Apparently, this is all part of a larger scheme… We knew. Teachers know because we know. We know when kids come to our classes hungry and can’t sleep because the bills aren’t being paid. We know when they had to move for the third time this semester because of violence in the home or a threat of parental deportation. We know when they are stretched too thin because a marriage is collapsing around them and they are being the third parent when the other two are not. Teachers know because we see an entire community in our classrooms every day and we knew that Thursday was just the beginning of a large-scale corruption scheme writ large across KY because only cowards hide in the dark.
The Republican leadership planned to pass the pension reform bill, then a tax reform bill, then a corrupt charter school bill, and finally next month Gov. Biven will then replace the entire KY Board of Ed with whomever he wishes because they are all up for reappointment. However, this is a perfect storm of blame because for the past two decades RNC and DNC leaders alike have raided and/or underfunded the COLA and Insurance payments that would have kept this fiscal crisis from happening. They have refused to reform tax codes in the state and kept kicking it on down the line. If these measures go into law a new localized financial crisis will explode across the Commonwealth as district after district will have to shoulder the burden of unfunded retirements mandated by the state but unfunded by legislative design. This is about more than pensions; it is about the future of the Commonwealth.
Courier-Journal Article about Sewage-Pension Bill connections to Unseen Tax Reform Bill
Richmond Register OpEd by Baker about Biven and ALEC ties.
If you are not paying attention, let me catch you up. Since 2009, the KY State Senate and House have been raiding the State Employee Insurance fund each year to offset the underfunding of state budgets. In this year’s budget Governor Matt Bevin proposed a $200m raid, but today the House ($400m) and Senate ($300m) both propose their own taking of money paid by workers into the fund. By decreasing the state employee insurance, they are shifting the out-of-pocket burden on to a smaller group and thus reducing the economic impact of those 250,000 workers. Neo-Cons preach trickle down econ but reducing the take-home pay of state workers is actually the opposite of that by taking spendable money out of the families lives. Additionally, if it costs more to receive medical care, people are less likely to go out and get the medical care. This feeds into reduced efficiency in the workplace and the higher chance of teachers, first responders, desk clerks, etc showing up sick to work.
If you still do not understand how they can refuse to reassess the tax revenues streams of the state while reducing the take-home pay of over 6% of the state population, I think this is the plan. By creating a more dramatic raid on the system from the House or Senate, the plan from Gov. Biven seems more accessible. These other two plans can also be used as bargaining chips to force SB1 “reforms” that haven’t been supported by KEA or JCEA. We saw last week that Republican leadership was willing to hold up passage of an HB for families of fallen officers to move FOP against workers not supporting SB1.