Sen. Robert Stivers said that if the pension laws were not passed, they would have to prepare for "more cuts" or "more taxes."
FRANKFORT, Ky. In just a few hours, the Republicans, who controlled the Kentucky House and the Senate, unveiled a new version of a controversial pension reform that went through to the last passage.
About 200 startled and angry teachers and other opponents chanted objections like "Shame on you" from outside the chambers, the house passed the bill 49-46 first, and a few hours later the Sena
The bill is now approaching the desk of Governor Matt Bevin.
The adoption of a pension law is the turning point of the 2018 legislature, opening the way for the adoption of a state budget bill and perhaps a surprise tax reform bill during the remaining three days of the meeting.
The new pension bill came for the first time in sight Thursday afternoon, when the House State Government Committee resurrected without warning an account that seemed to be leaving for three weeks
Morgan Taylor, a 28-year-old chemistry teacher from Rockcastle County, said she had failed to Frankfurt after seeing the news that the pension laws had been revived. She said lawmakers obviously did not have time to read the 291-page bill before being asked to vote.
"As a teacher I would never give my students anything I did not read myself have, "she said. "I think a select group of people knows what's in that bill, and everyone else is just expected."
The new bill contains no provisions that teachers found most offensive in the previous version of the law. It does not involve lowering the annual cost of living for retired teachers. And it would not change how long current teachers have to work before they are eligible for full retirement benefits.
But it is forcing future teachers from the current traditional fixed income pension plan into a new "hybrid" cash plan that includes features of both a traditional pension and a 401 (k) style savings plan. In addition, the impact of sick leave on pensions will be limited to sick leave as at 31 December 2018.
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► Could Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin preparing for a run at the National Office?  The House State Government Committee adopted the new pension bill on Senate Bill 151, which originally dealt with "sanitation services", and passed it by 11-7 votes on angry objections from minority democrats who complained they had no time to Reading it would have.
"I am worried that what we are doing is illegal …" said Jim Wayne MP, D-Louisville. "We need an actuarial analysis, there is no actuarial analysis … We have presented a 291-page document without any stakeholder involvement."
The Teachers Union of the state's largest school district has immediately issued a document urging its members to travel to Frankfurt and protest against the bill.
"If you're an education worker (sic) or a public education promoter and can come to Frankfurt IMMEDIATELY, please come NOW !!!" said a post on the Jefferson County Teachers Association Facebook page.
In a separate Facebook post, the union responded to rumors about social media, which was about a possible staff outage should the pension card be passed. According to the union, the union has not yet sanctioned a strike.
"JCTA has called for labor disputes in the past, and the situation could recur, but unification certainly does not call for such an action on time."
Small groups of teachers who were already in Frankfurt on Thursday afternoon, protested quickly against the relocation of the committee. Angry, bright-red dressed teacher and retired teachers began the "Vote It" crowded gathering, where committee chair Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, had refused Wayne's request to invite a teacher's representative to a conversation.
A quick look at the numbers behind the Commonwealth's pension deficit.
Mary Ann Gerth / Courier-Journal / USA TODAY Netzwerk / Wochit
"Jerry Miller has to be voted out," said Claudette Green, a retired teacher from Eastern Kentucky
Because the abruptly called meeting was held The Legislative Conference Room barricaded the security staff and closed the door as soon as the room filled, angering teachers who were excluded.
"Everything that happens behind closed doors … something like that is secretly never good," said Anita Holbrook, a retired Carter County teacher.
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"How will you attract and retain good teachers in the state if they are not retired?
Anita Holbrook, retired teacher
But lawmakers drafted the bill in committee – Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, and Chairman of the Education Committee John "Bam" Carney, R-Campbellsville – insisted that their trial be legal  "What we're trying to do here today is to try to bring together everything we've heard from stakeholders," Shell said, adding that taxpayers are also lobbyists in all laws, Kentkys Officially stabilizing public pension systems that officially carry more than $ 43 billion in unsecured liabilities.
Shell beschri eb the bill as "a great compromise we can live with."
During lengthy debates over House and Senate elections, Democrats raved about the rapid treatment by majority leaders, the diminished benefits to future teachers, and their inability to read You the bill.
But Senator Joe Bowen, the Owensboro Republican, noted that the bill was heavily withdrawn from earlier versions because the majority legislators heard the outcry of the teachers.
"This is an attempt to save the pension system, which is an attempt to keep the promises that have been made," Bowen said.
But Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, said the reduced bill "does nothing" to lessen the state's unfunded early retirement obligations while taking advantage of future teachers who make the apprenticeship less attractive to young people.
Sen. Robert Stivers talks about teachers' feelings about retirement and their plans to leave school on Friday.
Carney said that the adoption of the new pension bill would open the door to the final adoption of another pension law that would relieve cities, counties and school districts from rising pension costs from 1 July
top legislature said it pave the way for much more.
House spokesman Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, told reporters late Thursday, "This topic threatened to stifle life out of important issues at the meeting," said Osborne.
Now he said, "I think we can move forward productively in budget and tax reform." He said he "absolutely believes" that legislators will work to identify new sources of revenue during the three remaining days of the session ,
Sen. Robert Stivers talks about the passing of the pension law and the tension in the voting process.
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