Leaders plan to send some help to non-profit agencies hammered by increasing pension costs

12/18/2013 08:13 AM

Kentucky’s Democratic governor and Republican Senate president each told Pure Politics in separate interviews Tuesday that they intend to craft a state budget next year with help for quasi-governmental agencies to make their pension payments.

“I think the mental health agencies are probably ones that are in more of the dire straights than anybody else,” said Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester.

All but one of the 14 non-profit regional mental health centers that receive state and federal grant monies are members of the Kentucky Retirement System. Only Pathways in Ashland does not participate in the Kentucky Retirement System. The others were let in through executive orders decades ago. But now they, and other employers who are part of the system including the state government, are seeing their payments into the system increase sharply.

It will cost those centers and other agencies, like many of the state’s rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, between 30 and 40 percent of their payroll budgets next year. Some could shut down because they can’t afford that, as Pure Politics reported .

Stivers said the state should kick in some money to help them but must set criteria to make sure agencies that have adequate funding and reserves aren’t getting unnecessary help.

Gov. Steve Beshear said he will include money for those quasi-governmental agencies in his recommended budget draft that he’ll unveil in January. He said some of the money will come from the roughly $100 million in new tax and fee revenue that was part of the state pension deal the General Assembly passed in March.

Here’s what the governor said Tuesday:


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