Bevin Vows Appeal On Pension Ruling, Dismisses Beshear 2019 Run

Jul 27, 2018

Republican Governor Matt Bevin and members of his party are promising a fight on the state’s embattled pension reforms.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin speaks with reporters about a new report detailing an increase in drug overdose deaths on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky.
Credit AP Photo/Adam Beam

The reform bill, which proved a magnet for large-scale protests at the state Capitol, was struck down by a Franklin Circuit judge on procedural grounds. Wednesday Bevin told local media an appeal remains in the works.

"I've got so many cases going on right now, I've got a limited amount of bandwidth on the part of general counsel and his team," the governor said, "but it's coming."

At least one lawmaker is pledging to ressurect the bill, should this round of pension reforms fail to emerge intact from the courts. Louisville Republican Rep. Jerry Miller, who co-chairs the General Assembly’s Public Pension Oversight Board, told WVXU, “If we need to, we’ll come back.”

The pension measure passed during this year’s session moves future teachers out of traditional pension plans and into hybrid cash-balance packages, while current teachers would be barred from accumulating new sick days to use toward retirement after December 31.

Meanwhile, Bevin had few words about his possible Democratic challenger in 2019 when asked to weigh in.

Taking questions in Frankfort, the first-term governor dismissed Attorney General Andy Beshear’s gubernatorial campaign announcement as barely worthy of comment.

"It hasn't much been worth the response, which is why you haven't gotten one from me," he said. "He's a terrible attorney general. I can't even imagine how anyone would think he would be a good governor."

Bevin is staying mum on whether he plans to run for re-election, telling reporters he’ll make a decision and announcement sometime between now and January.

In his announcement earlier this month, Beshear pledged to restore “honesty, decency, and transparency to state government.”

The two officials have tangled frequently in court since taking office, with Beshear challenging Bevin’s cuts to universities, board reorganizations, and most recently, the state’s pension reform bill.