Judge Strikes Down Pension Reform Law

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A judge has struck down Kentucky's new pension reform law that sparked teacher protests at the state capitol.    

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled the Republican-led General Assembly violated the Constitution because of the way it enacted the bill, which was originally introduced as legislation dealing with sewage.  

Thousands of teachers marched on the capitol to protest the bill, leading to the closure of dozens of school districts.    Among the changes, the law would have forced new teachers into a hybrid-style retirement plan.  

Attorney General Andy Beshear sued to block the law.    He says the ruling is a "win for open, honest government."  

Governor Bevin's communications director, Elizabeth Kuhn, issued the following statement on the pension law ruling: 

"Today's ruling from Judge Shepherd was expected in light of his inherent conflict in deciding the validity of SB 151, and an appeal from our legal team is imminent. Judge Shepherd refused to consider whether or not the bill violates the inviolable contract when issuing his ruling, and he invalidated the bill based, in part, on a procedural argument not even raised by AG Beshear.  The consequences of this ruling are tremendous for Kentucky because hundreds, if not thousands, of bills have previously been passed by the General Assembly using the exact same process as Senate Bill 151. If all of these bills are now invalidated based on Judge Shepherd's ruling, our legal system will descend into chaos.  For example, cities and counties will go bankrupt without pension phase-in funding, and programs to combat the drug epidemic will be negatively impacted."

Photo:  KY LRC


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