Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor Veto on Tax, Budget Bills

Teachers have staged numerous demonstrations in Frankfort during this session. They filled the capitol building Monday April 2

Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor Veto on Tax, Budget Bills

The GOP-controlled Senate voted 26-12 and House voted 66-28 Friday to override Bevin's veto of House Bill 200.

This bill authorizes the state to spend $4,000 for every public school student, that is the highest level in state history. They said that the tax growth disproportionately hurts the poor when.

"I'm offended by the fact that people so cavalierly, and so flippantly, disregarded what's truly best for children", the Republican governor said at an impromptu news conference captured on video after teachers rallied at the state Capitol to stop school funding cuts.

Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler said Friday night she was appalled at Bevin's comment. It includes a 6 percent sales tax on a variety of services, including auto and home repairs, to pay for higher classroom spending.

In rejecting the increase, Bevin said it would not generate enough money to cover new state spending. They wanted the vetoes to stand, forcing the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new budget.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, spoke against the veto override.

Bevin followed the debate closely, responding to lawmakers' speeches with tweets. "We have to have this revenue to fund our schools".

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Bevin also dissed protesting teachers for "hangin' out, shoes off. smokin', leavin' trash around, takin' the day off". He called the bill "sloppy" and "non-transparent".

Lawmakers must adjourn for the year by Saturday at midnight. "And it's a tax shift from the wealthy and the corporations to those least able to pay", he said.

But the union ended the walkout with about the same amount of spending teachers were promised before it began.

Many districts plan to reopen on Monday but intend to keep sending delegations of teachers to meet with lawmakers. He launched a teacher walkout page on Facebook and says the movement will continue. He said the legislature doesn't understand fiscal policy. The Tea Party Republican Friday evening blasted teachers statewide for going to the capitol to protest a lack of classroom and pension funding.

The General Assembly also overrode a veto of House Bill 362, a measure created to give some county governments, municipalities and school districts relief from soaring pension costs this year.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

The votes exposed again the rift between Bevin and former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, and perhaps a growing rift with other Republican lawmakers.

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Also on Friday, the House and Senate vetoed a two-year state spending plan that increases education funding with the help of a $480 million tax increase. That's why our teachers demand an override.

The Kentucky Senate has voted to override Gov. Matt Bevin's veto of House Bill 362, which would let local governments phase-in pension increases.

Bevin's comments received bipartisan backlash in the state.

The Kentucky rally took on a festival-like atmosphere as some teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. "I feel like it's a cop-out - we have let them win by showing them they can behave however they want, and we'll eventually get exhausted and go home". She says she would rather be in the classroom Friday morning but she is so anxious about education spending that she chose to miss work to make sure her voice was heard.

Teachers got the blame, as Bevin said some single parents can not afford childcare and can not afford to take time off work to watch their children.

A news release from the Kentucky State Police says crowd size inside the Capitol and the Annex building "may be limited" for safety reasons. Most teachers and school staff arrived on school buses, disembarking while the Crosby Stills, Nash and Young song "Teach Your Children" played from some loud speakers.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, described the governor's remarks on Twitter as "an outrageous and unsubstantiated slander of a group of people who dedicate their lives to teaching and caring for our kids". "... School districts, I think, worked very hard to give parents as much notice as they could and be very considerate of families that way, and the bottom line is the governor is talking about one day where teachers went to Frankfort to advocate for their students". They're likely to get a boisterous reception from teachers.

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The unrest comes amid teacher protests in Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher pay. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay increase.

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