than one half of the membership of each chamber would be necessary - 20 votes in the Senate and 51 in the House) they could override the Governor's vetoes.

There will also be a walk-in protest Friday morning at Graves County Schools.

"We wanted to draw attention to the specific issues affecting postsecondary education in Kentucky, at the same that we wanted to express our solidarity with all educators in the state, regardless of level", Jarosi said.

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With only two days left in Kentucky's regular session, KEA wants its members to show up Friday to pressure lawmakers to override the governor's vetos of House Bill 200, which is about the budget and the House Bill 366, which concerns revenue.