Judge: Kentucky lawmakers' private pension meeting broke the law

FRANKFORT, Feb. 21 -- House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, (center) speaks about Senate Bill 2, the pension bill, at a press conference as Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, (left) and Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, look on.
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A judge has ruled Kentucky lawmakers broke the law when they held a private meeting to discuss changes to the state's public pension system.

The House of Representatives held a closed-door meeting in August to discuss the state's struggling pension plan. Lawmakers justified the private meeting by calling it a gathering of the Republican and Democratic caucuses, which are exempt from the open meetings law.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate rejected that argument in an opinion issued last week. He said any exceptions to the state's open meetings law did not apply because the gathering consisted of a public agency with a quorum of members of both majority and minority parties present to discuss public business.

Acting House Speaker David Osborne said the majority caucus still believes its decision was solid.

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