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Kentucky Teachers Raise Their Voices About Pension Reforms

Stu Johnson, WEKU News

Teachers, retired educators, classified school workers, and administrators rallied in last week against proposed pension reforms. 

The meetings included one a week ago in Richmond plus one in the packed library at Woodford County High School.

State Senator Julian Carroll, one of the first speakers at the Versailles high school meeting, made his feelings clear about the pension plan offered by Governor Bevin and GOP leaders. “I am against this proposal and I will vote against it,” Carroll said to a clapping audience.

The proposed pension package calls for three percent of the salaries of teachers and other state workers to to shore up their retiree health care funds. 

Woodford County Education Association President David Graves says, if putting more money into pensions is needed, he could support a tax increase. “I mean there’s a lot of people that won’t like that idea, but I can afford another 50- 60 bucks a year, whatever it happens to be,” Graves said. 

As a coach of high school wrestling and football, Graves said he likes what he’s been planning on and doesn’t want things to change mid-game.

Woodford County State Representative James Kay asked teachers to urge their friends and families in Republican-represented districts to call their lawmakers and ask them to vote "no" on the pension plan.  Governor Bevin has indicated he will call lawmakers to Frankfort for a special legislative session in the next few weeks. ?

© 2017 WEKU

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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