House OKs bill to ban abortion after 11 weeks

Wednesday, 14 Mar, 2018

Teacher Jessica Page was showing her central Kentucky elementary school students how to play the recorder last Friday while fearing the worst from state Senate deliberations in the capital city: lawmakers have begun considering potential reforms to the state's woefully underfunded public pension system, and cutting some benefits for retired teachers was among leading possibilities.

He said there simply was no use in considering a relief bill until the pension bill passes the chamber.

Teachers Jessica Page and John Leep III found themselves rallying for the same cause that brought their parents to Frankfort almost 30 years ago to the day on Monday as they urged lawmakers to protect pension benefits for public workers.

"I didn't expect this many", Wiles said when overlooking the crowd of supporters holding signs along the road.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said Tuesday he did not expect the committee - which is chaired by the bill's sponsor Sen.

In the opening days of last year's legislative session, lawmakers passed two abortion measures.

Stivers said such a conclusion about why SB 66 was recommitted might be cynical.

Senate Bill 1 would establish a 401 (k)/pension hybrid, which would decrease the cost of living pay increases for state employees, including teachers.

Whether that cut addresses the structural problems of the pension system is unclear.

Norma Wade retired after 34 years as a teacher and counselor in Mercer County, and she says lower cost-of-living adjustments will negatively affect her household. Their contribution rate has not been changed in 20 years, said Osborne.

That's been the call from teachers, state workers, retirees and most Democrats - fully fund the system without altering benefits previously promised.

That was the thrust of comments on the floor Monday by Minority Leader Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, who questioned some aspects of Senate Bill 1, especially the lack of defined benefits for teachers who are not eligible for Social Security.

We're learning some school districts on Kentucky's east side say they are prepared to cancel classes as a strike to protest the cuts.

Wuchner, a Republican from Florence, said her bill would not take away abortion rights, noting that women would still have access to other abortion procedures.

While the senators discussed the bill, protesters in front of the Capitol displayed their disdain for it.

"We've got to fill up this building every day", Trosper said.

That show of force has the Leep siblings more energized than ever to continue fighting to protect retirement benefits like their parents, who were also teachers, did nearly 30 years ago.