The Kentucky rally took on a festival-like atmosphere as some teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. Crosby Stills, Nash and Young's hit "Teach Your Children" bellowed from the loud speakers.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin noticed the teachers, too.
"I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them", said Bevin. He spoke of children ingesting poison or being physically assaulted because they were home and "a single parent didn't have any money to take care of them".
Bevin told WDRB that he was "offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children".
A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment on Bevin's remarks.
During debate on tax reforms, opponents argued budget cuts might be necessary as soon as this fall, if the revenue bill doesn't generate sufficient tax dollars. They trust that ... the people that make the laws will take care of them. Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, said the bill raises new money "on working folks" while "giving a $500 million rebate to our wealthiest and corporations".
By asking them to vote for another period to get the tax increase in a election 25, the veto put law makers at a position.
In the Senate Friday, responding to Bevin's comments, Democratic Leader Ray Jones of Pikeville warned Republican senators against springing any more surprise tax bills on the state.
"The funding needs to be staying in our public education system and we can not afford a charter school experiment with all these other financial threats in our state and in our Commonwealth", said Adelmann.
Meanwhile, legislative leaders and the current governor must try to resolve the details of a new budget for 2018-20 and additional revenue to fund it, including an envisioned $3.3 billion for pensions.
Republican Rep. Jeff Hoover told his colleagues not to trust Bevin, reminding them the governor promised to call a special session a year ago on pension reform but never did.
Kentucky lawmakers have officially finalized an override of Gov. Bevin's veto of the $480 million tax hike that helps pay for increases in public education spending.
The legislature approved a budget bill and a tax bill on April 2 and sent them to Gov. Matt Bevin's office to sign. Senate President Robert Stivers is confident the tax bill will produce enough revenue to balance the budget. But 57 Republicans eagerly voted to override, asserting their independence after a tumultuous year marred by a sexual harassment scandal. West Virginia teachers went on strike for more than a week in March, eventually receiving a 5 percent pay increase, Politico reported.
The governor's response to the striking teachers sparked outcry and disbelief from state lawmakers and educators.
In Oklahoma, the largest teachers union ended a nine-day walkout Thursday, but educators there vow to continue fighting.
Kentucky's pension bill revised numerous controversial provisions of its predecessor, like a mandatory 3 percent contribution into retiree health insurance funds and the end of a $145 million health fund for retired teachers. But the Oklahoma Education Association wanted teachers' raises to be $10,000 on average. But they also applauded Republicans who said they were voting to override the vetoes in order to fund education. According to the IRS, these plans blend aspects of two more common types of pension plans known as defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
If lawmakers let the vetoes stand, Bevin could call them back into special session to pass a budget.
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