Kentucky teachers react to vetoes

14 April, 2018, 20:10 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor Veto on Tax, Budget Bills

Kentucky lawmakers on Friday overrode Gov. Matt Bevin's vetoes of tax and budget bills that boost spending on public education with the help of additional tax revenue, in a victory for teachers.

Bevin vetoed both bills because he said the new taxes won't generate enough money to cover the new spending.

The debate comes as thousands of teachers have gathered at the Capitol to ask lawmakers to override the vetoes.

"House Bill 200 ensures we fully fund the Department of Veterans' Affairs, that we fully fund the Kentucky State Police, that we ensure the request for new cruisers and rifles for the Kentucky State Police is fully funded", said Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Chairman Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill.

The tax plan bill (HB 366) veto was overridden in the Senate by a vote of 20 to 18; the House voted earlier on Friday to override the tax plan veto by a vote of 57-40.

"The disgusting comments by Gov. Bevin insinuating that a peaceful protest by teachers would lead to sexual assault are reprehensible", Wise tweeted.

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He acknowledged Bevin's promise to call a special session to enact a better budget if lawmakers sustained his vetoes but then reminded colleagues Bevin promised to call a special session on pension reform.

"The only reason we did not have a special session previous year is because Jeff Hoover, a married man, was sexually involved with a very young, single member of his staff and was paying hush money to hide his actions..."

"I am concerned that the buy-out provisions will be viewed as "credit negative" by rating agencies if not changed", he said.

Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler said Friday night she was appalled at Bevin's comment.

"I'm not sure I fully personally agree with all the ways they did that", said Kelley Ross, "but again it's a start and it's better than what we started with". "This is coming from a governor when he can only get three or four Republicans to support his veto". But 5-7 House Republicans united by Senate Republicans, voted to override.

The override vote on the budget wasn't close. The House voted to override the budget plan veto a few hours earlier on Friday, 66 to 28.

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"Maybe the governor doesn't understand that the General Assembly is a separate and equal branch of government".

For different explanations, although Democrats sided with the Senate. The bill will create a flat tax and establish or raise taxes on goods and services. But the Oklahoma Education Association wanted teachers' raises to be $10,000 on average. Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones offered this on the tax measure. The governor could call lawmakers back for a special session to pass a new budget and revenue bills.

Even the teachers looking on seemed confused at times.

The budget bill vetoed by Bevin increased the SEEK formula, the main funding source for public education, but teaching advocates argue that the increase doesn't account for inflation. But they also applauded Republicans who said they were voting to override the vetoes in order to fund education.

In a rare off-the-cuff interview with reporters in Frankfort on Friday evening, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said teachers who called in sick to protest put children's lives in danger.

"There are some good things there, but we also lost things", she added.

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CNN has reached out to Bevin's communications director.

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