LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky lawmakers voted Monday to override Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a bill that would change future teachers' pension benefits.
The House and Senate, both with GOP supermajorities, voted to override Beshear’s veto of House Bill 258, which would create a "hybrid" pension tier blending defined benefit and contribution components for new Kentucky teachers hired starting in 2022.
That means teachers hired starting next January would be required to pay more toward their retirement and work longer before they can earn full benefits.
House Bill 258 would not affect teachers already enrolled in the retirement system.
Opponents said HB 258 would hamper efforts to recruit people into teaching. Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, said the measure would make it necessary for new teachers to "work longer, pay more and end up receiving fewer benefits in the long term."
"The children of the commonwealth deserve a world class public education system, and that starts and ends with our teachers," added Rep. Cherlynn Stephenson, D-Lexington. "Our children deserve for us to be able to recruit and retain the best and the brightest educators that we possibly can."
Republican Rep. C. Ed Massey of Hebron, Kentucky, responded that education groups were involved as the bill was crafted.
"To say that this is against teachers is just a false narrative," he said. "What this body needs to know is that the (Jefferson County Teachers Association), the (Kentucky Association of School Superintendents) and the Kentucky Department of Education asked the governor not to veto this bill."
Educators spoke out against previous attempts to reform Kentucky's underfunded pension system with "sickouts" and protests at the state Capitol.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.