Update: SB 151 has been passed by the Senate 22-15.
It was Thursday afternoon when the Kentucky House of Representatives convened for Day 57 of the Kentucky General Assembly’s 59-day session. It didn’t go as many expected.
Back from the dead, elements of the controversial Senate Bill 1 were inserted into Senate Bill 151, which was originally filed as an act regarding wastewater and sewage services. The bill passed its committee by a vote of 11-8, with staunch Democratic opposition. It went on to pass the House 49-46, and is now heading to Kentucky’s Senate.
In an interview with WSAZ, Rep. Bam Carney had this to say about the bill he sponsored in the House:“This is a good compromise plan that addresses many concerns,” Carney said, “This is not something I do lightly. This is my retirement. I do not get legislative retirement.” Carney, himself a teacher, would be directly impacted by any changes to the current pension system.
This may have been a moot point for teachers protesting just outside the House doors, chanting: “We will remember in November!”
Democrats in the House pushed back as well, and none more notably than Rep. Tom Burch, who called the bill “garbage” and lambasted his Republican peers as “a bunch of cowards” for not seeking additional means of revenue first.
And while heads will probably roll in the coming days, Kentucky’s newest look at pension reform will head toward the Senate, where a vote could happen as early as Thursday night.