pensions

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s administration is seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear and his office from participating in a lawsuit filed last week over recent pension reform.

The motion filed Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court alleges Beshear has a conflict of interest, because he provided legal advice to Kentucky lawmakers on Senate Bill 151. It includes pictures from Twitter of Beshear meeting with House and Senate Democratic leaders “to discuss legal options on pension bill” and speaking at a rally at the Capitol protesting the bill’s passage.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

When Oklahoma teacher Sally Salmons saw momentum building toward teacher protests in her state, she immediately reached out to family ties and educators in West Virginia. She said teacher walkouts in the Mountain State provided her and colleagues across the state with the courage they needed to take a stand.

“We looked at West Virginia and said, ‘Now’s the time to get on it.’ I think it gave us confidence to really, finally cross that line,” she said.


Ryland Barton

After thousands of teachers traveled to Frankfort on Friday to protest, Gov. Matt Bevin said that somewhere in Kentucky children were sexually assaulted or ingested poison because they were left unattended.

Bevin made the comments to several reporters early Friday evening, hours after the Republican-led legislature overrode his vetoes of the state budget and tax reform bills amid noisy protests from teachers.

Lisa Gillespie

Kentucky’s local health departments are facing massive increases in pension costs starting in July. And this, many of them say, could cause them to have to lay off employees, cut back or even close public health programs as a result.

“This is a watershed moment for public health, it’s a tipping point, where we need to assess how we do business and look at every aspect of operations in local health departments and what can we do differently,” said Scott Lockard, the director of the Kentucky River District Health Department, which covers several eastern Kentucky counties.


Patrice McCrary Facebook

A Warren County teacher is joining thousands of her colleagues from across Kentucky at the state Capitol Friday.  Busloads of educators arrived in Frankfort to continue their activism, exercised many times throughout this year's General Assembly.

Lawmakers increased funding for K-12 education and restored cuts to school bus transportation in the next state budget.  Governor Bevin vetoed the spending plan, and educators will rally in hopes of convincing lawmakers to override the governor’s veto.

Ryland Barton, Kentucky Public Radio

Teachers from across Kentucky are planning to travel to Frankfort on Friday to rally for better funding for schools. Educators are protesting Governor Matt Bevin’s vetoes of bills that impact schools and communities.

Some school districts are closing so teachers can attend the Frankfort rally on April 13 while others, like Bowling Green, are holding regular classes and sending delegations of teachers.

Ryland Barton

A day after Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill overhauling retirement benefits for public workers, Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a lawsuit to try and block it.

The statewide unions for public school teachers and police also joined the challenge.

Beshear argues the new law will lead to mass-retirement of current employees, creating an “imminent” threat to the state.

Teachers in Arizona are staging what they're calling a walk-in today. They're asking lawmakers for a 20 percent pay raise and for school funding to return to pre-recession levels. This comes as teachers in Oklahoma continue their walk-out. After more than a week of protests and dozens of closed schools across the state, Oklahoma lawmakers have already agreed to increase teacher pay and school funding.

Kentucky Teachers Plan Another Rally for Education Funding

Apr 11, 2018
Ryland Barton

Kentucky teachers who rallied last week at the state Capitol to support education funding plan to be there again Friday when state lawmakers reconvene to consider overriding the Republican governor's veto of budget and revenue measures.

The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents has encouraged local school leaders statewide to send delegations to the rally in Frankfort, said Tom Shelton, the group's executive director. Shelton acknowledged Tuesday that "closing school may be necessary if they have too many staff absent, but that is a local decision."

Amid Teacher Protests, Kentucky Governor Signs Pension Bill

Apr 11, 2018
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.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin says it would be “irresponsible” for teachers in Kentucky to strike a week after thousands of educators descended on Frankfort to protest pension and education cuts.

Though state law doesn’t allow teachers to strike in Kentucky, the Jefferson County Teachers Association has called for educators to take a personal day on Friday to protest Bevin’s vetoes to the budget and tax reform bills passed by the legislature.

Kentucky Governor Vetoes Bill To Help Agencies Leave Pension System

Apr 5, 2018
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Alarmed at the potential cost to taxpayers, Republican governor Matt Bevin vetoed legislation Thursday that would make it easier for agencies like rape crisis centers and mental health facilities to leave the state's troubled public pension system.

But the veto, the first of the 2018 legislative session, comes with a cost to local governments. The bill would have given city and county governments more time to pay massive increases in retirement contributions for their employees. Without that cushion, local government leaders say it would likely cause widespread layoffs and cuts in services.

Roxanne Scott

Dan Brennan has a hunch why some public service workers — like public school teachers — aren’t paid well.

“People could call it a calling and say ‘because it’s a calling, we don’t have to pay you that well,’” Brennan, a music teacher from Eastern Kentucky, said. “We don’t have to compensate you that well …you’d do it anyway.”

Brennan was one of the thousands who came to the Capitol on Monday to protest cuts to education funding as well as a change to the state’s pension system. Last Thursday night, lawmakers passed a last-minute pension overhaul. It would cap the amount of sick days that teachers could use towards retirement.

Kim Coomer Facebook

Thousands of teachers gathered in Frankfort on Monday to turn up the political heat on  Kentucky lawmakers. 

An estimated 8,000 educators from Paducah to Paintsville rallied at the Capitol, pressuring lawmakers to adequately fund public education as they voted on a new spending plan and a tax overhaul.

The next two-year state budget increases spending for the main funding formula for K-12 schools.  The measure also restores money for bus transportation that Governor Bevin had proposed eliminating and returns money to school resource centers that help provide school supplies, clothing, and food to low-income students.

Ryland Barton

Thousands of teachers have packed into the State Capitol building in Frankfort to protest the Republican-led legislature’s passage of a bill overhauling the state’s pension systems last week and other policies.

The pension changes would no longer give conventional pensions to future teachers, instead providing them with cash-balance retirement plans that depend on the stock market but are guaranteed to not lose money.

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