KY Supreme Court Ruling re: Pension Bill

The Jefferson County Teachers Association applauds the Kentucky Supreme Court decision voiding the 2018 SB 151 pension bill. 

This ruling is a huge victory for Democracy in our Commonwealth.  The state Constitution calls for three readings of every bill so that citizens can engage with their elected legislators and so that those legislators have the time they need to read and understand the bills they vote on.  The Supreme Court made it clear today that this Constitutional requirement must be honored by the Kentucky General Assembly.  This decision restores the voice of citizens to its rightful place in state government.
Some may try to claim that the voiding of SB 151 will jeopardize Kentucky’s Teacher Retirement System (TRS), but this is not the case.  By the bill sponsor’s own acknowledgment, SB 151 changed the unfunded liability of TRS by less than 1% over the next thirty years, and essentially all of those savings came from accelerating the state’s payments, which can be done without changing the plan design for TRS.  Indeed, since the state began making its full TRS payments, the percent funding level of TRS has increased every year.  If the state continues to make its full payments, TRS will continue to improve until it reaches full funded status.  And all of this can be done without plan design changes, like those in SB 151, which would have made the retirement system for future teachers dependent on the stock market in a way that would have put Kentucky at a significant disadvantage in attracting and keeping the high-quality educators that Kentucky students deserve.