Legislative Update: Final Session Day

Quick wrap-up of #kyga19 final session day:

Good: Passed tobacco-free schools bill and employer accommodations for pregnant workers. Two important public health wins!

Bad: The process was as terrible as ever with bill substitutes and amendments coming to legislators at 10, 11pm on the final night of session. On really consequential issues. This simply must change.

Really bad: The worst of these bills to pass- nearly entirely along party lines, and late into the night – was a “conference report” version of a KERS public pension bill, formerly known as HB 358. The bill does provides some immediate short term relief to some employers, but pulls out essential Jenga blocks that could cause the system to collapse in the (maybe not so) long term. And violates the inviolable contract. And leaves taxpayers to foot an estimated bill of nearly $1B. Stay tuned as more information unfolds….

Bizarre: a Republican legislator sponsored a resolution to honor Gov Bevin’s legal team for their “outstanding work” in advancing demonstrably illegal anti-abortion laws, and for “saving taxpayer dollars.” Even as taxpayer dollars are being spent defending this reckless behavior. Even as I write.

Even more bizarre: not only did the Speaker countenance this really weird resolution, but stood silently by as the same resolution sponsor went on *at length* to compare abortion to slavery and the Holocaust, and to personally go after State Representative Attica Scott for that good representative’s past reasonable questioning of an unconstitutional abortion ban. Not acceptable on so many levels, but especially in a context where my colleagues and I are regularly gaveled down or publicly berated by majority party leadership.

So… that was my night!

And still… we will #Persist!