Kentucky House called into session by gov. adjourns without passing pension bill

Kentucky House called into session by gov. adjourns without passing pension bill
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin had called a special legislative session this week to address Kentucky’s looming public pension crisis. (Source: Matt Bevin, Twitter)

FRANKFORT, KY (KFVS/AP) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin had called a special legislative session this week to address Kentucky’s looming public pension crisis.

KY Special Session

The Kentucky House of Representatives called into session by the governor adjourned on Tuesday, December 18 without passing a pension bill.

Acting GOP House Speaker David Osborne said the issues are too complicated to resolve in a five-day session, and the House adjourned.

Attorney Gen. Andy Beshear released this statement on Tuesday, December 18:

“The governor’s attempt in the week before Christmas to cut the promised retirement of every teacher, police officer, firefighter, social worker, EMS and countless more public servants was wrong and cruel. Tonight, our values prevailed and partisanship took a backseat to what is right.”
Attorney Gen. Andy Beshear

Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler released this statement on Tuesday:

“The KEA applauds the members of the House for standing up against the political circus created by Governor Bevin and voting to adjourn the special session of the General Assembly. Real leadership from these legislators demonstrates what our Commonwealth desperately needs: Serious and sober consideration for the rule of law. Real and effective solutions to our pension systems will not be solved by political games and chaos created by an ineffective executive, but by engaging in a democratic process that allows all who have a stake in it to be heard. That includes educators, police officers, firefighters, public employees and the taxpayers of Kentucky. It’s our hope that a unanimous rebuke by the state Supreme Court last week and an admonishment by legislators tonight will finally make that clear to the governor.  Serious issues and solutions should be considered critically and deliberatively. There is no room for shortcuts in democracy. It’s time the governor learned such an important lesson once and for all. It’s time he did what’s best for all Kentuckians, not just his own political agenda.”
Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler

Gov. Bevin released the following statement on Monday, Dec. 17:

“Today, I am convening the General Assembly into special session to enact vital legislation that will be a meaningful first step toward shoring up our dying pension system. We stand at the threshold of financial failure. That is not acceptable. Kentucky’s pension crisis represents the single greatest threat to the long-term financial health of the Commonwealth. Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court to strike down SB 151, based solely on process, and with utter disregard for legal precedent and the separation of powers, has only served to create further uncertainty, fear and the likelihood of financial insolvency. Only the General Assembly has the authority and responsibility to pass laws to fix this pension debacle. For the sake of all current and future Kentuckians, the legislature must act immediately before the Commonwealth incurs further credit downgrades that will cost tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers and further limit the Commonwealth’s ability to pay for essential services, including education and healthcare. I am confident that the General Assembly can, and will, do exactly that. The elected lawmakers of Kentucky have a moral and legal responsibility to save the pension system from collapsing so that we can deliver on the promises made to our public employees. The next generation is depending on the legislators of today to take swift, decisive action that will place Kentucky on solid financial footing. Time is not our ally. The entire executive branch stands willing to assist the legislative effort in any way possible. I know that we can work together to save Kentucky’s pension system. We must not fail. We are Kentucky.”
Gov. Matt Bevin
“The governor’s actions today are appalling.  Neither I nor any member of the House Democratic Caucus was consulted or even given a courtesy call that this was happening, and many of our members are unable to make it tonight.  To expect legislators to be in the Capitol literally hours after calling a special session – especially during the holidays and three weeks before the next regular session – is the most short-sighted and unnecessary action I have ever seen a governor make.  This is nothing more than a continued mockery of the legislative process and an attempt to silence the public.  This is a sad day for the people of Kentucky.” 
House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Assoicated Press contributed to this report.