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Teachers, Lawmakers Clash Over Pension Bills At Special Session

Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 18, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — With just a few days left in the year, Kentucky lawmakers could pass new pension overhaul bills.

Gov. Matt Bevin called the special session on Monday evening. Now two bills are being considered.

Although school still is in session in many parts of the state, teachers found a way to be in Frankfort on Tuesday.

They’ve packed the gallery of the House of Representatives, closely listening to lawmakers. And they’re not afraid of making their voices heard.

Before Day 2 of the special session began, teachers got into a heated back and forth with lawmakers during a public committee meeting.

The reason they’re upset is because the new bills being discussed — House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 — are basically the same as Senate Bill 151, which was shot down as unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Small changes were made to the new bills, and Bevin’s lawyer says the only reason for that is so that these bills don’t get caught up in courts.

So not only is the content of the bills offensive to many teachers but so too is the process. Critics say the last-minute special session is shady lawmaking.

“They’re shady about it,” said Greenup County teacher Paula Pleasant. “When you have a press conference at 3:45 from the governor and you call a special session by 8 o’clock and we have representatives all the way in Western Kentucky, they cannot get here in time.”

Lawmakers continue to argue about the ultimate pension bill’s language and whether it can pass during the special session.