Ky. Teachers Returning To Frankfort To Rally For Education

Credit Ryland Barton

Credit Ryland Barton

Rallies were held in several counties Thursday.

The Senate voted 20-18 Friday to override the GOP governor's veto of House Bill 366.

"My team and I have spent the past 10 days with tax experts, as well as legislative leaders and staff, analyzing, scoring and attempting to correct House Bill 366, the revenue bill that Gov. Bevin vetoed", State Budget Director John Chilton said in a statement released by Bevin on Twitter.

(Erlanger, Ky.) - Two local school districts won't be open Friday due to teacher absences.

Kentucky committed itself in January to pay film companies $421 million in incentives, just ahead of the February 1 deadline when Gov. Matt Bevin ordered the program suspended because he believes it costs the state too much money, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet said Wednesday.

The teachers will also seek more funding for public education as they urge lawmakers to override Governor Matt Bevin's veto of the state's new two-year budget bill and the accompanying tax legislation.

The Republican-controlled House voted 66-28 to override Bevin's vetoes of House Bill 200.

Lawmakers convened Friday to consider the governor's vetoes, and the votes are expected to be close.

Bevin had vetoed both bills, warning the new taxes would not generate enough money to cover the new spending.

The unrest comes amid teacher protests in Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher pay.

Earlier this month, thousands filled the Kentucky Capitol to oppose pension changes.

Lawmakers approved a $480 million tax increase to pay for it, including a 6 percent sales tax on services such as auto and home repairs, and higher income taxes for some individuals and businesses.

Kentucky's lawmakers have struggled with the complexities of passing a two-year state budget, searching for education funding and trying to fix one of the country's worst-funded pension systems.

Current benefits for teachers will go untouched, but there will be a new pension plan for incoming ones.

Opponents worry this will discourage young people from becoming teachers.

Tourism Cabinet officials declined to be interviewed on the record this week about the film incentive program, which lawmakers made a decision to continue against the governor's wishes in the budget bill they approved last week.

Named as defendants are Bevin, Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne, R-Prospect, and the boards of trustees of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System and Kentucky Employees Retirement System.

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