Kentucky legislature votes to override governor's budget, tax, pension phase-in vetoes

Teachers have staged numerous demonstrations in Frankfort during this session. They filled the capitol building Monday April 2

They did it with nearly no help from Democrats while thousands of teachers once again descended upon the capitol to call for more money for education and protest changes to their pension system.

As Kentucky teachers declare victory after the Republican-dominated legislature overrode vetoes from the state's GOP governor of a spending plan that included new money for education, the question going forward is whether teachers will be able to sustain their momentum into the fall elections when Republicans will try to defend their super majority. Bevin contends the budget is imbalanced and over estimates revenues in explaining his vetoes.

Bevin had vetoed both bills, the budget and tax bills, warning the new taxes would not generate enough money to cover the new spending.

Acting House Speaker David Osborne said there are no new bills, but said lawmakers are considering amendments.

The Senate has voted 20-18 to override the tax bill veto, which now becomes law as the House voted 57-40 earlier Friday afternoon.

Bevin also dissed protesting teachers for "hangin' out, shoes off. smokin', leavin' trash around, takin' the day off".

Lawmakers must adjourn for the year by Saturday at midnight.

The House voted 66-28 to override the budget veto, while the Senate voted 26-12.

"I am concerned that the buy-out provisions will be viewed as "credit negative" by rating agencies if not changed", he said.

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The Kentucky Education Association strongly opposes a pension reform bill that Gov. Matt Bevin signed this week under which new hires will have to enter a hybrid cash-balance plan, as opposed to a traditional pension. "I don't agree with these comments & I find them repulsive". "This is coming from a governor when he can only get three or four Republicans to support his veto".

The House also voted 94-2 and the Senate voted 34-4 to override a veto which will make it easier for agencies to leave the state retirement system.

The override vote on the budget wasn't close. In all, 88 of the 90 Republicans in the General Assembly voted against the Republican governor on the budget.

Self also released a statement on the budget bill, criticizing the differences between Republicans in the legislature and the Republican governor. The bill will create a flat tax and establish or raise taxes on goods and services. Democrats say the measure shifts the tax burden from upper income groups to the middle and working classes. But the Oklahoma Education Association wanted teachers' raises to be $10,000 on average. Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, railed against cuts to higher education.

Kentucky's Republican-led House of Representatives has overridden Gov. Matt Bevin's veto of a $480 million tax hike that helps pay for increases in public education spending.

Even the teachers looking on seemed confused at times.

In a letter, Kentucky Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Hal Heiner says there's been a 27% increase in education funding since 2011.

A number of districts closed schools on Friday, including Jefferson County Public Schools and Fayette County Public Schools.

"You know how many children live in urban communities and rural communities where there's a single parent who literally if they could afford to skip work and not lose their job, they couldn't afford to because they need the money".

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