Senate President and House Speaker say much work is to be done as special session on tax and pension reform nears later this summer/fall

06/07/2017 05:46 PM

COVINGTON – Both House Speaker Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, addressed the topic of a special session on tax and pension reform on Wednesday in Covington where they were speaking at a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Hoover told the audience that he feels that most people don’t realize how serious the pension situation really is.

“I think we all have a duty and responsibility to educate citizens as to just how dire this situation is,” Hoover said. “We’re anywhere from $35 billion to $85 billion unfunded liability in our pension system. It has the real potential to bankrupt this state.”

Stivers said that for the past 20 years that he has been in the General Assembly, the legislature has funded the pension system at the level that have been requested through the budget process to protect the integrity of the pensions, and he said that integrity has not been maintained.

“We did it based on the expertise of the respective boards, and that what was sent to us by both Republican and Democrat governors,” Stivers said.

Many lawmakers have expressed concern that they’re not sure if an effective plan can be put together for a special session this year. Many are concerned over the political ramifications of raising revenue through tax increases.

Most Republican legislators favor a consumption based tax and a lowering of income tax.


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