This story is in progress. Photo by Scott Beale, CC-Licensed.
Bevin vs. Beshear? Pension reform vs. teachers? UK vs. UofL?
(Just kidding. We know who wins that last one.)
Today, the showdown that Kentucky teachers have been waiting for is going down in Frankfort. Kentucky’s Supreme Court will hear the overturned pension reform bill that made headlines earlier this spring, posing questions about retirement benefits for thousands of state employees like teachers.
But it’s not the content of the bill that got it overturned in the first place. It was the procedure.
The question that Kentucky’s highest court will seek to answer today is whether or not lawmakers broke the law through the way they initially passed it. Famously, the title of the bill actually dealt with the treatment of waste water, not pension reform at all. That put a bad taste in the mouths of thousands of teachers, who felt like their pension benefits were being equated with sewage. Gov. Matt Bevin lost his credibility with many public employees almost instantly.
And that’s not all. In Kentucky, bills are supposed to be presented on three separate days before they can be formally voted upon by the House and the Senate. As many teachers will remember, that’s not what happened with this bill, and that’s what caused a Franklin County court to overturn it in the first place.
As this case is heard by Kentucky’s Supreme Court, we’ll see if that remains the case. A lot of teachers certainly hope so.