Lawmakers walk away without action on KTRS; leaders say issue can be studied in interim

03/25/2015 11:47 AM

FRANKFORT — Legislative leaders say they will continue looking into the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System and be back at the table in the 2016 legislative session over the issue.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, told reporters that he thought the House would be back next year with a “similar proposal” to alleviate the nearly $14 billion unfunded liability at KTRS.

Stumbo proposed bonding $3.3 billion for KTRS while lawmakers study the pension agency. The Senate asked for more time during the session to issue that study.

As it stands now both Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, say the legislature may take up a study over the next year.

Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, predicted the study will show the system needs more money.

“I don’t think that’s going to be any big surprise,” he said. “If they want to commission a study we certainly won’t have any objections to that.”

Stivers said that it was the House who pulled out of discussions with the Senate over a bonding proposal in the final day of the session. Stumbo had floated a compromise bonding plan with an initial $1.5 billion bond sale.

“We will make sure that every teacher that is retired receives their check,” Stivers said Wednesday at 2:45 a.m. “Their director said it was 20 plus years that we get to a position that we can’t pay, so there is a need, but a sense of urgency may not be as great as it was portrayed.”

While the issue did not clear the General Assembly, Stivers said the Senate will push for an evaluation of the system over the interim.

“There will be a need for an infusion of money, and we are committed to doing that,” he said.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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