Kentucky lawmakers override governor's budget and tax veto

Kentucky Lawmakers Override Governor Veto on Tax, Budget Bills

Kentucky House overrides veto of school funding bill

Somewhere in Kentucky children were sexually assaulted, exposed to drugs or hurt because schools were closed Friday as teachers across the state rallied at the Capitol, Gov. Matt Bevin told reporters Friday night. "As a mother, suggesting children were abused as a prop for his political rhetoric is disturbing and absurdly in poor taste".

After thousands of teachers traveled to Frankfort on Friday to protest, Gov. Matt Bevin said that somewhere in Kentucky children were sexually assaulted or ingested poison because they were left unattended.

A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment. Thousands of educators swarmed the Capitol to call on legislators to override the governor's veto of the state budget and tax plan bill. "We have the ear of the voters and come November, things are going to change", Botts said.

More 30 school districts canceled school ahead of the rallies on Friday because teachers called off work.

Bevin told WDRB that he was "offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children".

"I don't want to be out of my classroom".

Lawmakers overturned vetoes on a revenue and tax measure that raises $487 million in new revenues to fund a budget that increases funding for public schools and restores funding for school bus transportation.

The veto put Republican lawmakers in a tough position, asking them to vote a second time on a tax increase in an election year.

Bevin vetoed the increase because he said it would not generate enough money to cover new state spending. But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills "sloppy" and "non-transparent".

Another piece of legislation also raised education funding, providing more than $70 million over the next fiscal year for textbooks, state aid and flex health care benefits.

The House also voted 94-2 and the Senate voted 34-4 to override a veto which will make it easier for agencies to leave the state retirement system.

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"You can stand here all day and act like you are all for (education) until it comes time to pay for it".

At least 40 teachers are running for Kentucky legislative seats this year, majority Democrats.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, spoke against the veto override.

Hoover said the override was necessary to fund the budget which restored cuts to public education and the override votes also demonstrate legislative independence.

The increase is possible because of the $480 million tax increase.

"We have to get this revenue to finance schools", explained a Republican and middle school special education teacher, consultant Regina Huff.

The Republican-controlled House voted 66-28 to override Bevin's vetoes of House Bill 200.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Louisville Democrat, described the governor's remarks on Twitter as "an outrageous and unsubstantiated slander of a group of people who dedicate their lives to teaching and caring for our kids". The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay increase.

In Arizona, after weeks of teacher protests and walkout threats across the state, Gov. Doug Ducey promised a net 20 percent raise by 2020.

In a letter, Kentucky Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Hal Heiner says there's been a 27% increase in education funding since 2011.

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