WATCH | Kentucky Senate sends pension reform bill back to committee without vote

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky teachers are protesting the proposed Senate Bill 1, a pension reform bill which could affect educator retirements.

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This comes after a Senate committee passed the reform bill with a 7 to 4 vote. The Senate decided to not vote on the bill, sending it back to the committee.

One concern some teachers have is they do not receive social security, which makes their pension plan increasingly important for retirement planning.

The bill that was up for consideration would strip some teachers of their cost of living adjustments.

"We think it is a victory today," Kentucky Education Association president Stephanie Winkler said, "We hope we can keep having conversations."

Supporters say the bill would have saved Kentucky taxpayers $3.2 billion over 20 years. Kentucky's pension system is one of the worst-funded in the country.

"They know we need to do pension reform," Senate President Robert Stivers, R - Manchester, "They wanted more time to have a better comfort level."

Stivers would not say whether or not he had the votes to have passed SB1 as it stood Friday.

Teachers held walk-ins outside of many school districts Thursday morning in opposition to SB1.

During recess for caucus meetings, democratic senator Ray Jones made an appearance in the rotunda to tell teachers and protestors his party would vote no on SB1. Attorney General Andy Beshear also took time to speak with teachers in the rotunda.

This comes after a days-long strike in West Virginia over teacher pay raises. The Kentucky Education Association has not threatened to strike if this bill is signed into law.

"We are not West Virginia, We are Kentucky," said Winkler. "We are focused on doing our jobs. We want to be back at school, We don't want to have to be here."

Stivers insists the pension bill is not dead, but time is needed for lawmakers to be at a "better comfort level."