FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Governor Matt Bevin is appealing to the Kentucky Supreme Court to side with him in the ongoing legal battle over Senate Bill 151.
General counsel Steve Pitt released a statement after filing an appeal to take the battle to the state Supreme Court, bypassing the Court of Appeals.
"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.
Attorney General Beshear filed suit to stop SB 151, initially a sewer bill that evolved into the pension bill, saying it was unconstitutional. Beshear cited that the bill did not get the actuarial analysis that most bills require.
"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," Steve Pitt explained.
Kentucky Government Retirees also released a statement, "Finally, Gov. Bevin has filed an appeal on the ruling overturning Senate Bill 151. We are shocked that the governor has released a statement claiming that Kentucky Retirement Systems will “collapse” without the adoption of Senate Bill 151. This assertion is in no way supported by actuarial analysis. We as stakeholders are appalled that scare tactics are being used as a pretext for attempting to make illegal pension benefit cuts."