On Monday, the Courier-Journal reported that a state judge in Kentucky found Gov. Matt Bevin violated the state’s Open Records Act by concealing an economic analysis of his administration’s 2017 plan to “reform” the Kentucky Retirement System.
Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ordered Bevin’s administration to release the records, and to pay roughly $73,000 in attorneys’ fees to the person who made the public records request for the documents.
Bevin’s pension cuts plan, called “Keeping the Promise,” drastically scaled back the benefits available to public employees, including teachers, requiring them to enroll in a cash-balance plan and work longer before becoming eligible. The bill, which was debated and passed in a matter of hours, was unpopular from the start and sparked a wave of teacher protests in 2018.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ultimately struck down the bill, ruling that state lawmakers were not given adequate time to review it beforehand, although the administration has expressed their determination to pass it again.
Bevin, the least popular governor in America, is facing a competitive re-election battle in 2019 with state Attorney General Andy Beshear, who played a key role in challenging the pension law.