Amid Teacher Protests, Kentucky Governor Signs Pension Bill

Apr 11, 2018

Gov. Matt Bevin
Credit J. Tyler Franklin

Defying the vocal objections of teachers, Kentucky's Republican governor signed a bill into law Tuesday that makes changes to the state's troubled public pension systems.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced the signing on WHAS-AM. The law preserves most benefits for current and retired teachers but moves new hires into a hybrid plan that puts less risk on the state.

"Is the bill what it could have been and should have been and ultimately needs to be? No. Is it a very good bill in that there is nothing in it that is bad for Kentucky? Absolutely," Bevin said.

Teachers are mostly angry about how the bill was passed. Lawmakers introduced and passed the legislation in a single day, so fast the bill was not available for the public to read until after lawmakers had approved it. They also passed the bill without having a financial analysis of how it would affect the pension system, despite a state law requiring it.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has vowed to sue.

"When the courts open tomorrow, we will take action. Stay tuned," Beshear tweeted Tuesday.

Republican legislative leaders have said the courts interpret the law requiring a financial analysis on pension legislation as a legislative rule, which lawmakers can suspend for any reason.