Gov. Matt Bevin (R) renewed his feud with Kentucky teachers during an interview that aired Friday, saying those who protested his efforts to overhaul the state's pension system were confused and misinformed.
“The bottom line is they didn’t know and when folks asked them why, many of them didn’t know why they were there, they were there because the KEA [Kentucky Education Association] told them to be there,” Bevin told co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”
Bevin blamed union leaders, claiming they "mislead" and "misrepresented" facts to the public.
“The KEA – the teacher’s union in Kentucky – was not confused, they were trying to foment discord and they did a good job of it," he said.
This isn't the first time Bevin has criticized the teachers' union. He previously said state lawmakers are facing a "thug mentality" from those resisting his efforts on the new pension plan.
Schools in more than 20 counties across the state closed in March after teachers stormed the capital over the passage of a last-minute bill with provisions that overhauled the state’s pension system.
The Senate 151 Bill, which was originally created to deal with “wastewater services,” passed in in a matter of hours, giving some little time to review the legislation.
The Kentucky Education Association, which represents teachers and other education professionals, criticized the move, calling it "classic legislative bait and switch.”
The bill was later overturned by a district judge who ruled that it was unconstitutional, but Bevin appealed the decision and it’s being reviewed by the state’s Supreme Court.
The Kentucky governor warned that if Senate 151 was struck down, there would be “terrible” consequences, including that it would “destroy” the state’s already ailing pension system.
"It would destroy the pension system in Kentucky, there's a 100 percent chance the system fails,” he told Hill.TV.
— Tess Bonn