The Latest: Vote on Kentucky pension changes delayed
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on a bill in the Kentucky Senate that would reduce retirement benefits for public workers (all times local):
Kentucky lawmakers have decided not to vote on a bill that would cut benefits for retired teachers.
The state Senate was scheduled to vote on Senate Bill 1 Friday, which would temporarily reduce the annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers. But after meeting privately for hours, Republican leaders decided not to vote on the bill and sent it back to a legislative committee for possible changes.
Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said the bill is not dead, but did not give a timeline for when the Senate might vote on it again. Hundreds of teachers chanted outside the Senate chamber for most of the day, erupting in cheers when they got the news.
The Republican president of Kentucky’s state Senate says he is unsure if lawmakers will vote on a bill that would reduce some retirement benefits for public school teachers.
Sen. Robert Stivers said lawmakers will continue to discuss the bill during a lunch break. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Friday. But with hundreds of teachers chanting outside, Republicans held private meetings for two hours before deciding to break for lunch.
Senate Democratic Leader Ray Jones said he does not think Republicans have enough votes to pass the bill. Asked what the vote count was, Stivers said he did not know.
With hundreds of teachers chanting in the hallway, lawmakers in Kentucky called a recess instead of voting on a bill that would cut retirement benefits for one of the nation’s worst-funded public pension plans.
The state Senate is scheduled to vote Friday on Senate bill 1, which would temporarily reduce annual cost-of-living raises for retired public school teachers among other changes. Teachers packed the state Capitol, chanting so loudly the Republican Senate president asked to keep the doors closed as much as possible. The Senate went into recess just after 9:30 a.m. EST so lawmakers could meet privately. The Senate reconvened at 11:30 a.m. EST.
GOP lawmakers say the bill would save taxpayers $3.2 billion over the next 20 years. But opponents say lawmakers should find new revenue before cutting benefits.