Pension Bill Prompts Rapid Court Challenge By Attorney General

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Bevin's veto message says the spending plan is not balanced because it would spend roughly $50 million more than the state is projected to collect in revenue from the new taxes. The budget sent to Bevin's desk "spends every single cent we would have in an emergency", Bevin said. Yet the vote count could prove problematic for the tax bill. They asked to meet with him before he signed the veto. The group said ending the session without a budget could mean "very bad news for public education".

Adams said he was shocked lawmakers did not include charter funding in the revenue bill but was still hopeful there could be a fix before the legislative session ends on Saturday.

Senate President Robert Stivers and acting House Speaker David Osborne disputed Bevin's assertion of a shortfall. Legislative leaders from the state House and Senate, both Republicans, released a joint statement criticizing the governor's decision and calling on Bevin to meet with lawmakers before making the vetoes official.

But some felt the issue would come down to whether the House and Senate want to override the governor's vetoes, with Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Republican, saying the House will have the votes for an override.

The governor described the bill as a "good first step" while acknowledging it does little to relieve the state's tens of billions in unfunded liabilities.

In a Monday press conference Gov. Matt Bevin announced he would veto the entire budget bill and tax reform legislation passed by the General Assembly, which is under a GOP super majority in both chambers.

The revenue bill provides an estimated $480 million in new revenue over two years through an expansion of sales taxes on some services while creating a flat 5 percent individual and corporate tax rate. So I appreciate the kind of work that they are doing but the KEA where were they?

"I supported the revenue bill because I saw the budget, revenue bill and pension reform (bill) as a three-legged stool all tied together", Bowen said. They also passed the bill without having a financial analysis of how it would affect the pension system, despite a state law requiring it. Bevin did not indicate Monday that he would veto the pension bill, according to the Courier Journal.

Bevin claimed to have put more money into teachers' plans and their pension than Beshear.

Shell said the state needs "to grow our economy through tax reform while also investing heavily in the very things our budget funded: pensions, public education and public safety among other things".

In a statement, Elizabeth Kuhn, Communications Director for Gov. Bevin, said, "Rather than looking out for the best interest of Kentuckians, the attorney general has chosen a political path, one that will cause irreparable damage to public employees and taxpayers. I think that would be a mistake", adding that the Kentucky Education Association has been "a problem".

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