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Kentucky Lawmakers Begin Final Day Of Tumultuous Session

Josh James

Kentucky lawmakers have convened for the final day of a tumultuous legislative session. A day after the GOP-led legislature voted to override Gov. Matt Bevin's vetoes of the main budget bill and a tax measure, lawmakers quickly took up another veto.

The House voted 74-12 Saturday to not fund their pensions. Lawmakers have their own pension system that is separate from other public workers and it is much better funded. Bevin vetoed that provision, saying it makes good politics but not much financial sense.

The effort to override that veto next moves to the Senate.

Lawmakers are expected to take up a few final issues before ending their 60-day session. Those issues include providing funding for road projects and fixing a problem that could cost coal-producing counties millions of dollars.

Prior to the final day of the session Kentucky's Republican governor courted controversy when he said he guarantees a child was sexually abused because they were left home alone after teachers forced the closure of more than 30 school districts to come to have a rally at the state Capitol.

Bevin's comments came shortly after Republican lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of a two-year operating budget that included increased spending for public education with the help of an accompanying $480 million tax increase. Thousands of teachers gathered at the Capitol to ask lawmakers to override the vetoes. More than 30 school districts said they were forced to close because they didn't have enough teachers.

Bevin told reporters outside the Capitol on Friday night it was "offensive" that so many districts were closed. A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment.

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