Kentucky educators call for action amid pension woes, budget veto

Credit Ryland Barton

Credit Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin announced on 840 WHAS Tuesday that he had signed the bill.

"By signing this pension-sewage bill, Gov. Bevin and the Republican leadership have just dealt a devastating blow to Kentucky's public education system, public employees, the teaching profession and benefits for first responders", Ben Self, Kentucky Democratic Party Chair said.

The revenue plan would impose a 6 percent sales tax on a variety of services like auto and home repairs while cutting the income tax rate for some individuals and businesses.

The governor's office also accuses the attorney general of filing the lawsuit for political purposes at the expense of public employees and taxpayers. "These tax and budget bills suggest that we have not". If they have the votes (an absolute majority or one more than one half of the membership of each chamber would be necessary - 20 votes in the Senate and 51 in the House) they could override the Governor's vetoes. He criticized lawmakers for approving $600 million in new spending while ignoring some of the state's contractual obligations, including funding for a high-speed internet network in all 120 counties.

"We wanted to draw attention to the specific issues affecting postsecondary education in Kentucky, at the same that we wanted to express our solidarity with all educators in the state, regardless of level", Jarosi said.

"There are many legislators who literally just don't understand this". Sometimes making the hard decision, putting the sugary cereal back on the shelf, doesn't make everyone involved in that situation happy.

As Kentucky public school teachers rallied at the Capitol and threatened to stage widespread walkouts, lawmakers passed a two-year budget and tax reform bill last week that does not create a funding stream for charter schools in the commonwealth.

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JCTA asked all JCPS teachers with a personal day available to use it to miss school and be in Frankfort Friday, but specifically said they should not use sick days.

JCTA echoed the sentiment Monday, asking teachers to not call off or participate in any other collective action on Tuesday. State Rep. Richard Health says he plans to vote to override the veto. "I think what they do want to do is educate young people and they want to make sure there is funding there to do it".

Lawmakers return to Frankfort to weigh veto overrides and further legislation Friday.

The Republican leaders of the Kentucky House and Senate said Bevin is "misguided", and asked to meet with him before he officially vetoes the legislation. Bevin did not indicate Monday that he would veto the pension bill, according to the Courier Journal. The owner of a concrete company, McDaniel said the new taxes and the budget would make Kentucky a better place to own a business.

Like in mid-March, when he said this on a Campbellsville radio show: "This is a group of people that's throwing a temper tantrum and I'm surprised".

House and Senate Democrats supported the vetoes, saying the tax plan would only benefit the wealthy. They also phase-in the CERS retirement costs, which, if not passed, will cost our district $200,000 this year alone.

The bills provide funding for the systems like pensions, healthcare, and transportation, Cheser said. "I appreciate what has been done on that, but it's not almost enough, not even close to being enough, but it's a good first step". Not even close to being enough. "They're phonies. They are not even honest", Bevin said.

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