Lawmakers backpedal on pension bill, send it back to committee

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- In a turn of events at the state capitol Friday, lawmakers did not vote on the republican public pension reform bill.

On Thursday night, republican leadership was confident the bill would pass on Friday but the tone was much different on the senate floor Friday.

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After meeting behind closed doors for hours Friday morning, republican leadership in the senate chose to send Senate Bill 1, the pension reform bill, back to it’s committee rather than vote on it like they were expected to.

With chants of “find funding first” coming from the flood of teachers outside the senate chamber Friday, lawmakers backpedaled on Senate Bill 1, sending it back to the State and Local Government Committee rather than putting it to a vote.

“After long discussions last night and today and this morning and this afternoon individuals wanted more time to consider the position that we were in,” said Senate President Robert Stivers.

Senate President Stivers said the decision not to vote on the bill had nothing to do with the demonstration of teachers rallying against it in the hallway but the people screaming those chants found that hard to believe.

“I think our demonstration had a lot to do with it. I think they were feeling the pressure. They know that we will remember when it’s time to vote. So I think that had a lot to do with today,” said Jessica Hiler, president of the Fayette County Education Association.

Senate President Stivers did not give a timeline as to when the senate will vote on the bill.

That seems to be just fine with the dozens of teachers who protested here, saying they will be back in Frankfort every day as long as this bill is still on the table.