JUNE 21, 2018
Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has declared a new Kentucky law overhauling the state’s government pension system unconstitutional.
Teachers protest the pension overhaul at the Capitol in April. A Franklin Circuit judge has ruled the law unconstitutional.
In a ruling Wednesday, Shepherd took issue with the process lawmakers used to enact the law.
Shepherd’s ruling is certain to be appealed. Ultimately, the law’s fate will be determined by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Overhauling the pension system for government employees in this year’s legislative session sparked protests from teachers, who held a series of protests at the Capitol.
Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said Shepherd’s decision is a “win for open, honest government.” Beshear filed the lawsuit that led to Wednesday’s decision.
Gov. Matt Bevin and the Republican-controlled Legislature took steps intended to shore up the financially troubled retirement systems, fearing that, without changes, they could go bankrupt and retirees could lose their benefits.
“I appreciate today’s ruling, which is a victory in every sense of the word for the people of Kentucky, especially our teachers, public employees and retirees,” said House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins. “It confirms the arguments that House Democrats and I made as we soon saw the bill. I said it was a bad bill then; it’s still a bad bill today; and Judge Shepherd reaffirmed that with his opinion.”
By Tom Latek