FRANKFORT, Ky (LEX 18) On Friday, Governor Matt Bevin’s legal team filed a motion urging the court to resolve whether the 2018 pension legislation, Senate Bill 151, violates the inviolable contact and the Contracts Clause of the Kentucky Constitution.
His office said that the motion was filed to ‘ensure that the constitutionality of the bill can be determined’.
A press release said that "Gov. Bevin’s team urged the court to rule now on the inviolable contract issue so that a single appeal, concerning both the legislative-process and constitutionality questions of SB 151, can be made to the Kentucky Supreme Court as soon as possible."
“No matter what side of this case you are on, we can all agree that Kentuckians deserve resolution on the validity of SB 151,” said Gov. Bevin’s General Counsel Steve Pitt. “We filed a motion today so that we can have a speedy and clear up-or-down ruling from the court on every issue at question with SB 151. If the bill is invalid based only on legislative-process issues, then these issues could be easily resolved by the General Assembly in an upcoming session. However, without a ruling from the court on the merits of SB 151, uncertainty surrounding the constitutionality of the bill will remain.”
On Wednesday, June 20, a Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled that the pension law, backed by Gov. Matt Bevin, was unconstitutional, declaring the process that brought it forth a "legislative sleight-of-hand."
The ruling by Judge Phillip J. Shepherd found the law violated the Kentucky Constitution and therefore is "null and void." He found SB 151 failed to receive three readings as required by Section 46 of the state Constitution. Shepherd also found that the bill violated a Section 46 requirement that measures involving appropriation of money must "receive the votes of at least two-fifths of the members elected to each House."
Bevin released a statement that day slamming the ruling and vowed to appeal. The next day, June 21, Bevin went on CNBC and stated in an interview that Judge Shepherd was a ‘terrible judge’.
You can view a copy of the motion here.