Kentucky Supreme Court strikes down pension law that prompted teacher walkouts

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a state pension law that prompted thousands of public school teachers to strike earlier this year.

The pension law, which was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in April, created a 401(k)/pension hybrid, which would have decreased cost-of-living pay for teachers and required new hires to work longer before becoming eligible for retirement benefits.

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The court said Thursday that lawmakers did not have a "fair opportunity" to consider the bill before passing it in March, according to NPR.

Kentucky state law requires that bills receive three readings on three separate days before being eligible for a vote. Republican legislators pushed for the bill by turning an 11-page sewer bill into the 291-page pension bill, arguing that the readings as a sewer bill counted for the required three.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling upheld a June ruling by a circuit court judge that said the process by which the bill was passed was unconstitutional.

Kentucky House Republicans criticized the state Supreme Court’s decision, calling it a “complete and total lack of understanding for the separation of powers.”

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), who challenged the law, called the move “a landmark win,” according to NPR.