Gov. Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's governor said he vetoed a controversial pension bill because part of it is illegal.

Gov. Matt Bevin, Tuesday, vetoed House Bill 358, which passed on the last day of the session.

The bill gives some private, government-funded agencies which are part of the public pension system relief from sharply rising costs. It also allows the organizations to pay to leave the public pension system over time.

However, if the organizations miss their pension payments, employees could lose their benefits. Bevin told reporters on Wednesday that part of the bill violates the so-called inviolable contract, and would likely be struck down by the courts.

"It was a good effort. It really was. There's nothing in it that's bad in that some of it is very helpful," he said. "But there are parts of it that were just incorrect, including parts that did things that are just not legally allowed. You're not allowed to take away, under any circumstances, for any reason, somebody's pension check after they've already earned it."

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers said he is "disappointed" by Bevin's decision to veto the bill.

"The rationale behind this decision is perplexing.  Just weeks ago, during the 2019 Regular Session, the Governor delivered a letter to members of the General Assembly expressing support for the Senate’s version of HB 358, which is consistent with the final bill that arrived on his desk," said Stivers in a statement.

Bevin said the problem can be quickly fixed in a special session of the legislature. But Stivers said the governor must first, "set the parameters for what he is willing to sign."

Bevin said he is in communication with House and Senate leaders, and will call lawmakers back to Frankfort before July 1.

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Reporter

I cover a range of stories for WDRB, but really enjoy tracking what's going on at our State Capitol. I grew up on military bases all over the world, but am a Kentuckian at heart. I'm an EKU alum, and have lived in Louisville for 30 years.