Kentucky cigarette tax backers see new hope in Bevin veto

Kentucky Governor Says He'll Veto Budget Bill That Ignores Charter Funding While Teachers Are Again Poised to

Teachers and state workers have kept a steady drumbeat against Senate Bill 151, calling on the governor to veto the pension reform bill that shifts new hires out of traditional pensions and increases the amount of time current teachers need to work before becoming eligible for full retirement benefits.

But so far leaders in Bevin's own party are standing behind the budget and tax bills. Interestingly, HB 366, the revenue and tax bill, cleared the House on a 51-44 vote, and 20-18 in the Senate. "We believe Gov. Bevin would be best served to meet with legislators to understand their thoughts and rationale before making a final decision on vetoing the revenue and/or budget bills".

Democrats were swift to pounce on the intra-party feud, tweeting support for scrapping bills they say were crafted in secret and rushed through without proper input from the minority party and stakeholders.

"It's illegal for them to strike in this state - I would not advise that", Bevin said.

Senate President Robert Stivers and acting House Speaker David Osborne disputed Bevin's assertion of a shortfall.

Retailers that are part of the Kentucky arm of the National Federation of Independent Business worry that a tax increase would result in smokers crossing state lines to buy cigarettes, state director Tom Underwood said.

After he learned of Bevin's signature of SB151, he announced via Twitter that he planned to "take action" Wednesday when the courts open.

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It's not just for teachers, Bevin said.

In a Monday press conference Gov. Matt Bevin announced he would veto the entire budget bill and tax reform legislation passed by the General Assembly, which is under a GOP super majority in both chambers. Organized by the Coalition of Senate and Faculty Leadership, the events were created to be similar to teachers' rallies in Frankfort, but without disrupting classes.

The tax plan includes taxing various services, such as auto repairs, dry cleaning and pet care, and would also set the tax rates for individuals and corporations at 5 percent. Some of them get killed in the line of duty defending us.

Kentucky's top law enforcement official is taking aim at the state's freshly-signed pension reform bill. Bevin said the plan should be more comprehensive, thoughtful and nuanced, but he didn't lay out the exact measures he would like to see enacted. And he said it leaves the state's two-year operating budget out of balance.

Meanwhile, Owensboro Public School Superintendent Nick Brake says they're studying the bill's effects, and impact on bringing in new teachers.

"Neither bill is ideal, but together they add hundreds of millions of dollars to public education, allowing pensions to be fully funded, education cuts to be restored, and health insurance to be funded".

"The Association does not agree with the some of the regressive ways the revenue bill generates new revenue, but without a revenue bill, Kentucky will lose hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for public education", the organization's Facebook page said.

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