Northern Ky. Chamber president emphasizes importance of fixing pension crisis now

10/02/2017 12:11 PM

COVINGTON – With a special session likely taking place, possibly later this month, to address Kentucky’s pension crisis, officials with organizations like the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce are trying to educate individuals about the importance of addressing the issue now.

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Cooper emphasizes the fact that fixing the pension system with an effective solution is critical for the well being of the commonwealth in general, as well as the business community.

“We will be working with the governor’s office, with our state chamber of commerce, and our legislators to make sure we get a good solution for our state and that it will be a long-term solution,” Cooper said.

Cooper believes that another important reason to solve the crisis with an effective long-term solution is the fact the fact that a growing unhealthy pension system, can lead to residual effects on all other state agencies.

“Some ways we are almost on a cash basis, paying out to the retirees from the taxes we collect immediately, and if we do not find a way to solve this problem we’re looking at double digit cuts to services,” Cooper said. “In particular, things like education which really jumps out a people, and in some cases if we don’t solve that problem at the state level, we’re looking at massive double digit increases in taxes.”

Cooper applauds Gov. Matt Bevin for leading the way in working with legislators to first, realize that something must be done now, and, having intestinal fortitude to lead the way in searching for a workable solution.

“It’s not politically popular to take on something like this, but he’s being uber responsible, he’s taking a good approach and working with everyone to solve this problem,” Cooper said.

Cooper has also been appreciative of the work of northern Kentucky legislators, not only in relation to pensions, but their work on behalf of the business community.

“I like how they’re engaging with the business community, and they’re having a conversation with folks, they’re listening, and they’re passionate about solving these big challenges,” Cooper said.

Cooper served as interim director of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce after the resignation of former director Trey Grayson, before being named the 6th president and CEO last month.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce celebrates their 50th anniversary in 2019.


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