On Tuesday, Governor Bevin signed HB 151, the bill reworking the state’s pension system. He shared that he had signed it in a radio interview that evening, and it later was recorded and publicized on the Secretary of State’s website.
The bill was originally a bill about wastewater, but was gutted and the pension bill substituted in its place (with the same bill number and title referring to wastewater), and rushed through both chambers in one afternoon and evening.
There was some doubt as to whether the governor would sign it, as he had called it inadequate. In the radio interview, though, he called it a “good bill.”
One of the most controversial features of the bill is that it removes the “inviolable contract” language for future hires, meaning that the legislature could change or even end the retirement systems at any time in the future, leaving teachers with both no retirement from the state and no Social Security.
After it was signed, the chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, Ben Self, issued a statement:
“By signing this pension-sewage bill, Gov. Bevin and the Republican leadership have just dealt a devastating blow to Kentucky’s public education system, public employees, the teaching profession and benefits for first responders,” Self said. “It’s obvious that their priorities are to the mega-donors who paid for their campaigns and not the people of Kentucky.”