Gov. Bevin’s legal team today filed a motion urging the court to resolve whether the 2018 pension reform legislation, Senate Bill 151, violates the inviolable contract and the Contracts Clause of the Kentucky Constitution. The motion follows the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear attacking the pension reform bill and the June 20, 2018, opinion in Franklin Circuit Court, which invalidated SB 151 on two legislative-process issues but failed to address the more substantive issues of the case, including any impact the bill could have on the inviolable contract.
The motion was filed to ensure that the constitutionality of Senate Bill 151 can be determined once and for all, rather than through a piecemeal approach that could potentially add many additional months to the litigation proceedings. Gov. Bevin’s team urged the court to rule now on the inviolable contract issue so that a single appeal, concerning both the legislative-process and constitutionality questions of SB 151, can be made to the Kentucky Supreme Court as soon as possible.
“No matter what side of this case you are on, we can all agree that Kentuckians deserve resolution on the validity of SB 151,” said Gov. Bevin’s General Counsel Steve Pitt. “We filed a motion today so that we can have a speedy and clear up-or-down ruling from the court on every issue at question with SB 151. If the bill is invalid based only on legislative-process issues, then these issues could be easily resolved by the General Assembly in an upcoming session. However, without a ruling from the court on the merits of SB 151, uncertainty surrounding the constitutionality of the bill will remain.”
In an April 19th hearing in the case, the court stated that it is “very important to have a full record for our Supreme Court to review when it gets…up there.” Acting on the court’s statement, the motion filed today hopes to ensure that the record will include a full ruling on all of the issues in the SB 151 case.