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The leaders of the Kentucky House of Representatives and the Senate have formed a Public Pensions Working Group to review and study all the public pensions in the commonwealth. The co-chairs of this group are Senator Wil Schroder and Representative Jerry Miller. The legislative members of the panel are:

Senate President Robert Stivers, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, Sen. Christian McDaniel, Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, Senate Minority Caucus Chair Johnny Turner, House Minority Caucus Chair Derrick Graham, Rep. Travis Brenda, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, Rep. Scott Lewis, Rep. Dian St. Onge, and Rep. Buddy Wheatley.

The panel is meeting Tuesday, January 15, at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, and they are tasked with making legislative recommendations by February 15. This panel is asking for public input. Please email your comments and suggestions to :


First week of 2019 Legislative session ends.  

SB 3 and SB 8 pass the Senate

Public Pensions Working Group established to make legislative recommendations by February 15.

The first week of the 2019 regular session has ended with the legislature in recess until the second part of the session, which will convene February 5.  During this past week, leadership positions, committee assignments, and floor rules were finalized.  Two of the first bills of the session to pass the Senate directly affect educators. 

SB 3, an Act relating to school councils, passed committee on Thursday, and passed 23-13 on the floor vote today.  The bill amends KRS 160.345 to reduce the number of teachers serving on the SB Council to a minimum of two, but increases the parent members to a minimum of two.  The bill retains the privilege of any school council to increase equally the parent members and teacher members, if those councils decide to do so. This bill also specifies that council policies must align with district board policies, permits a superintendent to forward qualified applicants to a principal for hiring, and alters the principal hiring process to be finalized by the superintendent after consulting with the council.  It also re-establishes the authority of a school council to be transferred to the superintendent if that school is identified for improvement or becomes a failing school, which also include abolishment of the council, as it has always been previously.

SB 8, an Act relating to educators, also passed from the Senate Education Committee to the floor today with a vote of 23-13 with an added amendment.  The first part of the bill provides HIPAA protections to teachers or administrators who are placed on leave due to physical or mental disability.  In prior statutes, an employer could have an employee submit to a physical or mental evaluation, and a report would then be provided to employers.  However, the language of the old statute did not define “report,” and information that is normally protected by confidentiality could be released to the employer.  This bill also clarifies insubordination and other causes for which a teacher’s contract might be terminated.  Previous statutes did not define insubordination, and that charge became subjective in some cases.  SB 8 also changes the makeup of a teacher-requested tribunal by removing the lay person and replacing them with a trained attorney who serves as the hearing officer.  This bill also limits a tribunal into making decisions of either upholding or overturning the decision of a superintendent to terminate the employee’s contract.  Previous tribunals often became hearings in which unrelated evidence could be presented, recommendations and interventions could be presented, and could become lengthy and expensive.  The new legislation permits mediation at several levels.  The floor amendment added to the bill came at the recommendation of witnesses at the committee meeting who requested that all charges against a teacher or administrator should be in writing.

Finally, it was announced today, Friday, January 11, that Legislative leaders have created a Public Pensions Working Group to review and analyze the state’s public pensions.  This group will conduct a review of the pensions’ structure, costs, benefits, and funding.  The first meeting will be held January 15 in the Capitol Annex.  The group has been charged with making recommendations for Legislative action by February 15, with an extension to March 1 if needed.

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