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March 30, 2018

Attorney General tells large Frankfort teacher's group he will file suit 'as soon as he (Bevin) signs the bill'

 

FRANKFORT -- Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear will challenge the legislature’s controversial pension bill in court because he said it violates the non-voidable contract the state has made with teachers and other public workers.

More than 500 people showed up at the Capitol on Friday to protest the pension bill. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear spoke in March to teachers who were rallying on the Capitol steps against a pension overhaul bill. Daniel Desrochers ddesrochers@herald-leader.comMore than 500 people showed up at the Capitol on Friday to protest the pension bill. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear spoke in March to teachers who were rallying on the Capitol steps against a pension overhaul bill. Daniel Desrochers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“While that leadership broke their promise to you, I am going to keep my promise to you,” Beshear told hundreds of teachers gathered in the Capitol rotunda. “I will sue over this bill.”

Beshear said he will file suit as soon as the governor signs Senate Bill 151, a bill related to sewage regulations that the House amended Thursday to include a 291-page pension overhaul plan. The House and Senate gave the bill final approval within a matter of hours Thursday night.

The latest pension bill was modeled after Senate Bill 1, but several controversial proposals were removed. For example, it no longer cuts cost-of-living benefits for retirees and does not raise the retirement age for current teachers.

Beshear said the bill violates the contract in “at least 17 or 18” ways.

Though the latest bill has fewer changes that affect current teachers, it does prevent them from putting future unused sick days toward their retirement. Republican lawmakers, though, contend the use of sick days to enhance retirement benefits is not covered by the state’s inviolable contract with public employees.

“The sick leave is covered by the inviolable contract and just look at the harm the change has caused,” Beshear said. “We have 12 school districts closed today out of the change they are attempting to make on sick leave. They should recognize bad policy and illegal policy and repeal it.”

Beshear said he also plans to challenge the law based on Section 1 of KRS 6.350, which says a bill that makes changes to retirement benefits shall not be passed through committee without an actuarial analysis.

When Democrats raised objections over the lack of an actuarial analysis on the bill, House State Government Chairman Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, said he would pass the bill through regardless of what the statute said.

By Daniel Desrochers
Lexington Herald-Leader

Comments  

+2 #1 Jim Perry 2018-04-02 04:54
The school teachers should look at what happened to federal civilian workers during the Reagan Years? They took it to court and won. The fed found it could not retro-activily cut workers retirement benefits. The fed tried the same scam in the elimination of the tenured retirement of it's workers. Those in the retirement system already did remained. CSRS v. FERS systems.
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