Ky. General Assembly adjourns 2018 session with rebuke of Gov. Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Even as lawmakers finished their work in Kentucky's Capitol, there was outrage from both sides of the aisle for Governor Matt Bevin's latest criticism of public school teachers.

The General Assembly's 2018 session adjourned in applause but also controversy.

House Democrats and the Republican chair of the House Education committee filed resolutions condemning Friday's comments by Governor Matt Bevin.

The resolutions passing without debate, as the session ended,

Republican Rep. John "Bam" Carney said, "We are looking forward to working with him on issues. We wanted to make it clear again that we don't support those type of comments."

And Democratic House Minority Leader Rep.Rocky Adkins said, "I would demand an immediate apology to the teachers, the education community and employees across the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

On Friday, Governor Matt Bevin blasted the massive protest by teachers that closed school districts across the state. The governor said the teachers actions caused children to be left home alone and put them in danger. 

Bevin told a group of reporters, "You know, here's what's crazy to me. You know how many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone?  I guarantee that somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them." 

Video of the incident has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on

The top Democrat in the Senate now questioning the governor's fitness for office.

"I do question whether someone that would make those kind of statements should hold public office in Kentucky or anywhere else, " said Senate Minority Leader Senator Ray Jones. 

The Senate President Robert Stivers said he's not seen the video, but has heard about it. "If that were what he said, I don't know how, again, without seeing it in the context of what he said, I don't know how you can defend the statement," he said. 

Acting House Speaker Rep. David Osbourne declined to comment on the governor's statement, but he did defend teachers. "I appreciate the people that were here.  I heard of no incidents, and I welcome everybody that wants to come and participate in the government process," he said. 

There were no large teacher demonstrations on Saturday. But they did fill the galleries and huddled in small groups with lawmakers. It's not surprising that many spoke out about what Bevin said about their rally on Friday. 

"It was disappointing that we have leadership that's using that kind of language," said fourth grade teacher Ashley Faulkner.  She was carrying a sign that read "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." She made it after seeing Bevin's comments.

"Even when somebody has something bad to say about you, you feel like they don't have any power over you," Faulkner said. 

Lawmakers did get work done in the final day of the session. They passed a flurry of bills, including several so-called cleanups of the budget bills that passed on Friday.

The Republican House and Senate also completed their overrides of every veto by the Republican governor.

Acting House Speaker Osbourne said, "It was a statement of the fact that we believed that the product that we put out was something that was good for Kentucky and will move Kentucky forward."

But Louisville Democrat Rep. Steve Riggs sees it differently. "Sounds like a Civil War to me in the Republican party. Republicans fighting against Republicans."

But even with the conflicts and controversies that came despite total Republican control of state government, leaders of both chambers pronounced the session "good."

Senate President Stivers said they got a lot accomplished. "First of all, I think the one thing that people will look at  is there is a budget passed.  Whether you like it or not, we had to develop a revenue package to sustain that budget.  On top of that, we made a pension change that stopped the digging and creating of a greater unfunded liability."

Now attention turns the fall elections, and whether the governor's comments and the teachers new found influence will carry over to the ballot box.

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