Attorney General Beshear vows to sue over pension reform bill

03/30/2018 10:16 AM

FRANKFORT- Attorney General Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, says he will sue if Governor Bevin signs the newly passed pension reform bill.

Republican members of the General Assembly passed a surprise pension bill Thursday. Senate Bill 151 , originally a bill dealing with wastewater, served as the vehicle for a revised version of Senate Bill 1. Beshear took to Twitter to announce his intentions to sue over the rushed bill.

Beshear took issue with the manner in which the majority party rushed the bill through committee.

“They didn’t allow any public comment or testimony, they refused to hear from you. They plopped a 291 page bill in front of legislators and made them vote on it without reading it. And they didn’t even have the required actuarial analysis, which would tell you and me if it would even save a dime.” he said.

Beshear went on to say that SB 151 violates the inviolable contract in just about every way the previous bills did.

“If and when the governor signs that bill into law, your Attorney General’s office will follow suit seeking to overturn as much if not all of this terrible bill as we can.” he said.

Attorney General Beshear is not the only statewide official who is speaking out against the pension reform bill. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Kentucky, has also been vocal about the measure. In a series of tweets, she expressed her disgust with the process, saying in one tweet, “Locking people out of committee, processing bills without the actuarial analysis and tacking legislation onto a sewage bill STINKS! This is not what democracy looks like.”

Governor Bevin is expected to sign the bill after tweeting out support for the 71 members who voted for pension reform.

In response to Beshear’s claim that the pension reform bill passed violates the inviolable contract with regard to capping of teacher sick leave, John Cox, Spokesman for Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, released the following statement:

“Beau Barnes, Executive Director of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System (KTRS), was introduced at a July 2015 meeting of the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement Funding Work Group, where he presented a contractual benefit review of KTRS. Remember that this work group was created by former Governor Steve Beshear. In the meeting minutes from the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement Funding Work Group, Mr. Barnes discusses the KTRS benefit provisions not covered by the inviolable contract. One of the provisions not included by the inviolable contract, according to Mr. Barnes, is sick day payments being included in the pension calculations.”

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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