Second day of special session likely to bring protests, drama to Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A surprise special session that was called late Monday afternoon by Gov Matt Bevin settles into Day 2 on Tuesday in the state Capitol with lawmakers and advocacy groups scrambling to find their places.

Protests are expected from members of the Kentucky Education Association to again let lawmakers know what they think about how their pension system is being handled.

They showed their strength in numbers at the 2018 legislation session last spring when thousands of teachers came to the Capitol to protest the changes proposed to the pension systems in the bill that was overturned last week by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Late Monday night in the House, Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, introduced two bills dealing with the overhaul of the pension to set in motion what could be an eventful week.

House Bill 1 is much like Senate Bill 151, the wastewater bill turned pension overhaul that was struck down by the high court earlier this month, with a few provisions removed. The 252-page document has no actuarial analysis. “Not available at this time,” it reads. However, a requirement that the legislature switch to a funding method known as level-dollar funding was removed. It had required large pension payments in the next few years.

House Bill 2 is much like House Bill 362, which capped pension increases for local governments, school districts and regional universities but reduces a 3 percent benefit increase that teachers receive after working 30 years to 2.5 percent in 2024. It also increases in local government payments into the system at no more than 12 percent per year.

Both bills also have a “Severability Clause,” meaning if the court strikes part of the legislation, the remainder stays in effect.,16804

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