The press conference, which began before 4:00 p.m. called for legislators to begin their session tonight at 8:00 p.m. and comes four days after the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Senate Bill 151, was in violation of the Kentucky Constitution's requirement of three public readings in the Legislative Chambers.
SB 151, known as "the sewer bill" was the pension overhaul bill that passed just as time ran out of the 2018 legislative session.
"Today, I am convening the General Assembly into special session to enact vital legislation that will be a meaningful first step toward shoring up our dying pension system. We stand at the threshold of financial failure. That is not acceptable," said Gov. Bevin.
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Bevin said that credit agencies had already contacted the Commonwealth about the Supreme Court's ruling and noted that inaction could result in further credit downgrades that would cost tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers.
"By not taking action immediately, it will further limit the Commonwealth's ability to pay for essential services, including education and healthcare. I am confident that the General Assembly can, and will, do exactly that," said Bevin.
The announcement of the special session comes as a surprise to legislators. A release to press about the conference was sent at 2:45 p.m., just an hour before the announcement.
Because the session is being called this evening, the session will feature the same legislators that passed the pension bill previously.
For all intents and purposes they could pass the same bill and require no additional votes to pass it under the protocol outlined in the Kentucky Constitution.