Pension reform bill passes Senate committee in spite of teachers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pension reform bill passes Senate committee in spite of teachers' vocal concerns

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Teachers packed the committee hearing, at times causing disruption to the proceedings. Teachers packed the committee hearing, at times causing disruption to the proceedings.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A bill aimed at fixing Kentucky’s ailing pension system passed a Senate committee Wednesday is spite of emotionally charged pleas for teachers.

Senate Bill 1, also known as the pension reform bill, passed through State and Local Government Committee by a vote of 6-4. The bill, championed by many republican lawmakers, would cut cost of living adjustments for teachers from 1.5 percent to 1 percent. This proposal has led to consternation among teachers throughout the state.

Teachers packed the committee hearing, at times causing disruption to the proceedings. Chants of “vote them out!” were heard after committee members passed the legislation.

“Senate Bill One assures that that pension promise will be there for the stake holders when they need it and when they're counting on it,” said Republican Sen. Joe Bowen, who filed the bill.

Sen. Dorsey Ridley attempted to file an amendment to the bill that would restore full cost of living adjustments for teachers, but the motion was not allowed.

Bowen said the bill would save Kentucky $3.2 billion over the next 20 years, but teachers in attendance feel the bill breaks a promise.

“This does go too far in violating the contract in many ways,” said Stephanie Winkler, President of the Kentucky Education Association.

Estimates indicate that Kentucky is in a $41 billion hole with regards to funding pensions over the next 30 years.

The bill heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote before the House of Representatives would have a chance to vote on it.   

Reach reporter Travis Ragsdale at 502-585-0817, TRagsdale@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

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