Judge denies Gov. Bevin's request to amend ruling on pension bill lawsuit

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has denied Governor Matt Bevin’s request to amend the judge’s previous ruling in the high-profile lawsuit regarding the state’s public pension bill, according to WKYT’s news partners at the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Bevin’s legal team called Shepherd back to the bench after he issued his ruling June 20, striking down the law.

"Initially he said this court and this judge shouldn't decide any issue, and now they're asking him to decide issues that don't need to be decided because the bill in entirely void,” Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Shepherd cited that Senate Bill 151 was invalid because it did not receive three separate readings the Kentucky legislature, and because it did not receive enough votes in the House.

The ruling identified problems with how the bill was passed, but never the content of the bill, or whether the bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract”.

With the 2019 legislative session only 30 days instead of 60, Shepherd's opinion could make a difference.

"The legislature could come back in and hold another vote on this bill or a very similar bill in the next session. I don't know if they'll do that or not, but for that reason, it would be good to go ahead and have a ruling on this underlying issue as soon as possible,” said Gov. Bevin’s legal counsel Steve Pitt.

The Bevin administration has said it will appeal the ruling to the Kentucky Supreme Court, according the Herald-Leader.

"I hope for a good ruling, and then let’s get this to the Supreme Court. Let’s get a final ruling so those 200,000 Kentucky families, of police officers, firefighters, social workers, EMS, every state, city, county and school employee don't have to suffer from the anxiety that they're suffering from right now,” AG Beshear said.

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