Legislative members of the KTRS work group announced

07/13/2015 06:33 PM

Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo have announced appointments to the panel tasked with examining funding issues at the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System.

In a press release Monday, Stivers announced his three picks for the Teachers’ Retirement Work Group: Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown; Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro; and Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville.

In a statement, Thayer said that the Senate GOP will seek a solution which combines structural reform “with any additional funding.”

“We look forward to learning the structural solutions offered by this working group,” Thayer said. “We recognize that lasting structural changes will make any additional taxpayer funding of public pensions have a long-term impact that will benefit all Kentuckians.”

A spokesman for Stumbo told Pure Politics that the House Speaker appointed himself; Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort; and House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, to the special work group.

The panel, created by Gov. Steve Beshear via executive order, is expected to present its recommendations by Dec. 1 and explore how other states grant pension benefits, various funding options and draft a plan to improve KTRS’s financial standing.

Lawmakers debated a funding proposal brought by Stumbo in the 2015 legislative session which would have authorized the sale of $3.3 billion in bonds to shore up the teachers’ pension system.

New federal accounting standards are changing for KTRS, meaning without a funding plan in place, the agency’s funded ratio will drop below 50 percent and unfunded liabilities will rise to $21.6 billion.

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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