Kentucky lawmakers override two of Governor Bevin's vetoes

15 April, 2018, 01:01 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Interactive map: Which KY districts are closed Friday

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

Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor's veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase.

Lawmakers have the opportunity to override the vetoes on Friday or Saturday, but haven't indicated whether they will, except to say Bevin's interpretations of the bills are "misguided".

"It's entirely inappropriate and perverse that the man sitting in the governorship would criticize Kentuckians who stood up today for teachers, public employees and our public education by insinuating that their presence in Frankfort today caused a child to be sexually assaulted", Kentucky Democratic Party Executive Director Mary Nishimuta said. He also said children likely ingested poison or were introduced to illegal drugs for the first time if they were out of school while teachers rallied in Frankfort.

In rejecting the increase, Bevin said it would not generate enough money to cover new state spending. It's unclear if the House will act on the resolution.

The House and Senate each voted in two steps to override Governor Matt Bevin's vetoes of the tax increase and the overall budget.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, and the statewide unions for teachers and police have filed a lawsuit to block the changes.

When asked about work stoppages during a news conference on March 30, KEA president Stephanie Winkler said all options were on the table, but that state law prohibits strikes.

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Stephen Dupree, an elementary school teacher in Fayette County, described teachers' reactions to a budget they see as inadequate but one which they fear is better than any alternative Bevin might support. The final vote followed a 57-40 House vote in favor of the override.

The measures will raise revenue for the state over the next two years by levying a 6 percent sales tax on a variety of services, including auto and home repairs, to pay for higher school spending.

The Senate later voted 26-12 to override the budget veto. "Despite what some legislators are incorrectly saying on my behalf, I am stating publicly that not only will I call a special session to pass a transparent and properly balanced budget, but that we will also pay for it in ways that are not arbitrary & complicated", he wrote.

Sammi Hatfield teaches third grade in Montgomery County. "Because what they were doing then was impacting me and all my fellow teachers".

In Fayette County, public schools Superintendent Manny Caulk invited everyone to go with him to Kentucky's Capitol Friday to fight for issues important to Lexington schools.

Plus, the budget would eliminate several ancillary education programs like teacher professional development and grants for textbooks and other instructional materials.

"The funding needs to be staying in our public education system and we can not afford a charter school experiment with all these other financial threats in our state and in our Commonwealth", said Adelmann.

At least 40 teachers are running for Kentucky legislative seats this year, majority Democrats.

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