A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pensions system.
Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure when they passed it.
Bevin asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract”—a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired.
Shepherd never weighed in on the contents of the pension bill in his original ruling because he said lawmakers “failed to comply with the constitutional requirements for passage” of the legislation. Bevin has vowed to appeal the decision, which could ultimately be settled by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Republican leaders of the legislature and Bevin argue that changes to pension benefits are necessary in order to save the state’s pension systems, which have an unfunded liability of about $37 billion.