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SB 1 Gets First Approval, Moves To Senate

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LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) Kentucky's controversial public pension reform bill went before a Senate committee Wednesday. LEX 18's Lindsey Piercy shows how teachers and retirees are responding. 

"It harms not just my family, not just educators but it is all of the state government public employees, everybody is harmed by this," said Adrielle Camuel with the Fayette County Board of Education. 

SB 1 would cut billions of dollars in benefits for teachers in an effort to eliminate a more than 40 billion dollar unfunded liability. 

Teachers and retirees filled the meeting space, but they were not allowed to speak at the hearing Wednesday. That doesn't mean they were quiet. They had a message for the bill's sponsor Senator Joe Bowen of District 8. Teachers and retirees started singing a rendition of 'Hit the road Jack', as 'Hit the road Joe'. 

"Senate Bill One assures that the pension promise will be there for the stakeholders when they need and when they're counting on it," said Senator Joe Bowen. 

The overwhelming opposition to the bill was not enough, SB 1 passed the Senate committee in a 7-4 vote. The bill now goes to the Republican lead Senate. If it passes there, it would then need to be approved by the state House. 

While concerned educators say that the most recent version of the bill is an improvement, they believe there is still a long way to go. 

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