March 25, 2018

Rally against Kentucky pension bill

11 March 2018, 04:54 | Winifred Adams

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After pension bill advances, teachers plan 'walk-in' protests

With hundreds of teachers chanting in the hallway, lawmakers in Kentucky called a recess instead of voting on a bill that would cut retirement benefits for one of the nation's worst-funded public pension plans.

They stood outside Bowen Tire and Auto on Frederica Street in Owensboro for more than an hour Saturday morning.

The Republican president of Kentucky's state Senate says he is unsure if lawmakers will vote on a bill that would reduce some retirement benefits for public school teachers.

Aimed at those who partake in misleading or inaccurate caller identification, whether it's for legitimate sales or scams, Senate Bill 222 wasn't able to get a hearing in the House, Head said. This is what we have.

The votes came amid a batch of bills that were quickly approved by the House at the end of a marathon floor session dominated by a debate on school-safety legislation.

After teachers and other public workers descended on the state Capitol Friday to protest a bill overhauling Kentucky's pension systems, the state Senate made a decision to not take a vote on the measure.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

Even if it had passed the Senate, it was unclear how much support the pension bill had in the politically-unwieldy House or even whether Gov. Matt Bevin would sign it. It also includes a 5 percent raise for teachers, school service personnel, State Police, and state employees.

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Teresa Chaulk, the superintendent of Lincoln County School District No. 1, said that was the rumor going around the building Thursday.

"The reality is this: I'm saving the pension system". I think they were feeling the pressure. "Next week you need to have 1,000 teachers her and you need to let them hear it louder than ever", said Jones.

Asked about the "walk in" protests, Kentucky's acting House Speaker David Osborne said: "I hope they walk in every day to teach our kids".

Thayer noted funding is also part of the equation with the budget now moving through the legislative process containing full funding for the state's retirement systems with more than $3 billion going to pensions over the next two years. It would have imposed new penalties for those who violate these rules and bans the hiring of so-called "closers" - often young men and women hired by lobbying firms who may be expected to submit to sexual advances from lawmakers in the closing days of the legislative session.

On Wednesday, Bevin said anyone opposing pension changes is "either ill-informed or willfully blind".

"The idea that we are hanging onto this as somehow a sacred thing is silliness", Bevin said. Local Kentucky Education Association union president Kelly Beckett said teachers are some of the "most highly educated voters in our state".

Head's bill first called for criminal provisions that would make it a Class A misdemeanor in IN but time limitations before the Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law forced Head to replace that provision with a civil penalty.

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