Union responds after Gov. Bevin calls KEA 'a problem' during veto announcement

Kristen Kennedy/Twitter
Kristen Kennedy/Twitter(WKYT)
Published: Apr. 9, 2018 at 3:33 PM EDT
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The Kentucky Education Association has released a statement urging lawmakers to override Gov. Bevin's planned vetos hours after he took shots at the union while making the Monday announcement.

The union is announcing it is supporting the passage of the Republican-backed budget and tax bills, even though they say they "are not perfect."

Bevin announced he would veto the bills, saying they lack enough action to address what he calls a "fiscal crisis" and the "worst-funded pension system in America."

The union has rallied against pension reform plans, which Gov. Bevin says is needed to keep the system viable. The governor was critical of the KEA during his news conference, as he believes the union is not offering a plan which will ensure the system's long-term viability.

"The KEA has been a problem," Bevin said, "They really have been."

KEA president Stephanie Winkler responded to the statement, saying she is disappointed by the comment.

"KEA members live, work and pay taxes in every community in this state," Winkler said, "If the governor wants to work with ‘job creators and taxpayers’ why does he insist on insulting so many people who do both?”

The union is asking Gov. Bevin to veto Senate Bill 151, which is the pension reform plan. Bevin offered some criticism of the bill, but he also said there are parts of the bill he approves. He has yet to make a decision on whether he will sign it into law.

Fayette Co. teachers, administrators, employees and school board members lined the street outside the school district's central office ahead of the school board meeting Monday, showing their support for public education after the governor's vetoes.

"Who knows what's going to come out of that," said Thomas Brennan, a teacher and parent. "It could be worse for public education in Kentucky."

The KEA has launched a social media campaign urging folks to contact their legislators and ask them to override the governor's veto.