Special Session Day Three: Governor's bill passes through the House

Legal questions raised about bill
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 22, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky House voted 'yes' on the Governor's pension bill on Monday, the third day of the special session.

The final vote was 52 to 46. Democratic leaders said that House Bill 1 is a revenue bill in an odd numbered year session, so they believe that 60 votes are needed to pass it. Republican leaders said that they only needed the majority of votes.

"It is not an appropriation bill. There's never been any indication that a bill that does not appropriate a specific amount of money, allocate a specific amount of money within a budgetary unit, is an appropriations, so I think they're wrong on that issue," said Representative David Osborne, Speaker of the House.

The other possible legal issues include the language used in the governor's proclamation for this special session and the inviolable contract. The inviolable contract is a contract employees in the pension system have with the state, ensuring their pension benefits. If the bill becomes law, those employees could be put into a 401(k) system, meaning some of their benefits could take a hit.

"We believe this bill really does threaten the pension benefits of those thousands across Kentucky that are providing very, very essential services for the people of this Commonwealth," said Representative Rock Adkins, Minority Floor Leader.

The bill is now in the Republican controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass.