Bevin Administration files appeal on pension reform ruling

08/10/2018 01:20 PM

FRANKFORT- The Bevin Administration has officially filed an appeal on Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd’s ruling against the pension reform bill.

“It is essential that Kentucky’s public servants receive a speedy and final resolution regarding the legality of pension reform legislation (SB 151). That is why, today, we filed an appeal in the case and a motion to bypass the intermediate Court of Appeals and go straight to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Our pension system is already dangerously close to collapsing. Without the reforms in SB 151, the system will continue to decline and remain the worst funded in the nation. These are weighty issues that will impact every Kentuckian. They must be decided by our state’s highest court and not based on the highly suspect ruling of a single judge. It is also imperative that the Supreme Court resolve the legislative process issues on which the Circuit Court based its decision, so that the General Assembly has every tool at its disposal to advance important legislative priorities.” General Counsel Steve Pitt said in a statement.

The motion requests the Kentucky Supreme Court take up the appeal quickly.

“We have requested an expedited briefing schedule to ensure that the case can move quickly, and we are confident that the Supreme Court will see that that reforms in SB 151 are not only legal, but are necessary to save Kentucky’s public pensions for current and future retirees.” Pitt said.

Judge Shepherd ruled the pension reform bill unconstitutional on June 20th. His opinion ruled the bill was unconstitutional and void because the General Assembly violated the Kentucky Constitution, specifically when it came to the three reading requirement and the majority vote requirement.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, accused the Bevin Administration of trying to delay the case by not filing the appeal timely. Shortly after the appeal, Beshear released a statement which attacked the governor for waiting until hours before the deadline.

“Gov. Bevin’s decision to wait until the last moment to appeal has continued to cause anxiety to our teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers and public servants who deserve better. Our public servants and their families deserve a quick and final decision that protects the retirements they were promised. We are requesting the case go directly to the Supreme Court of Kentucky and be argued as quickly as possible.” the statement read.

The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear arguments for the case September 20.

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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