Meade County rallies behind teachers

Gov. Matt Bevin announces he will veto the budget and tax bills at a news conference

Bevin said the bill is not what it could have been but said there is nothing in it that is bad for Kentucky. "The House Democratic Caucus is proud to stand with them and will keep working legislatively to do all we can to reverse this law, which will not reduce the unfunded liabilities of the systems over a 30 year period of time and will actually end up costing our taxpayers billions of dollars extra while providing an inferior retirement benefit for public workers".

"To our knowledge, the governor has had no discussions with any legislator on the details of this budget and what he might consider to be a shortfall", they continued.

But Bevin's Budget Director, John Chilton, said last week the estimates are inaccurate and revenues are likely to fall at least $50 million short of spending.

"We believe Governor Bevin is misguided in his interpretation of the budget and the revenue bills, as we are comfortable with LRC staff revenue projections", said Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker pro tem David Osborne in a joint statement.

"If we were to have a 1937 type flood again, we don't have the capacity to pay for it", Bevin said. "I think that would be a mistake", adding that the Kentucky Education Association has been "a problem". Bevin did not indicate Monday that he would veto the pension bill, according to the Courier Journal.

JCTA hopes another day in Frankfort will push legislators to override Bevin's budget veto, allowing the public school system to receive millions in state funding and to potentially avoid a special session.

Bevin also remarked on the pension reform legislation, applauding lawmakers for their work, but he has not yet decided what he what he will do with the bill. "I appreciate what has been done on that, but it's not almost enough, not even close to being enough, but it's a good first step". "We believe Gov. Bevin would be best served to meet with legislators to understand their thoughts and rationale before making a final decision on vetoing the revenue and/or budget bills".

The Kentucky Democratic Party also responded. He called the bill "a first step" but said still more needs to be done. We need to move to a consumption-based tax instead of a tax on productivity. Organized by the Coalition of Senate and Faculty Leadership, the events were created to be similar to teachers' rallies in Frankfort, but without disrupting classes. "When decisions are made behind closed doors and legislation is not transparently vetted, these are the unintended consequences that result".

The proposed action caused by Bevin's veto seems to override earlier requests for teachers to not miss more class time for protest. The initial bills were passed exclusively by Republicans in both houses. It would take 51 votes in the House and 20 in the Senate.

House Bill 366 has come under criticism from Democrats and analysts who say that it favors the wealthy and corporations, reported CNN affiliate WKYT.

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