Will the third time be the charm for pension reform in 2019?

Pension reform to be hot topic of KY General Assembly

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - The 2019 Kentucky General Assembly goes into session Tuesday with its hands full.

Legislators are challenged to try a third time to pass pension reform legislation after a state Supreme Court ruling struck down the 2018 law, and a special session called by Gov. Matt Bevin failed.

Bevin suggested to KET Monday that GOP leadership in the legislature was to blame.

“But I’m available to meet with them, talk with them as I did with leadership repeatedly, multiple times in person and by phone, over the course of many, many days,” Bevin said. “So there was no confusion among leadership what was being proposed. Whether there was confusion among membership is really a question of whether or not leadership communicated to them.”

The state GOP emerged from November elections still firmly in charge at the capitol. Among 34 new office holders, there were enough Republicans to guarantee a continuing GOP super majority.

Teachers fighting the GOP pension plan turned to social media to announce their continued opposition.

“We’re still here,” #120Strong co-founder Nema Brewer said on Facebook Live. “A lot of people thought we would go away. That’s not the case -- if anything we’re getting stronger.”

Since achieving a super majority in the legislature, Kentucky Republicans have demonstrated an ability to pass major pieces of legislation quickly.

In this new 30-day session, House Speaker David Osborne predicts a shifting of gears as they attempt to pass a pension reform bill that clears legal hurdles.

“I don’t know that anything rises to that particular level of urgency so I think it will be a significantly slower pace,” Osborne said.

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