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Kentucky teacher angrily as legislator passed retirement pension

Teachers angry over the pension issue exclaimed in protest. At least nine counties have canceled the school, the Kentucky Democrats tweeted early Friday. Kentucky has 120 counties.
The bill, which overtakes the state pension, largely passed on party lines and heads to Governor Matt Bevin, who supports the reform of the system. Heads of state say it is crucial to fix the pension crisis, which is among the worst in the US.
Kentucky teachers opposed changes in their pension contained in Bill of Senate 1, which suggested cutting benefits.

But in a startling move, Senate Bill 1 elements were hidden in another bill, Senate Bill 1

51, which had been on sewage services, reported several CNN affiliates in Kentucky. And the new, almost 300-page Senate Bill 151 said goodbye to both the State House and the Senate on Thursday, to the chagrin of the teachers and retirees who crowded into the Capitol.

  West Virginia teachers went on strike - and won. Now Teachers in Other States Can Follow Their Lead

"Just vote no!" They sang on Thursday. "Choose her!"

The Kentucky Education Association, which represents teachers and other education professionals, slammed the maneuver as "classic legislative bait and switch."

"It triggered all 'local provision of sewer services' language from SB151 and replaced it with many of the harmful provisions of SB1," the association stated.

The group expressed concern: "We did not see the bill, were not allowed to testify, the bill did not have the required actuarial analysis, no tax impact statement, and no tax return."

A summary of the bill, according to CNN member WKYT, is as follows:
  • There will be no changes in annual cost of living adjustments, which will remain at 1.5%.
  • New hires need to create a hybrid cash plan in which members pay a certain amount to their account.
  • Limits the number of sick leave teachers can spend on retirement.

The Republicans of Kentucky tweeted a summary of the bill.

Republican lawmakers tried to dispel concerns by saying that the bill is a compromise to save the state pension.

"I urge everyone to take a deep breath and not get involved in the discussion and exaggeration," said Senator Damon Thayer, a Republican, during the discussion. "This is good news for teachers, current, retirees and future teachers as Kentky's pension systems are on the way to sustainability."

The law passed the House in a 49-46 vote and the Senate from 22-15, according to CNN member WLKY.

Governor Bevin, a Republican, praised the legislators who supported the bill because they "did not put the pension problem on the streets".

But democrats and opponents of the bill disagreed. Kentucky's Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, tweeted, "This is the worst government."

Inspired by the strike in West Virginia, where teachers went on strike and won concessions, teachers organized their state legislatures in states such as Oklahoma and Arizona.

CNN's Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

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