Pension reforms expected to pass the Senate Friday, Majority Leader Thayer says


- The New York Senate voted to increase state funding to help schools pay for armed police and security upgrades Monday, while the State Assembly approved a series of gun control measures on Tuesday which include bills to keep weapons away from domestic abusers and people deemed likely to cause harm. He's not listening to our teachers who went to the Capitol.

The Senate's Republicans majority met behind closed doors most of the day.

"We're ready to go", said Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, following Thursday's session. "That's what we're doing". That is about $156 million more than the current-year budget.

State workers and teachers claim the measure breaks the promise of a secure retirement made at the time they were employed and also runs afoul of what's called the "inviolable contract", a guarantee that existing benefits would not be taken back which lawmakers codified years ago in statute.

Stivers said it would be, "difficult" to pass the bill in its current form.

Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones, a Democrat, attributed the delay on pressure from rural lawmakers.

Another bill would change penalties to make the criminal discharge of a gun within 1,000 feet of a school or place of worship eligible to be considered a terrorist act, the AP said.

Without reform, we will soon see drastic cuts to education, transportation, public safety - all of which are critical to the business community and to all Kentuckians.

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Lawmakers continued to negotiate the terms of opioid legislation, with the Senate standing firm in its position that insurance companies should not put obstacles in the way of medication-assisted therapy. It is far from over.

"It's been met with incredible support from school organizations, from law enforcement organizations, from teachers and various people across the state", said Sen.

Beckett said protesters are encouraged to wear red to show support for public education and bring signs voicing their opinions.

Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear has said he wouldn't defend the bill if it became law and was challenged in court. Most of those savings would come from changes to the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. Kentucky has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in the country. If they're upset about it, it's because their either ill-informed of willfully blind.

"I do not think that they would have influenced anything that would have happened here today", Stivers said. Their leadership has their reasons for fomenting things, God bless 'em.

For nine weeks, lawmakers could not reach consensus on how state government should respond to growing concerns about sexual misconduct that led to two senators to resign and triggered a criminal investigation of one, Republican Jack Latvala of Clearwater, while he campaigned as a candidate for governor.

Negron said the House's bill would make it tougher for agencies to fire employees who are guilty of sexual harassment and "set up a labyrinth of proceedings that are unnecessary and makes it so we can't address those issues".