Governor says teachers having 'temper tantrum' over pension reform

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Gov. Matt Bevin said Kentucky teachers who are protesting over cuts to benefits are having a "temper tantrum" and he called them "selfish."

In an interview Wednesday with WVLC in Campbellsville, Bevin talked about the protests over the state's battle with pension reform.

""If they get what they wish for, they will not have a pension system for the younger people who are still working. And that to me is remarkably selfish and shortsighted. But we're going to try to save people in spite of themselves," Bevin told WVLC.

Last week, a bill cutting benefits for retired public school teachers cleared a key hurdle in the Kentucky legislature despite protests from educators chanting "vote them out!" The bill cuts annual cost-of-living raises for retired teachers to 1 percent from 1.5 percent.

Republican Sen. Joe Bowen, who sponsored the bill, said it would save the state about $3.2 billion over the next 20 years.

The move is part a plan to overhaul one of the country's worst-funded public pension systems.

But the proposal prompted fierce opposition from hundreds of thousands of state workers and public school teachers in the first election year after voters gave Republicans full control of the state legislature.

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