pensions

Ryland Barton

This week in Kentucky politics: the lawsuit over the new pension law was argued in court; Kentucky’s new commissioner of education laid out his priorities, which include helping charter schools open up and taking over Louisville’s public school system; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued to express concern about President Trump’s tariffs leading to a full-blown trade war.


Ryland Barton

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law questioned why state lawmakers were able to pass the measure out of the legislature in just one day.

State law requires bills to be formally presented on three separate days before they are eligible to be voted on in the state House and Senate, though lawmakers frequently vote to override the rule.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s general counsel Steve Pitt argued the speedy process is necessary late in the legislative session.

Three Warren County Republicans are running for the southern Kentucky House seat held by Democrat Jody Richards since 1976.  Ben Lawson, Troy Brooks, and Todd Alcott are seeking the GOP nomination for the 20th District House seat, which covers part of Warren County including Bowling Green.

WKU Public Radio is introducing you to all the candidates on the ballot in next week’s primary election.  We previously reported on the five Democrats in the race, including Patti Minter, Slim Nash, Ashlea Shepherd Porter, Rick DuBose, and Eldon Renuad. 

Thinkstock

A judge has ruled Kentucky lawmakers broke the law when they held a private meeting to discuss changes to the state's public pension system.

The Kentucky House of Representatives held a closed-door meeting in August to discuss the state's struggling pension plan. Lawmakers justified the private meeting by calling it a gathering of the Republican and Democratic caucuses, which are exempt from the open meetings law.

Public Domain

A judge has denied a request to have Kentucky's attorney general disqualified from taking part in a lawsuit challenging a new law making changes to the state's pension system.

Media reports say Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd on Wednesday turned down the request by Gov. Matt Bevin's attorneys to disqualify Andy Beshear from the case.

Bevin attorney Steve Pitt said Beshear couldn't provide legal advice to legislators on the pension measure and later file the lawsuit challenging the law.

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.

Pages