Hundreds attend Fund Our Pensions rally in Frankfort

Hundreds attend Fund Our Pensions rally in Frankfort
(Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Miles Jackson, WAVE 3 News)

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Hundreds rallied on the steps of the Kentucky Capitol Wednesday night, fighting proposed changes to their pensions.

Governor Matt Bevin has introduced a plan to fix Kentucky's $40 billion pension problem.

It would move state workers to a 401k style retirement plan.

Many of those who attended the Fund our Pensions rally are teachers. They held signs like, "Bevin's a bully," and "Fund our Future," while shouting, "Hey, hey did I mention? Keep your hands off my pension."

"I was promised this 33 years ago," educator Michele Bernard said. "I started teaching in 1985 and I was counting on this for my retirement. This is all that I have. I don't have anything else. I do not have social security. I've never had an outside job. Teaching is my livelihood."

"It's not the fault of teachers or even this current administration that we are where we are," JCPS teacher Sara Hardin-Riley said. "But what was promised needs to be delivered on."

Governor Bevin plans to call a special session to pass the pension bill, but Republican lawmakers are signaling shaky support.

It appears Republicans have enough votes to pass it in the Senate, but House Speaker Jeff Hoover doesn't think it'll pass the house.

He says the biggest issue is a 3% pay cut for state employees.

The governor says with a long term shortage of possibly more than $60 billion, it's time to stop kicking the can down the road.

"We need a system that is sound," Bevin told a town hall meeting in Laurel County this week. "So that monies that are paid in get applied to where they are supposed to go."

Bevin has not set a date for a special session.

When that special session is called, school districts are planning more rallies in Frankfort. The Bullitt County School Board decided to cancel school for one day to allow teachers and staff to attend.

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