Just as the Kentucky Senate was about to vote on the controversial Senate Bill 1, Attorney General Andy Beshear warned the bill would not hold up in court if made a law.
Beshear told reporters and encouraged protesters of SB 1 by telling them that “if the Senate passes SB 1 today, they’ll be breaking the law,” reports Kentucky.com. “The General Assembly decades ago made a promise that if you dedicate your life to public service, if you spend decades teaching our children, protecting our families through law enforcement, protecting neglected children through being a social worker, that we will guarantee you a solid retirement.”
According to the publication, the Friday session—during which the Senate was supposed to vote on the bill—began around 9 a.m., albeit in recess for most of the morning. Following the lunch break, the Senate chose not to vote on the bill at all, sending it back to the Senate State and Local Government Committee.
“After long discussions last night, today, this morning, this afternoon, individuals wanted more time to consider the position that we’re in,” Senate President Robert Stivers said to the delight of several hundred protesters, who cheered for the vote’s stalling.
After the original bill was deemed illegal by Beshear, a substitute bill was unveiled which aimed to fix the issues. Although it was voted in favor by the committee earlier in the week, Beshear also posted videos on his social media accounts indicating that the substitute bill would not hold up in a court of law as there were still 21 violations, including reductions to the teachers cost of living adjustments (COLA).
With an unfunded liability of more than $40 billion, Kentucky’s pension system is one of the worst-funded in the country. Stivers and the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Joe Bowen, have attested that the bill is in fact legal, with the revised version to improve its legal standing.