A.G. Beshear Declares KY Pension Substitute Still Illegal

Cites issues with teachers’ COLA reductions.

Although the Kentucky Senate modified its pension reform bill after Attorney General Andy Beshear cited 21 legal violations with the original measure, Beshear’s office says that the substitute, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), is still illegal.

“We’ve gone through and looked at that committee substitute and unfortunately, it has failed to fix one issue with the original Senate Bill 1,” Beshear said in a Tuesday video via his social media accounts. “Once again the General Assembly has a version of the bill out there that is both illegal and breaks a solemn promise with our hardworking public employees.”

In response, Beshear announced his office will again send a letter to the general assembly identifying at least 21 violations of the “inviolable contract” and the law in SB 1.

“My hope is once the general assembly receives this bill (the letter), they’ll say ‘Let’s do what’s right and let’s actually keep our promise… because in Kentucky, our word’s our bond. Let’s also make sure that if we pass anything, it’s not going to get overturned in a court of law,’” he said.

While the Senate did not see any issues with the original bill, the State and Local Government Committee released the substitute following Beshear’s initial letter, which was made public just hours before the first bill’s unveiling.

In the Tuesday letter, Beshear’s one gripe with SB 1 was the reductions to teacher’s cost of living increases (COLA) from 1.5% to 1%. This was one of many changes to the original bill, which split COLAs down to .75%.

The revised version of the bill was voted in favor by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday. The bill now moves to the  full Senate, which may consider SB 1 as early as today. 

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